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Jun 7, 2024 5:40 pm

Sounders seek consistency, take on struggling Sporting KC

albert Rusnak

Two clubs on the wrong side of the red line in the MLS Western Conference standings will try to change course as the Seattle Sounders travel to Kansas City, Kan., to play Sporting Kansas City on Saturday night.

Seattle (4-6-6, 18 points) is in 10th place, one spot out of the playoffs nearing the halfway portion of the schedule. The Sounders have been mired in mediocrity, going 3-3-4 in their last 10 matches. They have not won back-to-back matches so far this season.

Things have been far worse for Sporting Kansas City (2-9-5, 11 points). Sporting KC have lost seven straight MLS matches, and is 0-8-2 in their past 10.

They also have won just one of eight regular-season matches at Children’s Mercy Park. That’s help SKC in last place in the Western Conference. They need a hot streak just to see the red line on the horizon, and they’re hoping Saturday is when that hot streak starts.

“This game is going to tell,” Sporting manager Peter Vermes said, “but our training has been good the past few days.”

Seattle and Sporting KC have built a pretty intense rivalry over the years, and Vermes doesn’t think Saturday will be any different.

“Seattle has always had a good team,” he said. “They have a very good nucleus. I think they’re finding their form from early on in the season. They’re an explosive team when they want to be, and they defend very well. So it will be a tough game.”

Seattle looked to have its first two-match winning streak when it led Real Salt Lake 1-0 late in stoppage time in the last match. But Andres Gomez scored in the ninth minute of stoppage time to pull RSL even in the match.

“They obviously were throwing everything at us in the last 10 minutes,” Sounders coach Brian Schmetzer said. “How do you break that momentum? By extending one or two possessions in those last 10 minutes. Instead of just clearing the ball, maybe you find that pass.

“Your legs are tired, but maybe open up so your teammate can pass you the ball. There are some little things that didn’t manifest themselves.”

Raul Ruidiaz leads the Sounders with seven goals, but has failed to find the back of the net in the past three matches.

Erik Thommy has a team-best four goals for Sporting KC. He is listed as questionable with a hamstring injury.

–Field Level Media

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