What to watch for from Sounders players in second round of international matches
With the first set of matches of this international break done and dusted, catch the second round of them on Tuesday. All of the Sounders’ internationals could play roles in each of their country’s games, but hopefully their minutes will be limited ahead of Saturday’s club match at San Jose.
Here are the matches to tune in to on Tuesday:
Uruguay vs. Paraguay, CONMEBOL World Cup Qualifying match: Tuesday, 4 p.m. on beIN Sports
Sounders involved: Nicolás Lodeiro, Uruguay. Despite the need to win this one, let’s hope that Lodeiro plays less than 90 minutes. He’s a key creative piece of Uruguay’s puzzle.
What’s at stake: It still has time to cement qualification, but Uruguay was ousted from the top spot after losing 1-0 to Argentina last week. A win against Paraguay will put them back on top. Paraguay sits just outside the playoff spot and could rise into it with a win here.
Prediction: With players like Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani playing ahead of Lodeiro, Uruguay should win this one early. 2-0 to La Celeste seems pretty reasonable.
USA vs. Trinidad and Tobago, CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying match: Tuesday, 5:15 p.m. on Fox Sports 1
Sounders involved: Jordan Morris, USA; Joevin Jones, T&T. Morris could get a start for the USA, since coach Jürgen Klinsmann will likely do some rotation from the team that won 6-0 in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Despite Trinidad and Tobago securing its place in the Hex with their last result, Jones will likely get a start after his stunning two-goal performance last week.
What’s at stake: Both teams have basically secured their place in the Hex. T&T definitely has, and the USA would only miss out if it lost this game and Guatemala beat Vincy Heat by 12 goals.
Prediction: Both teams will mostly be playing for pride, so I expect something close to a 1-1 draw or a narrow win by the USA.
Panama vs. Costa Rica, CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying match: Tuesday, 6:30 p.m. on beIN Sports
Sounders involved: Román Torres, Panama. As captain, Torres is pretty important to his country, but since Panama has achieved a spot in the Hex round, hopefully his manager will be sympathetic to the player’s fitness and let him play a smaller role against Costa Rica in the hopes of keeping him fresh for the Sounders. He went 90 minutes against Jamaica and still has lots of travel ahead of him this week.
What’s at stake: Both teams have secured a place in the Hex, so it’s basically a battle for first place in the group.
Prediction: 0-0 draw. Panama will be pushing for a win to top the group, and Costa Rica will likely bunker down to keep that from happening.
St. Vincent and the Grenadines vs. Guatemala, CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying match: Tuesday, 5:15 p.m. on beIN Sports
Sounders involved: Oalex Anderson and Myron Samuel, St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Expect both players to start and play for most or all of this one.
What’s at stake: Vincy Heat has only pride to play for in this one, and Guatemala needs a gigantic win and a USA loss to have a prayer to advance.
Prediction: 3-1 Guatemala. Still holding out hope for a goal from one of the Sounders’ youngsters.
Spenser Davis also covers the Sounders for Sounder at Heart.