The Seattle Sounders are hosting Sporting Kansas City on Saturday (12:30 p.m. PT; Univision, Twitter, FOX 13+, Prime Video, 950 KJR AM, El Rey 1360 AM) in a crucial battle atop the Western Conference. Here are three matchups to watch:
Jimmy Medranda vs. Johnny Russell
Medranda has had a remarkable first season in Seattle, and the former Sporting Kansas City man will be eager to perform against his old club. The Sounders’ left wingback will have a tough task in slowing down his ex-teammate Russell, who’s scored in each of the two teams’ contests this season. The Scot has 11 goals and seven assists in 26 matches this year.
Alex Roldan vs. Dániel Sallói
On the other flank, Roldan will have his hands full as well with Sallói, an MLS MVP candidate and likely MLS Best XI selection. Roldan has been Mr. Reliable at right wingback in 2021, logging a goal and three assists in over 1,900 minutes, and his attacking impetus will be important to keep Sallói at bay. The Hungarian international has a career-high 16 goals and eight assists in 27 matches and scored in Seattle earlier this season.
Léo Chú vs. Graham Zusi
Chú has yet to start for Seattle, but he’ll likely factor in some capacity on Saturday. He displayed his high attacking upside midweek when he beat two Colorado Rapids defenders down the left side before earning his first MLS assist on a beautiful layoff to Cristian Roldan for the late equalizer. Chú is as pacey as they come, and expect him to run at 35-year-old veteran right back Zusi on tired legs.