Sporting Kansas City will host the Seattle Sounders in a consequential, Western Conference clash at Children's Mercy Park on Sunday. FS1 will carry the match nationally with coverage beginning at 4 p.m. CT. Standing room-only tickets are on sale at SeatGeek.com and in appreciation of our loyal fans, come with zero fees.
Seattle has had Sporting's number in the previous two matches, claiming three points in both. Their recent success comes against the run of play as Sporting was 8-2-3 in their previous 14 meetings. In the club's only match in 2022, Seattle snagged a 3-0 victory at Lumen Field on June 25. A newly revamped Sporting KC team now welcomes Seattle to Kansas City, looking to spoil their postseason aspirations.
Here are five things to know about Sunday's showdown between Sporting Kansas City and the Seattle Sounders.
2022 home finale
Sunday marks the final home match for Sporting Kansas City of the 2022 campaign as well as the season's penultimate match. Sporting has posted an 8-6-2 record in the regular season and won three Open Cup matches at Children's Mercy Park in 2022. Sporting's world-class soccer venue also hosted the club's 1000th competitive match in a 1-0 win over the San Jose Earthquakes on Aug. 27.
Sporting recaptured their winning ways at home at the start of August in a 4-2 thrashing of the LA Galaxy. Since that match, Kansas City has more points per match (2.12) and the highest winning percentage (.750) in the Western Conference. The club's 2.63 goals per game rank second in the league in that span. Sporting will look to close the 2022 home season on a high note and continue their perfect run at home.
Home win streak still alive
The recent form Sporting finds itself in is the best of the 2022 season, especially in front of the home fans. In their last five home matches, the club is a perfect 5-0-0 with 16 goals scored and just four concessions. During this stretch, the club has knocked off the LA Galaxy, Portland Timbers, Earthquakes, D.C. United and Minnesota United. Three of those five currently sit above the playoff line in the West.
This five-match run has been spurred on by an offensive flurry and stout defending. Six different players have scored in this stretch, paced by newcomer Willy Agada's seven goals. In just 10 starts for the club, Agada already has seven finishes, and two assists while leading the club at three multi-goal matches. Fellow forward Daniel Salloi also has found the back of the net on seven occasions this season, three of which were in this run. With a win Sunday, Sporting would ride the six-match win streak at home into the offseason and the 2023 season on the horizon.
Offense staying hot
As hinted earlier, Sporting's offense has come to life at the tail end of the season. Agada and Salloi are on tears but the scoring has come from everywhere. Johnny Russell has provided a spark from the wing in 2022 as fans have become accustomed to over the years. He is the only player in Sporting history to score six goals in five consecutive regular seasons. his eight goals pace the club and have set the table for a fantastic finish to the team's Golden Boot race.
Defender Andreu Fontas has also emerged as an offensive weapon for Sporting. He has two goals since August, striking in back-to-back matches against the Galaxy and at Austin FC. Centerback Robert Voloder opened his Sporting scoring account in the club's 3-0 demolition of D.C. United on Sept. 13 as well. Midfielder Erik Thommy has been pulling the strings in the middle, tallying three goals and an assist. as well as two Team of the Week appearances in his first 10 starts in Sporting blue.
Seattle's playoff lives on the line
The Sounders come to Kansas City fighting for their playoff lives. Occupying ninth in the West, and five points below the playoff line, Seattle need to win both of their final two matches and have results go their way elsewhere around MLS. They enter the contest having dropped points at home against FC Cincinnati on Tuesday, playing to a 1-1 draw at Lumen Field.
Seattle has never missed the playoffs since joining the league. Only them and the New York Red Bulls have more playoff appearances than Sporting KC in that time, making the postseason every season since 2011. Sporting and Seattle are also tied with four domestic cup wins since 2012.
After starting the series 1-7-1 against Seattle, Sporting has found their footing against the Cascadia combatants. The series is now a close 9-11-4 with both sides scoring 30 goals against each other. Sporting has won four of the last six meetings and became just the second club to win multiple regular season matches on the road against Seattle. Russell has silenced the Sounders multiple times, scoring six times against Seattle. His six scored are tied for his most against any other MLS club.