FULLTIME: Sporting KC ended a seven-game winless skid, holding on for a 3-2 win over the Seattle Sounders on Sunday behind a Johnny Russell hat trick. Sporting KC dominated the first half and took a 2-0 lead into the half. The Sounders played much better in the second half and appeared to be back in the game when Raúl Ruidíaz scored in the 63rd minute only to have Russell score his third just five minutes later. The Sounders were able to cut the deficit to one goal, again almost immediately when Kelvin Leerdam scored in the 71st minute, but were unable to find the equalizer despite several good looks.
SPORTING KC 3, SOUNDERS 2: Moments after Sporting KC seemingly put the game away, Kelvin Leerdam cut the deficit back to one when he headed home a Nicolas Lodeiro corner kick.
Leerdam heads in Nico's corner. 3-2 SKC with 20 to play pic.twitter.com/g3r7JCqoha— Sounder At Heart (@sounderatheart) May 26, 2019
SPORTING KC 3, SOUNDERS 1: Just when it looked like the Sounders were getting back into the game, Johnny Russell finished off his hat trick with his easiest finish of the game when he was inexplicably left unmarked on a counter-attack.
SPORTING KC 2, SOUNDERS 1: Raúl Ruidíaz has pulled one back for the Sounders, finishing off an absolutely wonderful move and pass by Kelvin Leerdam to make it 2-1.
KELVIN LEERDAM WITH THE SAUCE AND RAUL WITH THE FINISH! pic.twitter.com/6L8eIyoypB— Sounder At Heart (@sounderatheart) May 26, 2019
SPORTING KC 2, SOUNDERS 0: Just when it was starting to look like the Sounders would be able to get into halftime only trailing by a goal, some inexplicable defense allowed Johnny Russell to dribble through several players and bag a first half brace.
SPORTING KC 1, SOUNDERS 0: The first third of the match was all Sporting KC and they finally made it pay off with a goal in the 29th minute from Johnny Russell. KC had been challenging Stefan Frei repeatedly, but broke through on a turnover near midfield and then a ball over the top. The Sounders had several chances to break it up, first with Handwalla Bwana nearly winning the ball back after having it taken off him, then Román Torres whiffing on a ball over the top and finally when Kim Kee-hee lost his feet after Yohan Croizet gained possession. Croizet then found Russell with a simple square ball and Russell’s shot beat Frei from about 20 yards.
LINEUPS: The Sounders will field a lineup with five changes from last Saturday, but one that is essentially the same as the one they used for their last win. Raúl Ruidiaz, Handwalla Bwana, Harry Shipp, Kelvin Leerdam and Brad Smith all return to the lineup for the Sounders. Also notable are the inclusion of Xavier Arreaga and Gustav Svensson in the gameday 18. Arreaga is poised to make his Sounders debut, while Svensson returns from a four-game absence.
The Seattle Sounders land in flyover country today to face off with Sporting Kansas City. The teams are at opposite ends of the standings and are in completely different form. The Sounders are unbeaten in six, and Sporting haven’t won a game in nine straight.
Absences: Injury, international duty and suspension
- OUT: F - Jordan Morris (right hamstring strain)
- QUESTIONABLE: M - Gustav Svensson (left hamstring strain)
- QUESTIONABLE: M - Victor Rodriguez (left hamstring strain)
- 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)
- QUESTIONABLE: D - Andreu Fontas (calf injury)
- QUESTIONABLE: M - Wan Kuzain (ankle injury)
- QUESTIONABLE: D - Graham Zusi (oblique injury)
- QUESTIONABLE: M - Jimmy Medranda (knee injury)
- QUESTIONABLE: F - Daniel Salloi (groin injury)
REF: Christopher Penso
AR1: CJ Morgante
AR2: Andrew Bigelow
4TH: Elvis Osmanovic
VAR: Jon Freemon
AVAR: Kyle Longville
Keys to the Game:
- Obviously, Sporting KC’s injury list is very, very long. But, they’re turning the corner and getting healthier. Matt Besler will likely feature in this one, which will give their defense a needed boost.
- Raul Ruidiaz got a much needed goal last week against Orlando. His previous goal before that was on March 16 against Chicago. The heel injury he suffered against Vancouver sidelined him for about a month. Hopefully he gives us a goal or two (three? four?) as a parting gift against a weakened SKC side before he heads off to the Copa America with Peru.
- The Sounders haven’t won in Kansas since May 8, 2013. Children’s Mercy Park has been the site of some pretty grim memories for Seattle. Today should be the day for good memories.
How to Watch
Match date/time: May 26 at 3:00 PM PT
Venue: Children’s Mercy Park
Online Streaming: YouTube TV, Fubo TV (affiliate link)
National English TV: FS1
Local Radio: 950 KJR-AM Seattle (Johnson, Webber)
Local Spanish Radio: El Rey 1360 AM (Rodriguez, Maqueda, Tapia)
Local Spanish TV: KUNS-TV Univision-Seattle
Highlights will be posted as the match progresses.
This is Seattle Sounders at Sporting KC; watch with us
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