Raul Ruidiaz is starting Saturday's game on the bench for the second straight week, though the Peruvian striker is almost certain to make his Sounders debut at some point in a critical home match against the Vancouver Whitecaps

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Sounders coach Brian Schmetzer seems determined to make fans wait to see Peruvian forward Raul Ruidiaz make his debut.

For the second weekend in a row, Ruidiaz will start the game on the bench. The idea, clearly, is for him to finish the match this time around. Schmetzer has mused openly about the fact Ruidiaz has had about a half-dozen training sessions with his new team, which isn’t a great deal of time.

But he’s playing with fire a bit here. The Sounders absolutely need three points out of this home match with only 16 games to go on the schedule and sitting 11 points out of a playoff spot. The Vancouver Whitecaps are one of the teams the Sounders must pass in otder to make the post-season, so this is indeed a “must win” game.

And if the Sounders struggle early and fail to secure a victory, the decision to start Ruidiaz on the bench will indeed be fair game for dissection afterward. For now, Will Bruin starts up top. Clint Dempsey and Osvaldo Alonso are on the bench as well and don’t be surprised if that becomes a recurring theme down the stretch.

SOUNDERS (4-9-5)

GK Stefan Frei

RB Kelvin Leerdam

CB Kim Kee-hee

CB Chad Marshall

LB Nouhou

MF Gustav Svensson

MF Cristian Roldan

MF Harry Shipp

MF Nicolas Lodeiro

MF Victor Rodriguez

FW Will Bruin