Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Seattle Sounders v Chicago Fire: Schmetzer seeks home-form remedy at Lumen Park

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 28 Jun 2024

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Brian Schmetzer urged Seattle Sounders to rediscover their home form ahead of Saturday’s meeting with Chicago Fire in MLS.

The hosts sit ninth in the Western Conference standings, but are 12 points adrift of the top three sides in the table.

Schmetzer’s side have not won back-to-back MLS games all season, though that is a possibility when the out-of-form Chicago visit Lumen Park.

Seattle will be invigorated by last-gasp drama in their 3-2 win over FC Dallas last time out, and the head coach hopes his team can utilise that momentum going forward.

“We need to follow up that crazy, exciting, perfect for the fans, but horrible for the coaches win,” he said. “We’ve got two more home games to come, and we need to re-establish some home form.

“I haven’t mentioned it to the players, but we have discussed it internally among the coaches, how to get them more consistent and delivering on a regular basis.

“[Let’s] see if we can generate some more results. We’re still below the playoff line, but seven points in a week is a good number.

“Now, we talk about keeping the momentum at home going, not necessarily winning two in a row, but just re-establishing what we do here and how we go about things.”

The Fire appeared to be finding form with a four-match unbeaten streak, though that was snapped with a 4-2 defeat in Orlando last weekend.

Chicago are languishing at the bottom of the Eastern Conference and have struggled on the road, managing just one win in nine away matches.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Seattle Sounders – Jordan Morris

Jordan Morris scored the 88th-minute equaliser and stoppage-time winner in Seattle’s comeback win over Dallas on Saturday.

Morris is the first player in Sounders history to score both the match-tying and winning goals in the 80th minute or later of an MLS match.

Chicago Fire – Hugo Cuypers

Hugo Cuypers has scored in four consecutive matches for the Fire, the longest active goalscoring streak in MLS.

If he scores against Seattle, Cuypers will equal the longest regular-season scoring streak in the Fire’s MLS history: five games by David Accam in 2017 and Robert Beric in 2020.

MATCH PREDICTION – SEATTLE SOUNDERS WIN

With the Fire enjoying a favourable head-to-head record and the Sounders in fine form, this clash was difficult to split the pair, though Seattle appear favourites for a narrow victory.

Seattle have lost only two of their last 13 matches in all competitions (won six, drawn five), with both of those defeats coming on the road.

Indeed, the Sounders are unbeaten in seven straight home games, including winning three of the last four at Lumen Field (drawn one), but Chicago should still not be ruled out.

The Fire have won their last two meetings with Seattle, one at home and one at the MLS is Back Tournament in 2020. Prior to that, Chicago had won just two of 17 meetings with the Sounders (drawn four, lost 11).

They also remain winless in Seattle in nine all-time visits (drawn two, lost seven), but have won their last two trips to the Pacific Northwest, winning 3-1 at Vancouver Whitecaps in 2022 and 2-1 at Portland Timbers in 2023.

Prior to the last two matches, Chicago had never won at any of the three Cascadia MLS teams in all competitions (drawn four, lost 19 at Portland, Seattle and Vancouver), a feat they will hope does not come back to haunt them here.

OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

Seattle Sounders win – 54.6%

Draw – 23.3%

Chicago Fire win – 22%

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

SoccerNews

Soccernews.com is news blog for soccer with comprehensive coverage of all the major leagues in Europe, as well as MLS in the United States. In addition we offer breaking news for transfers and transfer rumors, ticket sales, betting tips and offers, match previews, and in-depth editorials.

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