After going 11 days without a match, Sporting Kansas City faced New England on Wednesday -- defeating the Revs 4-2. Now, with three days' rest, them come to CenturyLink Field to face the Sounders on their home turf.
How will the Sounders welcome one of two new teams to the Western Conference? Will they win in stoppage time? Let's take a look at some stats to see what we can uncover about this match-up.
The Sounders are likely without Obafemi Martins, who has been dealing with a tibial contusion, for this match. While Chad Marshall did not train earlier in the week, it sounds like his calf injury is minor, and Chad will likely play.
KC has a rather long injury list. Defenders Ike Opara and Chance Myers are both out with ruptured Achilles tendons. Fellow defender Seth Sinovic is also out with a concussion. Midfielders Roger Espinoza, Paulo Nagamura, and Bernardo Anor are all questionable, while Marcel de Jong (hip muscle) and Graham Zusi (concussion) are probable.
The data reveal some really interesting things about both teams -- and this match-up in particular:
- Shots: Sporting KC does not concede many shots. In fact, they allow the fewest per game in MLS (10). However, take a look at their opponent goal conversion rate: it is 13 percent overall and 19 percent on the road. They might not give up many shots, but they appear to be conceding dangerous shots.
- Passing: The Sounders average 80 more passes per game than Sporting KC, but KC averages 10 more long balls per game (74 v. 64). It is safe to expect a high percentage of long-ball attempts from our opponents this weekend.
- Goal Types: Seattle has not scored any goals off a set piece this year, while 6 of KC's goals have come from a set piece. On the defensive end, 40 percent (6) of all goals that KC concedes are set piece goals. Maybe the Sounders can get their first on Saturday.
- Attacking: Take a look at this attacking graphic from WhoScored (the Sounders are on the left). KC heavily favors the right side of the field, where Benny Feilhaber typically lines up in Sporting's 4-3-3 formation.
Onto the infographic!