The MLS weekend concludes Sunday night when the Seattle Sounders host Sporting Kansas City. The home side is favored with a moneyline of -107. However, Sporting KC is getting plenty of respect at +247. Finally, a draw is listed at +265
Sporting KC needs to start the second half of the season with a win. The Wizards lost two in a row to close out July, winning two and losing four of their last six games overall. As it stands, they are six points out of a playoff spot with 12 games to play, so time is starting to become a factor.
Meanwhile, the Sounders are sitting comfortably in second place in the Western Conference. The problem is that catching LAFC for the top spot is a long shot, and they are in a tight race for the chance to host a first-round playoff game. On the bright side, the Sounders won three of their last four league games before the break, so confidence is high in Seattle.
The Sounders suffered a significant blow right before this game with the news that Panamanian international Roman Torres has been suspended for 10 games because of PED use. The center back had regained his starting role since coming back from the Gold Cup and was an important part of Seattle’s defense. Even with Torres missing a big chunk of time while on international duty, Seattle had conceded the fifth-fewest goals in MLS this year, so they’re bound to miss him.
Naturally, that means a little more pressure on the Seattle attack since a clean sheet is less likely without Torres anchoring the backline. The good news is that Jordan Morris is rounding back into form after he was away at the Gold Cup. Morris scored the game-winner in Seattle’s last game to snap a long drought. Raul Ruidiaz has also been in good form since returning from international duty, scoring in his last two league appearances. But he’s questionable to play with a concussion, so his status could sway this game one way or another.
The biggest question for Sporting KC is which team shows up. Will it be the side that blasted Vancouver 3-0 last month or the team that’s been outscored 5-1 over its last two outings? The inconsistency at both ends of the field is both frustrating and worrying, especially as KC hits the road to face one of the top teams in MLS.
The Wizards catch a little break by playing Seattle without Torres and without much time to prepare to play without him. But none of Sporting’s top goal scorers are strong aerial threats who can take advantage of the big man being missing from Seattle’s backline. They will have to find a different way to get the ball in the back of the net coming off a loss to NYCFC in which they only managed 40% of the possession.
Out of Their League
As mentioned, it’s desperation time for Sporting KC. However, their recent form suggests that they won’t fare well against a quality side. The Sounders have enough to overcome the last-minute loss of Torres, especially with the home crowd behind them. Bet on Seattle to beat Kansas City on Sunday night.