Sporting Kansas City (13-6-7, 46 points) relinquished first place in the Western Conference following a narrow 2-1 loss to Seattle Sounders FC (14-5-6, 48 points) on Sunday night at Children's Mercy Park.

Captain Johnny Russell pulled a goal back for Sporting in the 60th minute after Seattle had struck on either side of halftime through Cristian Roldan and Will Bruin. Although the hosts applied pressure in search of a late equalizer, the Sounders emerged victorious to leapfrog Sporting for the top spot in the West. The result snaps Seattle's six-game winless skid at Children's Mercy Park and gives the Sounders their first win in Kansas City since 2013.

An opportunity to bounce back quickly will greet Sporting on Wednesday when they travel to face FC Dallas in a 7 p.m. CT kickoff at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas. The contest will be shown live on Bally Sports Kansas City Plus, Bally Sports Midwest Plus, and the Bally Sports app while also airing live on Sports Radio 810 WHB and La Grande 1340 AM.

Major League Soccer’s headline match of the weekend saw Manager Peter Vermes make one change to the Sporting lineup from a 4-0 home win over Minnesota United FC on Sept. 15 as Gadi Kinda replaced Cam Duke in midfield. Kinda was involved in Sporting's lone chance of a cagey first half, latching onto a Luis Martins cross and heading marginally wide of the right post.

Seattle drew first blood in the 31st minute when midfielder Josh Atencio played wide left to full back Brad Smith, whose driven delivery into the box found Roldan near the penalty spot. The U.S. international midfielder's snapshot was nearly palmed away by Tim Melia, but the Sporting goalkeeper's touch wasn't enough to prevent the ball from nestling into the back of the net.

Roldan almost went from scorer to provider in the 37th minute, lifting an impressive ball over the top for Seattle striker Raul Ruidiaz, but his glancing header skipped wide by a matter of inches.

Sporting found life in the second half and went close to leveling terms in the 50th minute. Daniel Salloi's tantalizing service to the far post was settled by Ilie, whose ensuing strike took a slight deflection and caromed off the outside of the goal post.

The Sounders would double their lead against the run of play in the 55th minute on a fortuitous goal from Bruin. After Sporting gave the ball away in their own defensive third, Ruidiaz slalomed through a pair of defenders and forced Ilie into a defensive intervention, but Bruin was there to send a looping header into the corner for his second goal of the campaign and the 73rd of his MLS regular season career.

Vermes' men responded on the hour mark, cutting their deficit in half when Russell scored in his fourth consecutive home appearance at Children's Mercy Park. Martins' searching free kick was nodded clear only as far as Russell, whose blistering piledriver to the near post was too hot for Seattle goalkeeper Stefan Frei to handle. Russell, one of five MLS players with seven goals and seven assists this year, now has 32 goals in his regular season career, moving into sole possession of seventh place on Kansas City's all-time chart.

With momentum on their side, Sporting committed numbers forward in a bid to tie the game. Kinda did well to create a turnover in the 67th minute, but Salloi's subsequent strike from 25 yards lacked the direction to beat Frei. Shortly thereafter, Melia spared his team's blushes on the opposite end of the pitch by denying Ruidiaz in a one-on-one situation.

Russell continued to stamp his name on proceedings and asked questions of Seattle's defense in the 77th minute, marauding past a defender on the right endline before his low pullback through traffic pinged behind for a corner kick. Sporting's final opportunity of note came three minutes later when Russell teed up substitute Remi Walter, whose bending effort near the top of the box missed the mark.

2021 MLS Regular Season | Match 26
Children's Mercy Park | Kansas City, Kansas
Attendance: 19,248
Weather: 85 degrees and sunny

Sporting KC 1-2 Seattle Sounders FC
Sporting Kansas City (13-6-7, 46 points)
Seattle Sounders FC (14-5-6, 48 points)

Sporting Kansas City: Tim Melia; Graham Zusi, Ilie Sanchez, Andreu Fontas, Luis Martins; Jose Mauri (Nicolas Isimat-Mirin 76'), Roger Espinoza (Remi Walter 57'), Gadi Kinda; Johnny Russell (C), Khiry Shelton, Daniel Salloi
Subs Not Used: Kendall McIntosh, Amadou Dia, Roberto Puncec, Kaveh Rad, Cam Duke, Grayson Barber, Wilson Harris

Seattle Sounders FC: Stefan Frei (C); Alex Roldan, Yeimar Gomez Andrade, Xavier Arreaga, Nouhou Tolo (Shane O'Neill 69'), Brad Smith (Jimmy Medranda 69'); Joao Paulo (Danny Leyva 85'), Josh Atencio, Cristian Roldan; Will Bruin (Kelyn Rowe 72'), Raul Ruidiaz
Subs Not Used: Stefan Cleveland, Spencer Richey, Leo Chu, Fredy Montero

Scoring Summary:
SEA -- Cristian Roldan 3 (Brad Smith 4, Josh Atencio 2) 31'
SEA -- Will Bruin 2 (unassisted) 55'
SKC -- Johnny Russell 7 (unassisted) 60'

Misconduct Summary:
SEA -- Nouhou Tolo (yellow card; unsporting behavior) 16'
SEA -- Yeimar Gomez Andrade (yellow card; unsporting behavior) 53'
SEA -- Alex Roldan (yellow card; unsporting behavior) 86'
SKC -- Graham Zusi (yellow card; unsporting behavior) 90+4'

Match Statistics
Shots on Goal
Corner Kicks

Referee: Joe Dickerson
Assistant Referee: Adam Wienckowski
Assistant Referee: Matthew Nelson
Fourth Official: Silviu Petrescu
VAR: Daniel Radford
AVAR: Mike Kampmeinert