One leg down, one to go in this 2013 MLS Western Conference semifinal between the Portland Timbers and Seattle Sounders. Last week we hit on eleven rapid fire questions to preview the first leg and series. This week, with such proximity to the most recent encounter, we asked SB Nation's Seattle blog, Sounder at Heart, just two questions in preparation for the all-important second leg: what needs to stay the same and what needs to change? Thanks, as always, to Dave Clark for answering.
What needs to say the same?
Seattle needs to continue to push the ball into dangerous areas. They threatened numerous times and were just off on a couple shots that would have changed the game. Considering that was unusual on the season hopefully that means keeping the diamond for at least one more game. Even though this means Clint Dempsey is sitting a bit deeper than some in the national media like, that resulted in him threatening to score several times. Sigi Schmid will be thrilled if Dempsey can run the offense like he did in leg one.
What needs to change?
Finishing - That's easy to say and hard to do with personnel changes being forced due to Lamar Neagle's 2nd Playoff yellow card, but the fact is that if a club takes 12 shots from within the 18 and only gets a single goal it has problems. Some of this issue should be mitigated by having Obafemi Martins as an available bench option.
Defending passes into wide spaces - Diego Valeri had a rather pedestrian performance, but that may be because Sounders FC put a hint too much pressure on him and allowed men like Jack Jewsbury the time to set up amazing switches. Giving just a bit more of a body in his way should reduce the effectiveness of Portland's second route to the attack. The two wide midfielders have to prevent those cross pitch passes so that the fullbacks can still enter into Seattle's offense.