The Seattle Sounders return to action on Sunday at Sporting Kansas City in the teams' second meeting of the season. Here’s a breakdown of everything you need to know about the game.
WHEN AND WHERE: Kickoff is Sunday at 12:00 p.m. PT at Children's Mercy Park.
WHERE TO WATCH: The game will be telecast on ESPN. You can find a full list of Sounders FC Pub Partners here.
WHERE TO LISTEN: The game will be aired on KIRO Radio 97.3 FM with a pregame show beginning at 11:30 a.m. PT. The game will also be aired on El Rey 1360AM in Spanish.
RECORDS AND STANDINGS: Sounders (6-11-2, 20 pts., 9th in Western Conference), SKC (8-10-4, 28 pts., 7th in Western Conference).
ALL-TIME HISTORY: The Sounders own a comfortable record against Sporting Kansas City all-time (7-3-3 all time, but five of those seven wins came in the first three years of the Sounders' MLS existence. Sporting are undefeated in four matches against the Sounders since returning to the Western Conference last year (2-0-2).
LAST TIME AROUND: These two teams met in their season opener at CenturyLink Field on March 6. After a promising start for the Sounders, defender Oniel Fisher was red carded in the 41st minute, and SKC defender Nuno Coelho buried a long distance strike in the 73rd minute for the 1-0 victory.
ALONSO ABSENT: Star forward Clint Dempsey may be back from his red card suspension for Sunday’s match, but the Sounders will now be without another crucial piece of their starting lineup. Midfielder Osvaldo Alonso will be forced to sit out on Sunday due to yellow card accumulation after he picked up his fifth caution of the season against the Portland Timbers last weekend.
AT THE DEATH: The Sounders and Sporting Kansas City have played some of the more dramatic matches in the league over the past few seasons, and most of those close results have gone Seattle's way. In fact the Sounders have stolen three points on goals scored after the 90-minute mark five times in recent years, and all seven of the Sounders' victories against Kansas City were earned in the last 15 minutes of the match. Can the Sounders do it again on Sunday?
INJURY UPDATE: Forward Aaron Kovar suffered a fractured clavicle in Wednesday’s match against the LA Galaxy and will miss this match, but he appears to be Seattle's only injury concern. On the Sporting side, midfielder Graham Zusi is questionable with a hamstring strain and his status is unclear for the weekend. Coelho, who scored the game-winning goal against the Sounders in their first matchup this season, is out with a hamstring injury.
DEMPSEY DAYS: Dempsey will be back in the starting lineup this weekend after serving his one-game suspension, and while the star forward’s return will be a welcome sight for a struggling offense, Dempsey has yet to score against Sporting KC in four matches with the Sounders.
ON A ROLL: While Sporting have dropped their last two results on the road, they are 3-0 in their last three at home, a streak they’ll look to continue this weekend when the Sounders come to town. Additionally, they’ve done it largely without their captain and USMNT veteran Matt Belser, who has started just one game since returning from the Copa America Centenario. Head coach Peter Vermes has stated that the decision was not based on Besler's performance or attitude, but rather the team’s form without him while he with the U.S. national team.