MLS Playoffs Preview and Prediction: Seattle Sounders vs Sporting Kansas City

Competition: MLS Playoffs (Western Conference Knockout Round) – Seattle Sounders vs. Sporting Kansas City 

Venue: CenturyLink Field – Thursday, October 27 – 22:00 ET (03:00 BST) 

Match Odds: Seattle 10/11 – Draw 12/5 – Sporting KC 14/5

Match Preview

Seattle Sounders host Sporting Kansas City in the MLS Cup Playoffs on Thursday night, with these two battling out in Western Conference Knockout Round at CenturyLink Field.

Few could have predicted Seattle would make the postseason, let alone hold home advantage, a few months ago. But the signing of Nicolas Lodeiro, coupled with interim head coach Brian Schmetzer taking over from Sigi Schmid, has inspired the team since the summer.

The Sounders have marched into the playoffs and rounded off their regular season with a 2-1 win over Real Salt Lake on Sunday. They enter the playoffs unbeaten in their last eight home games and are favourites to advance here.

Seattle Sounders vs Real Salt Lake - Sounders score

The worry for the hosts is that they were outclassed by Sporting Kansas City twice during the regular season, losing both games by an aggregate scoreline of 4-0.

The visitors have almost flown under the radar but enter the playoffs in fairly good form, losing just one of their last six MLS games to round off the regular season.

They have an experienced squad of players, some of whom lifted the MLS Cup in 2013, and will fancy their chances despite being labelled as underdogs here.

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SKC have some really dangerous attacking players and know they can unlock this Seattle defence, having proven their threat already this year.

This will be the first ever playoff clash between these two sides. Sporting Kansas City have been eliminated in the Knockout Round in each of the past two seasons. The last time they advanced through the first stage, they went on to lift the title.

Team News

Seattle Sounders star Clint Dempsey remains out with a heart problem and is unlikely to play again in 2016, while Andreas Ivanschitz and Dylan Remick are both sidelined through injury.

Sporting Kansas City are without Diego Rubio for the season, while Justin Mapp, Chance Myers and Brad Davis are all listed as ‘questionable’ ahead of Thursday’s game.

Key Points

Seattle Sounders’ last five: W/W/D/L/W

Sporting Kansas City’s last five: D/W/L/D/W

Key Stat: Sporting KC are unbeaten in their last five meetings with Seattle in MLS (W3 D2), conceding just one goal against their opponents in that time.

Key Player: Nicolas Lodeiro – It’s impossible to highlight anyone else other than Lodeiro as the key man for this clash. The Uruguayan playmaker has been sensational since joining MLS in August and is the main reason behind the Sounders’ resurgence during the late stages of the regular season. His creativity will be vital if the home side are to advance to the Conference Semifinals on Thursday evening.

Photo: Max Aquino

Photo: Max Aquino

Score Prediction

Seattle Sounders 2-1 Sporting Kansas City – This is likely to be the closest of all the midweek Knockout Round clashes to start the 2016 MLS Cup Playoffs. Both sides are capable of winning this contest and will fancy their chances of going all the way if they can get through here. Seattle have home advantage on their side and have looked very impressive in recent weeks, but Sporting KC have big-game experience and will know how to cope with the occasion. This could go to extra-time, but ultimately, Seattle should edge it.

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MLS Opening Weekend: 30 interesting stats from Sunday’s ten games

The opening weekend of the 2016 Major League Soccer season is upon us, so here is a look at a few stats to be aware of ahead of what should be an excellent evening of MLS action.

Sunday 6th March

New York Red Bulls vs Toronto FC – (18:30 GMT)

  • New York Red Bulls are unbeaten against Toronto FC in their last eight home matches against the Canadian side.
  • Including the playoffs, New York Red Bulls have won 11 of their last 12 at Red Bull Arena.
  • On the other hand, Toronto FC haven’t won on the road in MLS since 4th July, a total of nine away fixtures.

For more information read our New York Red Bulls vs Toronto FC Match Preview.

New York Red Bulls vs. DC United

Orlando City vs Real Salt Lake – (19:00 GMT)

  • Orlando City finished the 2015 MLS Season on a six-game unbeaten streak, with four wins and two draws.
  • Real Salt Lake finished the 2015 MLS season on a three-game losing streak, managing just one goal in the process.
  • However, Real Salt Lake are unbeaten in six consecutive MLS opening games, with five wins and one draw.

For more information read our Orlando City vs Real Salt Lake Match Preview.

Chicago Fire vs New York City FC – (19:00 GMT) – Live on Sky Sports 1

  • Chicago Fire lost seven of their last eight matches in the 2015 season, winning the other.
  • New York City FC won only once in their last eight away games of last season, losing six of them.
  • Chicago haven’t won on the opening day for the last six seasons, as they’be endured four losses and two draws.

For more information read our Chicago Fire vs New York City FC Match Preview.

FC Dallas vs Philadelphia Union – (20:00 GMT)

  • Philadelphia have never beaten FC Dallas in Major League Soccer.
  • FC Dallas have won four season openers in MLS in a row.
  • FC Dallas won the most matches at home in MLS last season, with a total of 13 out of 17.

For more information read our FC Dallas vs Philadelphia Union Match Preview.

Photo: Denise McCooey

Photo: Denise McCooey

Houston Dynamo vs New England Revolution – (20:00 GMT)

  • Houston Dynamo have lost to the New England Revolution on three consecutive occasions – run that started in April 2014.
  • Houston Dynamo have lost just once in their last ten home matches in MLS, with seven wins and two draws.
  • New England Revolution conceded 35 times on the road last season – their worst away defensive record since 1998.

For more information read our Houston Dynamo vs New England Revolution Match Preview.

San Jose Earthquakes vs Colorado Rapids – (20:00 GMT)

  • San Jose Earthquakes are unbeaten in 12 consecutive matches against the Colorado Rapids, winning six and drawing six.
  • San Jose haven’t conceded at home against the Colorado Rapids since May 2013.
  • Colorado Rapids have lost four of their last five away matches in MLS, winning the other.

For more information read our San Jose Earthquakes vs Colorado Rapids Match Preview.

Portland Timbers vs Columbus Crew – (21:30 GMT) – Live on Sky Sports 1

  • Including the MLS Cup Final last year, Portland Timbers are unbeaten in their last three matches against Columbus Crew.
  • Including the postseason, Portland Timbers are unbeaten in their last nine consecutive MLS matches, winning six and drawing three.
  • Columbus Crew won five of their last six 2015 MLS regular season games.

For more information read our Portland Timbers vs Columbus Crew Match Preview.

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Vancouver Whitecaps vs Montreal Impact – (22:30 GMT)

  • Vancouver had the joint best defence in Major League Soccer in 2015, conceding only 36 goals.
  • Montreal Impact won their final two matches away from home in the regular season last term but lost nine of the 15 previous road trips.
  • Octavio Rivero was the Whitecaps’ leading goalscorer with ten last season. He is only the fourth player in Whitecaps history to reach double-digits in a single season.

For more information read our Vancouver Whitecaps vs Montreal Impact Match Preview.

Monday 7th March (UK Time)

Seattle Sounders vs Sporting Kansas City – (00:00 GMT)

  • Seattle Sounders haven’t won against Sporting Kansas City in their last three attempts, drawing twice and losing once.
  • At home, Sounders are undefeated in all four MLS matches against Sporting Kansas City, winning twice and drawing twice.
  • Seattle are unbeaten in their last seven MLS outings. They’ve won six of those seven, drawing the other.

For more information read our Seattle Sounders vs Sporting Kansas City Match Preview.

Seattle Sounders vs FC Dallas Fans

LA Galaxy vs DC United – (03:00 GMT)

  • DC have only won once in their last eleven matches against LA Galaxy, drawing five and losing the other five.
  • LA are unbeaten in their last eight home matches against DC United, recording four wins and four draws.
  • DC United only managed to score nine away goals in the regular season in 2015 – a league low for the season.

For more information read our LA Galaxy vs DC United Match Preview.

What are you most looking forward to on the opening day of the 2016 MLS season?

Dempsey fails to equal MLS record as Sounders left “disappointed”

Seattle Sounders were left disappointed following their 0-0 home draw with Sporting Kansas City on Saturday night, and the goalless draw means Clint Dempsey failed to equal an MLS record.

The 32-year-old attacker went into the game with a goal or assist in ten consecutive games, and was just one game from tying the record of 11 straight games.

Roy Lassiter, Ronald Cerritos and Mauricio Cienfuegos all picked up a goal or an assist in eleven straight games at the end of the nineties but Dempsey was unable to join them.

Sporting Kansas City travelled to CenturyLink Field to take on the Sounders after a midweek win against New England Revolution and despite being underdogs they were able to hold out for a point.

Seattle Sounders fans behind the Sporting KC goal at CenturyLink Field (Photo: Denisemccooey©)

Seattle Sounders fans behind the Sporting KC goal at CenturyLink Field (Photo: Denisemccooey©)

Sporting KC frustrated Seattle and limited their Western Conference rivals to just one shot on target, preventing Dempsey from taking his place in the record books.

“We’re disappointed with the tie at home,” Sounders head coach Sigi Schmid said after the game.

“We always want to win when we’re at home. I thought we had more possession, they played certainly deeper right from the beginning of the game. In a game like this you’re not going to get 10 or 15 chances. You’re only going to get one or two and you need to finish them when you can. That didn’t fall for us today.”

Sigi Schmid looks on during Seattle's game against Sporting Kansas City (Photo: Denisemccooey©)

Sigi Schmid looks on during Seattle’s game against Sporting Kansas City (Photo: Denisemccooey©)

Dempsey wasn’t helped by the absence of Obafemi Martins once again this week as the striking duo have built up an impressive partnership and without the Nigerian, the USMNT star’s options are limited in the final third.

Dempsey and his Seattle teammates return to action on Wednesday night against the Colorado Rapids at CenturyLink Field and will be hoping to return to winning ways.

How disappointed will Clint Dempsey be with not entering the record books? Was the draw a bad result for Seattle?

MLS Preview and Prediction: Seattle Sounders vs Sporting Kansas City

Competition: Major League Soccer – Seattle Sounders vs. Sporting Kansas City

Venue: CenturyLink Field – Saturday May 23rd – 22:00 ET (03:00 BST)

Match Odds: Seattle 1/1 – Draw 12/5 – Sporting Kansas City11/4

Match Preview

Seattle Sounders entertain Sporting Kansas City to CenturyLink Field in what has the potential to be one of the best games of the weekend.

This is the first of three home games for Sounders and Sigi Schmid’s side come into the game off the back of an away win against Vancouver Whitecaps.

Seattle are sitting third in the Western Conference having played 10, winning six, drawing one and losing three games.

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Obafemi Martins could miss this one. His lethal partnership with Clint Dempsey is proving to be unplayable and the pressure is on Dempsey to provide.

Sporting Kansas City come into this one after an impressive 4-2 over New England Revolution on Wednesday.

Peter Vermes will be delighted with the way his side’s has started the season and will be hoping for a positive result here to show they’re capable of maintaining a push for the playoffs.

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Benny Feilhaber has been in inspired form this season and is pushing for a call-up for the Gold Cup. He has scored three and created six already.

Team News

Seattle Sounders will probably be without Obafemi Martins which is a huge blow as he has scored six goals this season and Chad Marshall is a doubt.

Sporting Kansas City are littered with injuries. Ike Opara, Seth Sinovic and Chance Myers are all out. Roger Espinoza, Paulo Nagamura and Bernardo Anor are all doubts while Marcel de Jong and Graham Zusi will be pushing for a start.

Key Points

Seattle Sounders’ last five: W/W/W/D/W

Sporting Kansas City’s last five: L/D/W/D/W

Key Stat: Seattle have won 7 of their last 8 matches against Kansas City in all competitions.

Key Player: Clint Dempsey – the prolific number two will be expected to step-up in the absence of his strike partner.

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Score Prediction

Seattle Sounders 2-1 Sporting Kansas City – Sounders to edge a tough tie against a good Kansas City side struggling with injuries.