Competition: Major League Soccer – Sporting Kansas City vs. Seattle Sounders
Venue: Children’s Mercy Park – Wednesday, May 17th – 20:30 ET (01:30 BST)
Match Odds: Sporting KC 4/5 – Draw 12/5 – Seattle 100/30
Sporting Kansas City host Seattle Sounders on Wednesday night as part of an action-packed midweek slate of MLS fixtures, as both Western Conference sides look to bounce back after a couple of disappointing weeks.
Sporting Kansas City sit third coming into Week 12, but could go top of the West with a win over Seattle on Wednesday, depending on Houston’s result Philadelphia. Seattle sit ninth on ten points but are only three points off the playoff places at this stage.
SKC battled to earn a point in a 2-2 draw at Orlando last weekend, following their disappointing 2-0 loss at Minnesota a week before. A return home should provide them with a platform to get back to winning ways but they must not get complacent.Embed from Getty Images
Peter Vermes’ side were defending extremely well through the opening weeks of the season but they’ve now conceded four goals in two games – more than they had conceded in their first nine games in total.
Seattle have lost back-to-back MLS matches for the first time since last July and come into Wednesday’s game looking vulnerable. Despite having attacking talents such as Clint Dempsey, Nicolas Lodeiro and Jordan Morris, Seattle have only managed to score once in their past 180 minutes of action.
Their 4-1 defeat at Chicago on Saturday will have left alarm bells ringing for Brian Schmetzer, who needs to get a tune out of his team if the Sounders are to put themselves in a position to retain their 2016 MLS Cup title come December.
Last season’s late surge to glory could well be replicated but given the fact Seattle already have the players available to challenge at the very top of the West, there is no excuse as to why they are already nine points off the pace.
This will be the first meeting between the two sides since Seattle beat Sporting KC 1-0 in the 2016 MLS Cup Playoffs Knockout Round last October. SKC won last season’s home regular season game 3-0 after picking up a 1-0 win at CenturyLink Field on opening weekend last term.
Sporting Kansas City’s only injury absentee is Diego Rubio, who is set to be out for the season with a torn ACL. Latif Blessing scored two last time out and may keep his place ahead of Dom Dwyer, who returns from suspension for Wednesday’s game. Peter Vermes may ring the changes for the double gameweek.
Seattle Sounders will travel to Kansas City without four players as Roman Torres, Nouhou Tolo and Henry Wingo are all out, while Aaron Kovar is listed as ‘questionable’. Brian Schmetzer will also be looking to rotate his squad ahead of Saturday night’s home clash with RSL.
Sporting KC’s form: L/W/W/L/D
Seattle Sounders’ form: L/W/D/L/L
Key Stat: Fortress – Sporting Kansas City are unbeaten in 14 consecutive home games in MLS, conceding just 10 goals in that stretch.
Key Player: Tim Melia – The SKC goalkeeper has been in fine form this season, conceding just seven goals in 11 games and producing 31 saves – the sixth-most in MLS so far this campaign coming into Week 12.Embed from Getty Images
Sporting KC 2-1 Seattle Sounders – This is a great opportunity for both sides to get back to winning ways but the fact is Seattle look a shadow of the side that bossed MLS through the late stages of the 2016 season. Sporting Kansas City are a really tough unit to break down and look set to record a fifth-straight home win on Wednesday evening.