One thing Sounders fans can look forward to on Saturday is their first look at Chicago Fire star Cuauhtemoc Blanco.
Blanco is the Fire's designated player, brought in at a cost of almost $3 million -- more than twice what the Sounders are paying Freddie Ljungberg.
And Sounders coach Sigi Schmid makes Blanco sound worth every penny, offering this brilliant description after Thursday training at Starfire.
"He's a butterfly," Schmid said. "He floats around the field. He finds different spaces, different places. He doesn't go anywhere real fast. But he gets to all parts of the field, touches all blades of grass on the field, and the moment you take your eye off of him for a second, he packs up, he's 15-20 yards away from you. The thing that's impressed me since he's been here is I never knew his left foot was as good as it was. Watching him on TV, his left foot is very good. He's very competent that way. If you get tight to him he knows how to use his body. If you're after him he's a good passer of the ball. So he's a player that makes them more dangerous because he see's those things. He's insightful."
Digital Access for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.