The Seattle Sounders are hosting Sporting Kansas City on Sunday in a battle atop the Western Conference. Here is everything you need to know:
WHEN AND WHERE: Kickoff is at 6 p.m. PT at Lumen Field.
WHERE TO WATCH: The match will be televised on JOEtv and Prime Video.
WHERE TO LISTEN: The match will air on 950 KJR AM and El Rey 1360 AM.
2021 RECORDS AND STANDINGS: Seattle: 9-1-5 (32 points, 1st West), SKC: 8-3-3 (27 points, 2nd West)
PREVIOUS MEETING: The Sounders and Sporting KC did not meet during the 2020 MLS season because of scheduling restrictions surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. They last met on Aug. 4, 2019, in a 3-2 SKC win at Lumen Field. Jordan Morris recorded a second-half brace in the loss.
FORM GUIDE (most recent first): Sounders: WLWDD, SKC: DWWWL
BATTLE ATOP THE WEST: Seattle and Sporting enter the weekend as the top two teams in the Western Conference and two of the top three teams in the MLS Supporters’ Shield standings. Sporting does, however, have a match in hand on the Sounders.
ARREAGA RETURNS: Following a midweek suspension at Austin FC due to yellow-card accumulation, Sounders center back Xavier Arreaga will be available for selection on Sunday.
HEAVY ROTATION: The Sounders are coming off an Austin match that saw them rotate nearly all of their available starters. The hope is Head Coach Brian Schmetzer’s men should be ready to go on the weekend.
PLAYED THE KIDS: Part of that rotation meant that 16-year-old Reed Baker-Whiting earned his first MLS start, as did 15-year-old Obed Vargas and 22-year-old Samuel Adeniran. The latter two are signed to Tacoma Defiance and were called into the First Team roster due to MLS’ Extreme Hardship rule.
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: The Sounders are without Cristian (United States) and Alex Roldan (El Salvador), who are at the Concacaf Gold Cup, while SKC is without starting No. 9 Alan Pulido (Mexico) and midfielder Gianluca Busio (United States).
BUSIO ON THE MOVE?: The Sounders and SKC will meet two more times in the regular season, but it’s unlikely that Seattle will need to worry about Busio. The 19-year-old SKC Homegrown has reportedly agreed to a move with recently promoted Serie A side Venezia FC.
GOALS GALORE: Sporting KC is first in the Western Conference with 25 goals scored this season. The Sounders, meanwhile, are just behind them with 24 but have conceded seven fewer.
STANDOUT SALLOI: One of the biggest comeback stories of 2021 so far has been the resurgence of SKC’s Daniel Salloi. The 25-year-old Hungarian is playing at an MLS Best XI level, and his eight goals are third in MLS behind only the Sounders’ Raúl Ruidíaz and the LA Galaxy’s Javier “Chicharito” Hernández.