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Three questions with Sounder at Heart

We spoke with the Sounders experts ahead of Sunday’s do-or-die matchup

MLS: Los Angeles Galaxy at Seattle Sounders FC Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports

It’s do-or-die for the LA Galaxy. With that in mind, we had a quick chat with the experts at Sounder at Heart about tomorrow’s crucial six pointer.

Thanks to Dave Clark for the time. Check out our responses to SaH’s questions HERE.

LAG Confidential: Raúl Ruidíaz suffered an ankle sprain Wednesday night vs. the Union. Will the former Morelia star be available on Sunday?

Sounder at Heart: It should be expected that he will be questionable. He’s jogged on the side in limited training late in the week and could make an appearance, though I would expect as a substitute. Coach Brian Schmetzer tends to be coy with player health, and the club will wait until the last minute to make a decision on their pricey DP.

LAG Confidential: We can’t help but notice the correlation of Ruidiaz’s injury and Seattle’s nine game win streak coming to an end. How has the Peruvian Designated Player transformed the attack?

Sounder at Heart: His addition didn’t make the Seattle Sounders attack amazing. It’s merely adequate now (Yes, I know that the team has averaged 2.2 goals in matches he’s played). But with such a great defense a middling attack is good enough. What Raul offers is quality finishing, the ability to stretch the field and the best defensive pressure that Seattle’s ever had from a regular starting forward. If you get some time during the match watch what he’s doing off the ball when Seattle is in possession. His movement helps open passing lanes that target other players, and himself. It also gives space for the midfield to work underneath him. The dark, grey offense that started the season now has hope and light.

LAG Confidential: The second ever voting process has begun for Garth Lagerwey as Sounders season ticket holders decide whether to keep the current general manager. Do you believe he’ll be retained? (Because if not, I know a guy…)

Sounder at Heart: He won’t get the massive vote that Adrian Hanauer got. The expectations are higher now than they were then, and Lagerwey wasn’t the owner who brought top flight soccer back to Seattle. At the same point, the voting started shortly after the Sounders won their 9th straight match. Seattle is almost certainly going back to the MLS Cup Playoffs for the 10th straight year and Garth oversaw an MLS Cup win and another appearance in the MLS Cup Final. That’s a great resume.

What he’s combating in his retention vote is a vocal element of the fanbase who are tired of feeling like the first half of the season doesn’t matter. These people are rightly frustrated at the past results in the early season, whether Lagerwey is to blame for the struggles or not. I expect Garth will get about 65-70% support in the vote, no where near a chance that he isn’t retained.