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Week One: Lost at Home.

Seattle Sounders lose at home 1-0 to Nashville SC.

The Seattle Sounders got them best of them following a 1-0 loss at home against Nashville SC. A single goal that came in from the back door after a beautiful through ball/cross to Panamanian midfielder Anibal Godoy. Nashville also took control for the majority part of the game, putting up high pressure and tight control defense. Meanwhile the Seattle Sounders did look like they were still shaking off the rust, even after a masterclass display of dismantling Motagua FC at home 5-0!

Nashville SC came into Seattle with a plan, and I’m sure that plan was to go home with three points and play a hard earned game. During the match you can see multiple times where they brought in that high pressure and counter the team every time they lost possession, which played off great in their end! Obed Vargas played very well, making his 3rd start in a row since CCL started, but at the same time you could see we needed someone to build the attack and obviously throughout the game Nashville SC shut us down. It was going to be a hard game no matter what, Seattle we’re out with Raul Ruidiaz from his injury as well as having Nicolas Lodeiro and Joao Paulo both being on the bench. When asked what the time frame was for Raul to return, Coach Schmetzer said he wouldn’t be available for the game against RSL but they’re hoping to bring him back before the CCL game against Club Leon.

Although this loss feels heavy(being a season opener game) we can’t forget it’s just the beginning and there’s a whole lot of games to win. I want to talk about who had a great game because I feel like I haven‘t given my Sounder of the Match, and if you really payed close attention Obed Vargas had a phenomenal game. The youngster not only went to have a great game, he’s been consistent with his plays. Yeah he might be only 16, but to players on the team, he’s been compared to Cristian Roldan when he was younger. I do believe he could be the next youngster to leave within the next couple years and I would keep a close eye on his improvement in his game.

Seattle we’re pressed high and they weren’t making plays well, a good defending tactic to have if you’re playing against a team with highly quality players. You could definitely see that they needed to be more assertive and pick the tempo up when they were on their attacking phase. Multiple times when they won back possession, it would’ve been lost again from how structural Nashville SC played. The away team put out a fight and they prevailed at the end, but the Sounders still have the quality to win more games.

In other news I decided to make my end of the season predictions on who’s going to place where on both the Eastern Conference and the Western Conference, as well who are winning what trophy at the end of the season. To be honest, some of these predictions may be a little biased but in all honestly it’s all just opinionated based off of what happened the prior season and their moves they made during the off season. Let’s check out the:

I have Seattle up top for their consistency of making it to the playoffs since they joined the league, as well as having a stacked team but like any other Season Opener, they‘re not playing like a number one seed team. I also have Nashville SC as the number 2 team to beat in the west. This team has built a great defense and their strikers are just as hungry as ever! I got a great feeling Hany Mukhtar will be getting double digit goals and assists combined. Austin has surprised everyone in their first game, but that was only against the worst team in MLS, FC Cincinnati. 5-0 at home is still impressive though for a team who didn’t make the playoffs last year, so expect them to try their hardest this season! We go on to the east:

In the Eastern Conference I have Atlanta United leading the East. Since Gonzo Pineda joined Atlanta United last year, he’s work tremendously hard to find the perfect recipe to form a dangerous Atlanta side and he’s so far has delivered. Last season Atlanta was poised to miss out the playoffs but since Gonzo took the reigns of Head Coach, the team made it into the playoffs right on time! This year will be a big test to see if he can really deliver and take the team to their next MLS Cup, that’s why I have them as first place in the Eastern Conference. New England Revolution will be pretty close to being first but I believe they will be falling short to second place. With their starting GK heading to Arsenal in the summer, its another reason for them to be falling short but I would also expect them to push hard throughout the season. Third place will be going to the Columbus Crew, their whole squad will be ready to come back with the mentality of going it into the play offs and don’t count Caleb Porter out. I will expect them to make it into the playoffs and depending on how they perform the rest of the season.

With that being said, who’s going to win the MLS Cup, Supporters Shield, US Open Cup and the CCL? Well luckily I got my predictions for that as well, I do expect Seattle to win the MLS CUP, with their deep depth playing a huge role into the playoffs. This year will be Atlanta United’s year to celebrate as I have them as winners of the Supporters shield. Gonzo Pineda will have the perfect ingredients to build a highly quality team. Orlando will be getting the US Open Cup. I think Orlando is a club that’s got a lot of talent and Head Coach Oscar Pareja will be winning the cup with them this year. And last but not least let’s not forget the Scotiabank Champions League winner, and that is the Seattle freakin’ Sounders! They have all the keys to make it to the Final and if I were to place my money it would be them. Of course they are going to have to go beat Club Leon, a team that knocked them out of the Finals of League‘s Cup last year. I believe they will be getting their revenge and more in this Champions League run. Those are my predictions but of course its just the beginning of the season, there is still a lot of games to see and I’m just as excited as you to witness the league grow and get better by the year.

Seattle Sounders will be playing against Real Salt Lake on March 5th, and then go on to play at home against Club Leon in the Scotia CONCACAF Champions League on March 8th. Expect to see some changes to the roster these upcoming games, as well as an improvement to the teams play. Follow me on twitter for more Sounders news on twitter @cast_luis21!

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