Normally the football term, the business end is used with about three to four weeks left in a soccer season. It is the last week of July and Seattle Sounders FC ( 6-11-2, 20 points) are at the business end of their schedule. So using the said premise ,the Sounders have about four weeks let in the season right? Note quite,t he Sounders last regular season game is scheduled for October 23rd. The Sounders business end of the football will begin Sunday ( 12:00 p.m. PT) in Kansas City when the Rave Green will face off against Sporting KC ( 8-10-4, 28 points). The Rave Green are in cardiac arrest mode and in dire need of a double dose of the defibrillator machine to stabilize themselves. Translation, Sunday is a must, must, must win game for Sounders head coach Sigi Schmid and his players.
If the Sounders are to kick start their season in the Nationally televised game( ESPN), they will need to play smart, and cohesive soccer. The Sounders have lost their last two games, 4-2 at the LA Galaxy in a U.S. Open Cup Quarterfinal match and a 3-1 loss at the Portland Timbers in MLS play. In both road losses, the Sounders were unable to secure a victory after taking the lead. A perplexing paradox to say the least.
After dispelling of the, “inability to score demon,” the Sounders have found themselves, battling the, “what was I thinking demon.” The Sounders are giving it a full 89 minutes and unfortunately the game is played a minimum of 90 minutes with all 11 players on the same page. The backline will need to push up field when the opportunity is there but track back and have one of the midfield players stay back and help.
Sporting KC center-forward Dominic Dwyer leads the team with eight goals while midfielder Benny Felihaber is the top assist man with five assists. The two veterans spearhead a disciplined attack that can score goals by exploiting defensive weakness in the backline.
Seattle will be without midfielder lynchpin Osvaldo Alonso due to a yellow card accumulation and will look to the speed of Cristian Roldan to provide some pace and width along with midfielder mate Erik Friberg who will try to win the possession battle in what will be a hot and humid afternoon. Clint Dempsey will return to the line up after missing the Portland game and could be the difference maker if he and Jordan Morris can click on some up front combination passes that lead to goals.
Sporting KC will be returning home after two consecutive 1-0 road losses. Sporting is 6-4-1 at home while the Sounders are 1-6-2 on the road.
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