This weekend’s match up between the Seattle Sounders and Tottenham Hotspur marks the first MLS vs. English Premier League friendly of the 2014 season. The Sounders, who hold the best record in the MLS, recently had World Cup Stars Clint Dempsey and DeAndre Yedlin return, putting them a perfect position to upset the soccer world and win at CenturyLink field on Saturday.
Here are five reasons why the Major League Soccer table leaders will beat the Spurs on the weekend.
1) Clint Dempsey
Coming off a great performance against the Portland Timbers, we all know Clint Dempsey is poised to get a victory against his former club. The US forward has a history of playing well in big games, and finding a way to score goals and make key plays for teammates. The Tottenham defenders will likely pressure Dempsey on the ball, giving him the opportunity to create chances for Obefami Martins and others.
2) The Home Crowd
The Seattle Sounders’s fans are famous in the MLS for their passion and enthusiasm while supporting their team. According to reports from NBC Sports’ Pro Soccer Talk, The Sounders have already sold 54,000 tickets, making the match one of the best attended MLS games of the year. Will a few days left to buy tickets, this game could very well be a 67,000 seat sellout at CenturyLink Field. The stadium is also known for its status as one of the loudest in America, holding the world record for noise. The stadium measured at 136.6 decibels of crowd roar on September 15, 2013.
3) DeAndre Yedlin
In the USA’s final world cup game against Belgium, DeAndre Yedlin came on for an injured Fabian Johnson and played inspiring defense against Eden Hazard, of the world’s best Midfielders. Hazard, who scored 16 goals for Chelsea last season, was held scoreless and contributed very little to Belgium’s win. His performance brought him major attention from European clubs, who have been rumored to be working out deals for the young defender. Yedlin’s brand of defense has been proven to stop top European players, and will huge make a difference on Saturday.
4) Adebayor’s Absence
Emmanuel Adebayor, Tottenham’s top scorer of the 2013-2014 season, is missing the club’s North American tour due to his contraction of mild Malaria. Losing the striker will be a big blow for Tottenham, who rely on his play-making and scoring ability to win matches. Not having Adebayor on the pitch will ease some of the pressure on the Sounder’s defensive squad.
5) Stefan Frei
The veteran goalkeeper began his career in Toronto and joined the Sounders in 2014. He’s adjusted well into his role as the starting goalkeeper and has proven himself to be the backbone of the defense. Frei is currently sixth in the league in saves at 54, just 2 behind San Jose Goalkeeper Jon Busch and 3 behind Houston keeper Tally Hall. Expect him to have a big game on Saturday.
All these factors will play a big role in Saturday’s match, starting at 10:30 eastern time on ESPN2. Hopefully the Sounders can show the world that clubs in America can be a legitimate force in world soccer.