Seattle Sounders vs. D.C. United
2017 MLS Regular Season
CenturyLink Field – Seattle, Wash.
Wednesday, July 19 – 10:30 pm ET
WATCH: MLS LIVE
The Seattle Sounders will return from the Gold Cup break attempting to navigate life without their top two forwards.
Oh, how D.C. United would love to have Seattle’s problems.
Brian Schmetzer loses nine total goals of production this season with Clint Dempsey joining Jordan Morris on Bruce Arena’s Gold Cup roster for the knockout phase. And yet in third-choice striker Will Bruin has someone who has scored six times, twice more than anyone on the Black-and-Red’s roster. Bruin has also scored nine times in 13 appearances against D.C. United, the most any player has scored against the capital side since 2010.
There were some promising signs in D.C.’s 4-2 Independence Day loss to Dallas, most notably 2016 Herman Award Winner Ian Harkes‘ first professional goal. But with United jettisoning offseason loan signing Jose Guillermo Ortiz and still waiting for Patrick Mullins to return from injury, the margin of error for Ben Olsen’s team is razor thin at the moment.
The Sounders somewhat quietly have picked up 14 points in their last eight heading into the break, and finished on a high by taking four out of six in a two-match road swing.
They are still fractionally out of the playoff places for the moment. But with nine of their last 14 matches at home, a run similar to last year’s seems imminently possible, especially when Seattle’s internationals return.
- Suspended: None
- Suspended next yellow card: None
- International duty: F Jordan Morris (United States, Gold Cup), M Oniel Fisher (Jamaica, Gold Cup), F Clint Dempsey (United States, Gold Cup)
- Injury Report: OUT: M Osvaldo Alonso (sprained MCL); QUESTIONABLE: D Chad Marshall (sprained foot); F Seyi Adekoya (left ankle sprain), F/M Henry Wingo (right ankle sprain)
Projected Starting XI (4-4-2, left to right): Stefan Frei – Nouhou Tolo, Roman Torres, Tony Alfaro, Brad Evans – Joevin Jones, Gustav Svensson, Cristian Roldan, Nico Lodeiro – Victor Mansary, Will Bruin
Notes: Seattle are conceding 1.47 goals per game this year, after only conceding 1.25 goals per game in 2016. The Sounders have conceded in four straight games, and have only won one of those matches (1L-2D).
The Black-and-Red aren’t exactly savaged by international absences in terms of quantity. But with Bill Hamid remaining with Bruce Arena’s men for the duration of the Gold Cup, perhaps no other club has lost as singularly an important player this month.
That showed at times in the loss in Frisco, with Travis Worra showing a couple nervous moments as D.C. conceded four times to Dallas for a second time in as many seasons. That’s probably not enough to consider Olsen to explore other options until Hamid’s return, but with the second-year ‘keeper carrying only a 50-percent save percentage in three league matches this season, another shaky showing on Seattle’s tricky turf could change things.
- Suspended: None
- Suspended next yellow card: M Marcelo Sarvas
- Int’l Duty: GK Bill Hamid (United States, Gold Cup)
- Injury Report: OUT: F Patrick Mullins (knee), Bobby Boswell (groin injury); QUESTIONABLE: MF Rob Vincent (left knee meniscus), D/M Nick DeLeon (lower abdominal injury)
Projected Starting XI (4-2-3-1, left to right): Travis Worra – Taylor Kemp , Kofi Opare, Steve Birnbaum, Chris Korb – Jared Jeffrey, Ian Harkes – Patrick Nyarok, Lucho Acosta, Lloyd Sam – Deshorn Brown
Notes: United have lost five straight road games, having been kept scoreless in four of those five matches. Prior to this stretch, they were held scoreless just twice in their previous 13 away games (3W-5L-5D). … Luciano Acosta had 83 touches against FC Dallas, which is tied for his third most touches in a regular season MLS match (47 total appearances).
This will be the 12th regular season meeting between the two franchises, and Seattle has won seven of them (2L-2D). The Sounders have won five of the last six meetings (1D) and haven’t lost an MLS game to D.C. United since May 5, 2011.
- Overall: Seattle 7 wins (18 goals) … DC 2 wins (9 goals) … Ties 2
- At Seattle: Seattle 3 wins (11 goals) … DC 1 win (6 goals) … Ties 1