Competition: Major League Soccer – Seattle Sounders vs. Philadelphia Union
Venue: CenturyLink Field – Saturday, April 16 – 22:00 ET (03:00 BST)
Match Odds: Seattle 5/6 – Draw 5/2 – Philadelphia 100/30
Seattle lost their first three games of the campaign and looked in real trouble from the outset. However, a win over Montreal followed by a dramatic 1-1 draw at Houston have somewhat steadied the ship.
Sigi Schmid will now be looking for his side to kick on as they look to climb off the foot of the Western Conference.
Scoring goals has been a problem so far for the Sounders. For a team that has been known for its fluid attacking movement over the past few seasons, scoring just four in five matches is a poor return and so things need to improve quickly in the final third.
Philadelphia have exceeded expectations up to this point. They sit joint-top of the Eastern Conference after winning three of their five games so far.
Jim Curtin will be delighted with the start his side have made. A busy offseason has proved successful so far with new signings gelling quickly. Another win here would really send a signal of intent across the league as the Union look to make the playoffs for just the second time in seven years.
Their 2-1 win over Orlando last week was impressive but both of their losses have come on the road and so this will be a tricky test.
Last year’s only meeting between the two clubs saw the Union record a 1-0 home win. However, Seattle have won both of the last two home games against Philadelphia in MLS.
Seattle will be without three players once again as Roman Torres, Erik Friberg and Michael Farfan all remain sidelined with injuries.
Philadelphia will travel to Seattle without Maurice Edu yet again, while there are concerns over the fitness of playmaker Ilsinho as he is struggling with a hamstring injury.
Seattle Sounders’ last five: L/L/L/W/D
Philadelphia Union’s last five: L/W/W/L/W
Key Stat: Seattle have won their last eight home games against Eastern Conference opponents.
Key Player: Clint Dempsey – The USMNT star scored his first goal of the season in Seattle’s win over Montreal two weeks ago, making him the third-highest goalscorer in club history in MLS matches. He will look to add to his tally against the Union here.
Seattle Sounders 1-1 Philadelphia Union – Seattle will hope their dramatic late goal against Houston last week can inspire their season to now improve. They won their last home game but face a real test against an in-form Union side here. Both will fancy their chances, although they could cancel each other out and so a score draw looks likely.