Sporting KC gearing up to topple "hottest team in MLS"

Peter Vermes - Side-Eye solo shot - 2017 US Open Cup final

KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- Two of the hottest teams in MLS will come together on Saturday afternoon as the Seattle Sounders play host to Sporting Kansas City in a Western Conference heavyweight battle (4 pm ET | UniMás, Twitter — Full TV & Streaming Info), and they've maintained familiar season-long narratives along the way.

For Seattle, it was a slow start plagued with injuries, highlighted by a late charge up the standings. For Sporting KC, it was a hot start followed by a summer slump.

Sporting are well aware of the danger that facing Seattle presents at this time.

“Hottest team in Major League Soccer,” said Sporting KC manager Peter Vermes. “Obviously it’s going to be a bigger test trying to get a result at their place.”

The Sounders are in the midst of a seven-game win streak, a club record, that has seen them zoom up the Western Conference standings. Their 1-0 win on Sunday over Portland vaulted them above the playoff line in the west.

However, Sporting Kansas City are in the midst of their own historic streak, as they’ve posted four straight shutout wins for the first time in their history.

“Well, it’s better than leaking goals like crazy,” Vermes joked.

He continued, “The fact that those games are behind us, this game is ahead of us and that is what we have to keep our focus on. As much as we’ve done some good things as of late, it doesn’t mean anything because the next game is our next game to evaluate and decide where we are.”

While Seattle have made a long climb up the standings, there are still a few teams between them, in sixth place, and Sporting KC in second place in the standings. That doesn’t change how Vermes' side sees them, however.

“We view every team in this league as top,” Vermes said. “Because as you can see, week after week, everyone can beat somebody.”

Adding to the intrigue, Sporting KC don’t hold the most favorable record when it comes to playing in Seattle. They’re 2-4-2 all time up in the Emerald City in league play, and have a notable Knockout Round loss in 2016.

“We’re going to have to be great in every facet of the game," Vermes said. “Offensive organization, defensive organization, transition to defense, transition to offense, set pieces, we’re going to have to be at the top of our game. We’re going to have to bring our ‘A game.’"