1- How different is this team from the one we saw in the first week?
S2 added a couple of international players, mostly younger. So the Academy is not as strongly represented now, but the quality may have increased. The only issue is that this happened so late that the three Cameroonians and the St.Vincent-Grenadian player just don't know their roles and teammates yet.
2- After 7 weeks, which player or players stand out to you, and have a possibility to earn the badge?
Zach Mathers continues to look good no matter if he's a box-to-box mid or the more attacking CM in the 4-3-3. Jordan Schweitzer has an MLS mind and vision already. He wore the armband as an active coach on field in his first competitive match.
3- The first time around you mentioned the low chances of making the playoffs, has anything changed?
Nope. They're not a good team. They have some good players.
Lineup - This is nearly impossible. The Sounders do not announce loans down to S2 ahead of time. Nor does anyone but the team know the injury status of players.
Prediction - Republic will win, probably by two goals.