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Scouting Report: Sounders looking to show no Mercy in Kansas City

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The Sounders will look to continue their unbeaten run while Sporting Kansas City is still trying to right the ship.

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MLS: Sporting KC at Seattle Sounders FC Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports

What You’ll Watch

The Seattle Sounders remain on the road and will head to Children’s Mercy Park to take on Sporting Kansas City this Sunday. This is the first of two meetings this season between the two sides and the only one in Kansas City.

Sporting Kansas City currently sit in 11th place in the Western Conference standings with a record of 2-4-5 (11 points in 11 games played; 1.00 ppg) and the Sounders remain in second place with a record of 7-1-5 (26 points in 13 games played; 2.00 ppg). Last time out, Seattle battled to a 0-0 draw on the road against Philadelphia and Sporting also drew against Vancouver 1-1 at home.

This will be the 19th all-time regular season meeting. Seattle is 9-5-4 with 19 goals scored and 18 conceded. In Kansas City, Seattle is 4-3-2 with 11 goals scored and 14 conceded.

Tale of the Tape

Seattle

Last Five: T-T-W-W-T

Leading Goal Scorer: Raul Ruidiaz and Jordan Morris, four goals

Assist Leader: Nicolas Lodeiro, seven assists

Sporting Kansas City

Last Five: L-T-L-L-T

Leading Goal Scorer: Krisztian Nemeth; seven goals

Assist Leader: Johnny Russell; three assists

Injury Report, Suspensions and International Duty

Sporting Kansas City

  • OUT: F - Erik Hurtado (right knee surgery 3/19, out 2-3 months)
  • OUT: D - Jaylin Lindsey (torn meniscus 3/30, out 4-5 months)
  • OUT: D - Rodney Wallace (hip surgery 4/23, out 4-6 months)
  • OUT: M - Roger Espinoza (knee injury 4/23, out 2-3 months)
  • OUT: F - Gerso Fernandes (broken wrist 4/27)
  • OUT: D - Andreu Fontas (calf injury)
  • OUT: M - Wan Kuzain (ankle injury)
  • QUESTIONABLE: D - Graham Zusi (oblique injury)
  • QUESTIONABLE: M - Jimmy Medranda (knee injury)
  • QUESTIONABLE: F - Daniel Salloi (groin injury)

Suspensions: Krisztian Nemeth (red card)

International Duty: N/A

Seattle

  • OUT: M - Victor Rodriguez (left hamstring strain)
  • OUT: F - Jordan Morris (right hamstring strain)

Suspensions: N/A

International Duty: N/A

Match Officials

REFEREE: Christopher Penso

AR1: CJ Morgante

AR2: Andrew Bigelow

4th: Elvis Osmanovic

VAR: Jon Freemon

AVAR: Kyle Longville

What to Watch

  • Imagine if you will what it would be like for a MLS team to go to Mexico and not just beat their opponent, but to so thoroughly outplaying them that the home fans started doing “ole” chants. Imagine that same MLS team ultimately advanced by a 5-0 aggregate score. You’d probably think they were a serious MLS Cup contender, right? I know Feb. 28 seems like an awful long time ago, but that’s exactly what Sporting KC did to Toluca this year.
  • Fast forward three months and, well, things aren’t looking so hot for the ol’ Wizards. The last time they won was March 30 — 7-1!!!! over the Montreal Impact — and they’ve now gone 0-5-4 in their past nine matches across all competitions. That includes a record of 0-2-3 at Children’s Mercy Park, where Sunday’s game will be played.
  • The main cause for KC’s problems are injuries. Lots, and lots ... and lots of injuries. They’ve currently got seven players listed as “out” with three more listed as questionable. Adding to their problems is the absence of leading scorer Krisztian Nemeth, who picked up a red card in last week’s tie with the Vancouver Whitecaps. Their injury situation has been so bad that they’ve been had to use MLS’s “hardship” rule that allows them to sign players from their USL team to short-term contracts in order to get to 14 field available players.
  • It’s a testament to the roster Peter Vermes has built that the lineup facing the Sounders will still look pretty good, with the noted absence of a clear front-line goal-scorer. Kelyn Rowe was a nice offseason pickup and they just acquired Benny Feilhaber from the Colorado Rapids. Felipe Gutierrez is arguably the best box-to-box midfielder in the league and Johnny Russell is building nicely on his 10-goal, 10-assist debut MLS season of a year ago. The big question will be at the No. 9 spot where it could be either 16-year-old Gianluco Busio or scoreless Yohan Croizet.
  • As usual, Sporting KC will likely try to press high and won’t be shy about fouling. The Sounders should be reasonably well equipped to handle this, especially considering these are not KC’s frontline players and they may need to preserve selves even just a little bit with this being the first of a three-game week for them.

Projected linups

Sporting KC (4-3-3): Melia; Hasler, Barath, Besler, Sinovic; Illie, Feilhaber, Gutierres; Russell, Busio, Rowe

Sounders (4-2-3-1): Frei; Leerdam, Kim, Svensson, Smith; Delem, Roldan; Shipp, Lodeiro, Bwana; Ruidiaz.

How to Watch

Date/Time: Sunday, May 26 @ 3:00 PM

Location: Children’s Mercy Park — Kansas City, KS

TV: FOX Sports One

Streaming: YouTube TV, Fubo TV (affiliate link)

Radio: 950 KJR AM (English), El Rey 1360AM (Spanish)

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