KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Sporting Kansas City have never defeated the Seattle Sounders at home. They may never have a better opportunity to accomplish that goal than the one they’ll have Saturday night (8:30 pm ET, watch LIVE online).
Following the LA Galaxy’s loss to Portland in midweek, Kansas City will welcome Sigi Schmid’s team to Livestrong Sporting Park in possession of what is now Major League Soccer’s longest undefeated streak. Sporting haven’t lost in 14 games, a run that started in late May, and they certainly aren’t ready to see that end against the Sounders.
“It’s tough not to be confident when we’ve gone unbeaten 14 in a row,” defender Seth Sinovic said. “We’re very confident, but at the same time we are very hungry. We know we have a lot to do as far as the Eastern Conference goes and as far as getting a playoff spot. We’re going to keep pushing.”
Of course, Seattle also promise to be one of Kansas City’s toughest tests to date. Only the Galaxy have been better than Schmid’s team away from home (4-3-5), and the Sounders hadn’t lost in six consecutive games away from CenturyLink Field until they dropped a disappointing match to the Houston Dynamo at Robertson Stadium last Saturday.
And as hot as Kansas City have been, Seattle may be even hotter based on short-term measurements. They are 5-1-1 in their last seven matches, a run that has moved them into third place in the ultracompetitive Western Conference.
But on the flip side, they’ve also allowed eight goals in their last three league matches and are coming off a 120-minute effort against San Francisco FC of Panama in a 2-0 CONCACAF Champions League victory on Wednesday. All factors that make a respectful but undaunted Sporting side believe they have a great chance to extend their unbeaten run and claim their first home win against Seattle.
After all, Kansas City haven’t lost in eight league games in their new digs and are coming off a solid victory against Real Salt Lake themselves.
“They are a strong team,” Sinovic said, “and they have a lot of good players like [Fredy] Montero, [Mauro] Rosales and [Álvaro] Fernández. We just have to bring the pressure and bring the game to them. I think if we do that, we’ll be fine.”
Kansas City will be without Roger Espinoza, who will miss out due to suspension after receiving a red against RSL, but Sporting can count on a resurgent Teal Bunbury and deep roster already accustomed to key absences to help make up the difference.
Most importantly, they’ll have the energy of their home fans to feed off — something Seattle know a thing or two about — in their efforts to end the Sounders’ undefeated run in Kansas City and continue their climb up the table.
“It’s something that we pride ourselves on now, getting wins here in all these home games,” Bunbury said. “We have 12 more games left. We just have to take it game by game.”