Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Sporting Kansas City v Seattle Sounders: Vermes looking forward to grudge match against rivals

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 7 Jun 2024

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Peter Vermes is hoping for a competitive match when Sporting Kansas City face off against rivals Seattle Sounders in the MLS on Saturday.

Sporting KC have struggled so far this season, sitting bottom of the Western Conference on just 11 points after winning just two of their games.

They are currently on a 10-match winless streak, but Vermes wants his team to use past grudges against Seattle to inspire a win.

“Seattle have always had a very good team, a solid nucleus,” Vermes said. “We always have battles with them no matter where we’re playing. They’re an explosive team that can defend very well. It’ll be a tough battle.

“We’re two very competitive teams that are in the middle of competing for the same things. You end up playing each other a lot and having grudges that roll over. It’s healthy.

“Everybody’s form comes into play at some point. Not just as individuals, but as a team. We will win together for sure.”

Seattle are seven points better off in the table, but their home form has let them down of late, leaving them sitting just below the playoff places.

Head coach Brian Schmetzer is aiming to continue their winning streak on the road in Kansas City.

“We’ve been pretty good on the road, more road wins than home wins,” Schmetzer said. “It’s a confident team. I think we have been playing better as of late.

“We’ve talked about closing out games, we’ll be ready for them. Execution is critical. We’ve got a good team with plenty of confidence – we just need to execute plays more regularly.”

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Sporting KC – Johnny Russell

Russell, who scored Kansas City’s lone goal on Saturday, has scored six times in 11 career regular-season matches against the Sounders.

No player has scored more goals against Seattle than Russell since he joined MLS in 2018 (tied with Sebastian Blanco and Cristian Espinoza).

Seattle Sounders – Jordan Morris

Morris has scored seven career regular-season goals against Sporting, including four in his last visit to Kansas City. Only against LA Galaxy (nine) has Morris scored more regular-season goals during his MLS career.

MATCH PREDICTION: SPORTING KANSAS CITY WIN

Seattle have lost a lead in the 90th minute or later twice this season, including doing so against Real Salt Lake on May 30. The Sounders had only failed to win when leading in the 90th minute or later twice in the previous six seasons combined (2018-23).

Seattle have won six of their 13 regular-season visits to Kansas City (D2 L5), including winning two of the last three. The Sounders’ .462 winning percentage in Kansas City is the best of any team that has visited Sporting six or more times in the post-shootout era (since 2000).

Kansas City equaled the longest true losing streak (excl. breakaway shootout losses) in the club’s regular-season history at seven with a 3-1 loss at Minnesota on Saturday. It was the first defeat in the streak by more than a one-goal margin, and they will be aiming to avoid creating a new record.

OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

Sporting KC – 40.9%

Draw – 26.6%

Seattle Sounders – 32.5%

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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