Match Preview

SKCvSEA 101 PREVIEW: All you need to know when the Seattle Sounders visit Sporting Kansas City on Saturday, presented by Ticketmaster

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The Seattle Sounders are visiting Sporting Kansas City on Saturday in their first matchup of the season. Here is everything you need to know:

WHEN AND WHERE: Kickoff is at 5:30 p.m. PT at Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas City, Kan.

WHERE TO WATCH: The match will be available on MLS Season Pass on the Apple TV app.

WHERE TO LISTEN: The match will air on 950 KJR AM and El Rey 1360AM.

2023 RECORDS AND STANDINGS: Sounders: 2-1-1 (7 points, 3rd West), SKC: 0-2-2 (2 points, 13th West)

PREVIOUS MEETING: Sporting KC defeated the Sounders 1-0 at Children’s Mercy Park on Oct. 2, 2022, behind a first-half goal from Willy Agada. The loss eliminated Seattle from postseason contention.

INTERNATIONAL DUTY: The Sounders will be without six players on Saturday during this FIFA international window. Raúl Ruidíaz (Peru), Alex Roldan (El Salvador), Nouhou (Cameroon), Xavier Arreaga (Ecuador), Obed Vargas (United States U-20s) and Reed Baker-Whiting (United States U-19s) have all been called in to represent their respective countries.

DEFENSIVE DOMINANCE: The Sounders have only conceded once through their first four regular-season matches. That’s tied for their best start in franchise history, which they accomplished in their inaugural MLS season in 2009. Seattle is tied with Nashville SC for the fewest goals allowed so far in the early campaign.

RAGEN RETURNING?: After being forced out of the scoreless draw with LAFC last weekend with a bruised rib, center back Jackson Ragen was in full training this week and could potentially return to the pitch against SKC. Ragen’s presence would be a big boost for a Sounders back line that will be without both of its starting fullbacks, as well as fellow center back Arreaga.

BUCKING THE TREND: Seattle will try and break its 10-match road winless streak dating back to last summer. The Sounders have gone 0-9-1 since winning at Toronto FC on July 2, 2022.

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SPORTING STRUGGLING: With no wins and just two points through their first four matches, Sporting are off to their second-worst start in club history after taking no points in the opening four matches of 1999.

OFFENSIVE WOES: After being shut out in its opening three matches, SKC scored its first goal of the season in a 2-1 loss at FC Dallas last week. Sporting are tied with the Colorado Rapids for the fewest goals scored in MLS.

JOHNNY ON THE SPOT: Sporting KC winger Johnny Russell has six goals and one assist in nine career matches against the Sounders. His six goals are tied for his most against any one MLS opponent.

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