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Sounders vs. Chicago Fire, full-time: Tournament hopes on the brink

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ESPN, 6 AM; Watch with us.

Max Aquino / Sounder at Heart

FULL-TIME: Sounders done in by sloppy errors in defense and lack of ideas going forward. Their hopes of advancing are not dashed, but in serious peril.

SOUNDERS 1, FIRE 2: Sounders lead doesn’t last long. Fire homegrown Mauricio Pineda finishes a Gaston Gimenez corner at the back post.

SOUNDERS 1, FIRE 1: Jordan Morris made his substitution appearance count as he found space for himself in the box and delivered a smart cross fo Handwalla Bwana to bury. Credit to Bwana for the clever movement and clean finish as well.

SOUNDERS 0, FIRE 1: Xavier Arreaga badly misjudged a harmless long ball from Chicago, and their DP striker Robert Beric made Seattle pay. Yeimar Gomez Andrade did a nice job to catch up to Beric on the break, but the striker pulled off a smooth change of direction and buried his shot to claim the lead for the Fire.

HALFTIME: The Sounders find themselves in a 0-0 deadlock at half for the second time in two matches, though this half was easier on the eyes than the first half against San Jose. Seattle took advantage of Chicago’s deeper defensive shape and strung together some nice moments in possession. One of those moments led to the half’s best chance with Kelvin Leerdam slipping Raul Ruidiaz into the box for what looked like a clean chance to score until the AR flagged for offside. Though the Sounders had the better of play, the Fire grew into the game as their wingbacks got forward and started to deliver dangerous crosses.

LINEUPS: Good morning. Lineups are out. Newly signed homegrown player Shandon Hopeau is starting! Cristian Roldan slides back to holding mid, and Miguel Ibarra gives Jordan Morris a rest at left wing. I don’t want to make too big of a deal out of this, but it’s really early.


Just three days after beginning their MLS is Back journey, the Seattle Sounders are back on the field with the earliest kickoff in franchise history. The Sounders will kick off against the Chicago Fire at 9 AM local time (that’s 6 AM for those of you on the West Coast), who are playing their first match in four months.

As luck would have it, the Fire are one of the few teams the Sounders have played this year. In both teams’ season openers way back in March, the Fire were the better team for much of the first half and eventually grabbed a 1-0 lead on an early second-half goal. The Sounders came roaring back, though, and got the winner on a stoppage time goal from Jordan Morris, his second of the game.

What the Sounders look like in this one will likely be quite different from that previous meeting. The Sounders are likely to rotate their lineup heavily and there’s a good chance we see some of the newly signed Homegrown Players.

Absences: Injury, international duty and suspension

Seattle

OUT: João Paulo (R quad strain); Jones (L adductor strain); Bruin (R knee injury)

Chicago

OUT: CJ Sapong (thorax muscle strain); Nick Slonina (hip muschle strain)

QUESTIONABLE: Przemyslaw Frankowski (hip joint irritation)

Officials

REFEREE: Rosendo Mendoza. AR1 (bench): Kathryn Nesbitt; AR2 (opposite): Jeremy Kieso; 4th: Armando Villarreal; VAR: Allen Chapman; AVAR: Cory Richardson

Odds

The Sounders are favorites, according to DraftKings. They are +123 to win, compared to the Fire who are +200. A tie is going at +255.

How to Watch

Kickoff: 6 AM

National TV: ESPN, ESPN Deportes

Talent (English): Jon Champion and Taylor Twellman

Post-Match Show: JOEtv

Talent: Keith Costigan, Brad Evans and Steve Zakuani

Local Radio: 950 KJR AM

Talent: Matt Johnson and Kasey Keller

Pre-Match, Halftime and Post-Match Radio: Jackson Felts and Danny Jackson

Lineups

Seattle Sounders

Chicago Fire

Highlights will be posted as the match progresses.

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