Competition: Major League Soccer – New York Red Bulls vs. Seattle Sounders
Venue: Red Bull Arena – Sunday, June 19 – 19:30 ET (00:30 BST)
Match Odds: NY Red Bulls 4/6 – Draw 14/5 – Seattle 4/1
Before the two-week pause of MLS action, the Red Bulls won three on the bounce, keeping clean sheets in each of those outings.
A 3-0 home victory over Toronto in their most recent game further proved that they seem to be well behind the early season troubles. They enter the weekend in third place in the Eastern Conference, four points behind leaders Philadelphia.
They will play three consecutive away games from home following Sunday’s clash and so taking three points is even more pivotal than normal.
Seattle travel to New York in bad shape. They are ninth in the West, four points behind the playoff places and 12 points off the top of the table.
Sigi Schmid’s side did win their last outing, beating DC United 2-0 away from home to record a first road victory of the season. But they had lost three in a row before that and have struggled for consistency.
They have only won one of five games at Red Bull Arena and don’t look primed to take anything away from Sunday’s game.
The absence of Clint Dempsey, who is away with the US Men’s National Team, will hurt them and so they are up against it before a ball has even been kicked.
New York Red Bulls have three injury concerns as Damien Perrinelle, Ryan Meara and Kemar Lawrence are all out. Gonzalo Veron will also sit out as he serves a one-game suspension for a red card picked up last time out. Jesse Marsch has no international absences to worry about.
Seattle will travel to New York without star man Clint Dempsey, who is shining for the USA in the Copa America Centenario. Roman Torres and Oalex Anderson both remain sidelined through injury, while Chad Marshall is a doubt with a hamstring strain.
NY Red Bulls’ last five: D/L/W/W/W
Seattle Sounders’ last five: W/L/L/L/W
Key Stat: Both sides have scored in this fixture in each of the last five meetings, with a total of 20 goals being scored in that time.
Key Player: Sacha Kljestan – The Red Bulls midfielder can control the tempo of games single-handedly but also has the vision to carve out goalscoring chance at any minute. Expect him to cause Seattle numerous problems on Sunday night.
New York Red Bulls 3-1 Seattle Sounders – Goals are expected at Red Bull Arena on Sunday evening, but the hosts will fully expect to keep their winning run going by picking up three points. They are looking for a fourth-straight win on the bounce and will likely prove too strong for a Seattle side that has struggled on the road this term. The absence of Clint Dempsey won’t help their cause either.