Major League Soccer

Sporting Kansas City-Sounders Preview

The Seattle Sounders are playing well enough to feel they have a very good chance of avenging a loss to Sporting Kansas City from earlier this season

Looking for a fourth MLS victory in five games, the Sounders will also try to hand visiting Kansas City a season-high third consecutive defeat on Sunday night.

Seattle (11-6-5) has worked its way among the top teams in the Western Conference by winning four of six following a three-game losing streak. After falling 2-1 at rival Portland on July 21, the Sounders needed only Jordan Morris' 59th-minute goal to win 1-0 at Houston last weekend.

"Coming into a tough environment like (Houston) and getting three points is important," Morris, who snapped a five-game goal drought with his fifth of the season, told the Sounders' official website.

The focus now for Seattle is to maintain that winning form while also delivering a little payback to Sporting, which hung on for a 3-2 victory in the reverse fixture at Kansas City back on May 26. Johnny Russell recorded a hat trick for SKC (6-9-7), but second-half goals from the Sounders' Raul Ruidiaz and Kelvin Leerdam made things interesting.

Seattle has won three in a row at home over SKC, which has been outscored 5-1 while losing its last two matches. That's come after posting clean sheets in winning each of the previous two games. Down to 10 men after Roger Espinoza's red card in the 61st minute last Friday night against New York City FC, Kansas City scored that lone goal over the last two matches courtesy of Ilie Sanchez in the 73rd minute.

By that time, SKC was already down 2-0, and ultimately lost 3-1.

"If something isn't going your way, you have to go every day, still, to train and play the game," forward Krisztian Nemeth, who has not scored any of his seven goals this season over his last eight games, told Sporting Kansas City's official website. "Even if something is wrong, you have to show up, work hard, and work for the luck again." So, if you keep believing and working, at some points, it will turn around your way."

Russell had that memorable game versus Seattle earlier this season, but those are his only three goals over an 11-game stretch.

Ruidiaz, who has a team-leading eight goals and one in each of his last four MLS games for the Sounders, missed the win over Houston with an apparent concussion. His status for this contest is uncertain.

Updated August 2, 2019

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