MLS: Seattle Sounders lock horns with Kansas while the Union take on Nashville
The MLS play-offs are coming into sharp focus, and it will be a frantic conclusion to the regular season. There is plenty still left to play for, but we will focus our attention on matters at the top of the table this weekend. In this preview, we will look ahead to Seattle Sounders v Sporting Kansas City, and Philadelphia Union v Nashville SC.
Seattle Sounders see Supporters’ Shield hopes fade
Seattle Sounders may have cemented a berth at the MLS Cup play-offs for the 13th straight season, but a 2-1 defeat to Houston Dynamo last weekend saw their Supporters’ Shield hopes fade. The Sounders have enjoyed a fabulous season under Brian Schmetzer, but the loss to Dynamo means New England Revolution are poised to walk away with the Supporters’ Shield.
With just a handful of games remaining, the objective now is to lock down the No.1 seed in the Western Conference. Defeat to Dynamo was the sixth of the campaign for the Sounders. But before they host Sporting Kansas City on Saturday, the Sounders face a tough game against Colorado Rapids, who are third in the Western Conference, in midweek.
- Seattle Sounders to beat Sporting Kansas City @9/10 with Casumo
- Sporting Kansas City to beat Seattle Sounders @49/20 with Casumo
Jordan Morris could be available for Seattle Sounders’ run-in
The Sounders could welcome Jordan Morris back for the clash against Sporting Kansas. Morris, who has been plagued with injuries, has now resumed full training. After initially tearing his ACL last February, Morris has been making good progress, and Schmetzer hasn’t ruled a return to action for the winger.
Sporting Kansas City star Johnny Russell on hot goalscoring streak
There are times when strikers go through barren spells. Just ask Johnny Russell! After failing to net in his first 11 appearances of the campaign, the Sporting Kansas star has struck 11 times in his past 15 outings. Russell became the first Sporting Kansas player to score in each of his last six games last weekend, and the Sounders will have to be switched on.
Revenge on the minds of Sporting Kansas players ahead of Seattle Sounders test
By slipping up to the Vancouver Whitecaps last weekend, Sporting Kansas missed a great opportunity to close the gap on Western Conference leaders Sounders. And for the Sporting Kansas camp, they will be eager to make amends after a 2-1 defeat to the Sounders last month. On that day, goals from Cristian Roldan and Will Bruin gave the Sounders a priceless victory.
Will Philadelphia Union rue missed opportunity against Montreal?
As of yet, Philadelphia Union aren’t assured of a play-off spot. At the time of writing, they are third in the Eastern Conference with 46 points to their name from 29 games. Just five points separate third down to seventh, however, Union dropped more points as they were held to a 2-2 draw last weekend against Montreal Impact.
After recovering from a goal down, Kai Wagner thought he had given Union all three points from a free-kick, but they were denied by a last-gasp equaliser from Sunusi Ibrahim. Saturday’s opponents Nashville are two points above Union in the table, but they have conceded three fewer goals fewer this season, so will be harder to break down.
- Philadelphia Union to beat Nashville SC @21/20 with Casumo
- Nashville SC to beat Philadelphia Union @12/5 with Casumo
Although Nashville will be unable to reel in runaway Eastern Conference leaders New England Revolution, there have been some stellar individual performances this season. Joe Willis has staked a serious claim to be named Goalkeeper of the Year after he recorded a third straight clean sheet on the road against DC United last weekend.
Nashville SC proving they travel well on the road
While it can be a struggle for some teams, Nashville have proved they are equally adept on the road as they are at home. On the road this season, Nashville have registered eight shutouts. And with three more away trips to come before the month is out, they will need to be at their best to rubber stamp second spot.
For the Union, they have a rather unenviable task of trying to keep Hany Mukhtar and CJ Sapong quiet. Mukhtar and Sapong have combined for 23 goals in the MLS this season, and they are always very lively. If Mukhtar and Sapong dictate things early on, it could be a long evening for the Union.
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