SKCvSEA 101: Previewing the Seattle Sounders’ visit to Sporting Kansas City

Lamar Neagle Matt Besler 2018-04-09

The Seattle Sounders are visiting Western Conference-leading Sporting Kansas City on Sunday. Here is everything you need to know:

WHEN AND WHERE: Kickoff is at 1 p.m. PT at Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas City, Kan.

WHERE TO WATCH: The game will be televised on ESPN and YouTube TV.

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

2018 RECORDS AND STANDINGS: Sounders: 0-3-0 (0 points, 12th West), SKC: 4-1-1 (13 points, 1st West)

ALL-TIME HISTORY: The Sounders are 8-5-3 all time against Sporting KC, including a 4-3-1 mark on the road.

RECENT MEETINGS: The Sounders defeated SKC 1-0 at CenturyLink Field on Aug. 12, 2017, behind a 36th-minute goal from Clint Dempsey.

OZZIE RETURNS?: The Sounders could very well see the return of 32-year-old captain Osvaldo Alonso on Sunday. Alonso has yet to play this year because of a quad injury, but he said last week that he was “ready to go” and could factor at some points against SKC.

SKCvSEA 101: Previewing the Seattle Sounders’ visit to Sporting Kansas City -

Cristian Roldan wins a header over SKC’s Jimmy Medranda last year at CenturyLink Field | USA Today Sports

FIRST WIN IN SIGHT: Seattle aims for its first win of the young season on Sunday after dropping its first three to open the 2018 MLS campaign. The Sounders fell 1-0 at home to the Montreal Impact two weeks ago before having a bye last weekend.

LEERDAM, DEMPSEY SUSPENDED: Sounders defender Kelvin Leerdam will serve a one-game suspension on Sunday after his ejection against the Impact in the last match. Dempsey, meanwhile, will miss the match as well after he was issued a second game on Thursday for his red card against FC Dallas on March 18.

FACING EVANS: The Sounders will visit former captain Brad Evans’ new team on Sunday after Evans signed a deal with SKC in free agency this past offseason. Although he has not yet factored for Sporting, this will be the first time since 2009 that Evans will line up against Seattle.

GOALKEEPING BATTLE: Sunday’s match features two of the best goalkeepers in MLS. SKC’s Tim Melia was named 2017 MLS Goalkeeper of the Year, while Seattle’s Stefan Frei was a 2017 MLS All-Star and led the league with 13 shutouts. Melia recorded a career-high 10 saves in last weekend’s 2-0 win over the LA Galaxy.

CHANGING OF THE GUARD: Gone are Dom Dwyer (Orlando City), Benny Feilhaber (LAFC) and Latif Blessing (LAFC), and in are Designated Players Felipe Gutierrez and Yohan Croizet and Scottish winger Johnny Russell. Gutierrez is tied for the MLS lead with five goals and was named the MLS Player of the Month for March, while Russell has hit the ground running from Derby County.

OFFENSIVE FIREPOWER: SKC is second in MLS with 12 goals scored through the first six weeks of the season, trailing only Atlanta United (13).

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