Seattle Sounders will hope they can arrest their MLS slump, when they host Eastern Conference pace-setters DC United on Friday.
Seattle have lost four of their past five league outings, and their previous four in all competitions.
Defender Zach Scott said, if anything, the Sounders were happy to suffer their lull at the midway point of the season, especially given the absence of Marco Pappa, Clint Dempsey and Brad Evans to international duty at the CONCACAF Gold Cup.
“It never gets easy. I feel like we always go through a point during every season where maybe we’re not our sharpest or injuries have caught up with us… glass half full, it’s definitely a good time to be going through it right now than in October or November,” Scott said.
“I think we’re all optimistic that we can get through this. We’ve got not only a good group of guys who can step in, but a good locker room.
“It’s very easy to be at each other’s throats when you’re not clicking on all cylinders. We’re going to be OK.”
Scott said the Sounders were hoping the fixture against DC – who Seattle have not lost to in four MLS outings, winning three – could be the turning point.
“We’re looking at every game as a chance to halt that momentum,” he added.
Also on Friday, Houston Dynamo will be out to snap a two-match losing run when they host Eastern Conference cellar-dwellers Chicago Fire.
On Saturday, Western Conference leaders Vancouver Whitecaps have the ideal chance to make it four wins in a row when they travel to struggling Colorado Rapids.
New York Red Bulls will aim to preserve the momentum gained from their come-from-behind derby win when they take on Columbus Crew, while New York City will look to bounce back away in Canada at Montreal Impact.
FC Dallas host New England Revolution, Real Salt Lake welcome Orlando City, champions Los Angeles Galaxy entertain Toronto FC, while on Sunday, Portland Timbers host San Jose Earthquakes.
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