The Seattle Sounders are home sweet home. They’ll be hosting old foe, new rival Sporting Kansas City tonight in Sodo.
There is no love lost between these two clubs. Familiarity usually breeds contempt (hello Portland!), but Seattle and KC have only played each other 9 times in the last 6 years. However. Both teams have been championship contenders for the majority of their shared history. And though Seattle has made a habit of beating the Sporks in stoppage-time (5 of those 9 meetings), SKC won the elusive MLS Cup. Biggest insult of all, in a shady, closed envelope deal, Sporting got to host the 2012 USOC Final and we got Salazar’ed.
Today sees the renewal of this rivalry as it intensifies with both teams being in the Western Conference. This game isn’t just for bragging rights, it’s for 6 points. SKC is only 2 points down the table from the Sounders, and have been in good form. SKC is on a 4 game unbeaten streak and had 11 days off between their last two results. Their most recent being a Wednesday romp over New England.
Don’t underestimate the power of Benny Feilhaber’s mullet. Yes, last season the Sporks underwhelmed, but they are not far removed from being one of MLS’s elite teams. Peter Vermes, love him or hate him (frankly, I hate him) is a helluva coach and has his squad playing tough football.
Bold Prediction: SKC scores goals, they are tied atop the table with 17. But SKC is giving up goals, to the tune of 15. That isn’t Philly bad, but it has them tied for 3rd worst. What’s odd is, the Sporks don’t concede shots, just goals. This is a curio. A team that has always been known for defense and limits shots-on-goal shouldn’t be a sieve.
And that’s not exactly what the Sporks are. They have 4 clean sheets on the year, but a couple freak games (3 goals allowed against at Dallas, 4 against Houston) have them looking shaky.
If Seattle can stay discipline and look for the high-percentage shot like last week, goals will be scored. I don’t necessarily see the tiki-taka today. I see an open moving game and Seattle pushing the envelope. Dimes to donuts, this one is a shoot out. 3-2 Seattle.