Seattle Sounders vs. New York Red Bulls | 2017 MLS Match Preview
Seattle Sounders FC vs. New York Red Bulls
2017 MLS Regular Season
CenturyLink Field - Seattle, Washington
Sunday, March 19 - 7 p.m. ET
WATCH: FS1 and FOX Deportes in US, MLS LIVE in Canada
Looking for their first win of the season, the defending MLS Cup champion Sounders host the first-place Red Bulls in their lone regular-season meeting of 2017.
Had Will Bruin not pounded in a loose ball late in last Saturday's 2-2 draw in Montreal, Seattle would still be pointless after two road games to start the season. New York, meanwhile, started hot outside a disappointing quarterfinal exit in the CONCACAF Champions League and head to the Pacific Northwest hoping to make it three wins in three games.
The stars – Clint Dempsey, Nicolas Lodeiro and Jordan Morris for Seattle and Bradley Wright-Phillips and Sacha Kljestan for New York – will be on display for a national television audience on FS1 and FOX Deportes as the teams with the most regular-season MLS wins since the start of the 2013 season (66 for NY, 64 for SEA) attempt to take the all-time series lead.
Seattle Sounders FC
The Sounders have sputtered a bit out of the gate, losing in Houston then snagging a late point against the Impact at the Olympic Stadium. No biggie, they're back home and healthy (outside of Brad Evans).
Brian Schmetzer's task now is to get the attack rolling. Dempsey bagged a goal in his first game back and Lodeiro scored from the penalty spot in Montreal, but Morris is still without a goal or an assist and the Sounders have yet to look truly threatening for extended periods. A little home cooking ought to help remedy that.
- Suspended: Roman Torres (violent conduct - MLS Disciplinary Committee)
- Int’l Duty: None
- Injury Report: OUT – D Brad Evans (calf muscle strain), M Aaron Kovar (groin surgery)
Projected Starting XI (4-2-3-1, left to right): Stefan Frei — Joevin Jones, Chad Marshall, Tony Alfaro, Gustav Svensson — Ozzie Alonso, Cristian Roldan — Alvaro Fernandez, Clint Dempsey, Nicolas Lodeiro — Jordan Morris
Notes: Counting the playoffs, Seattle finished the 2016 season by winning nine of their last 11 MLS home games (two draws). They kept six clean sheets on that run. … Will Bruin’s late equalizer in Week 2 snapped a streak of 17 straight regular season appearances without a goal. Bruin now has 51 MLS regular season goals in 180 regular season appearances.
New York Red Bulls
Last weekend's frigid 1-0 home win against Colorado wasn't a thing of beauty, but nobody will remember that in September and October. The Red Bulls haven't been at their best as the post-Dax era begins, but they've been good enough to grab six points (the only team in the East to do so) and they've got plenty of time to work out the details.
Something to watch on Sunday: How will Kljestan respond to missing out on the USMNT roster for a must-win game against Honduras? The New York No. 10 appeared to be back in the national team conversation, and should have a bit of a chip on his shoulder.
- Suspended: None
- Int’l Duty: None
- Injury Report: OUT – D Connor Lade (torn ACL), F Gonzalo Veron (hamstring)
Projected Starting XI (4-2-2-2): Luis Robles (GK) — Kemar Lawrence, Aaron Long, Damien Perrinelle, Sal Zizzo — Felipe, Sean Davis — Daniel Royer, Sacha Kljestan — Bradley Wright-Phillips, Derrick Etienne
Notes: New York is unbeaten in eight consecutive MLS road games (3-0-5) dating back to last year. This is the longest away unbeaten run in MLS regular season club history.
As it currently stands, everything is even Steven. Both teams have four wins, 15 goals and three draws. Both also dominate on home turf. Can Seattle continue holding serve at CenturyLink Field?
- Overall: Seattle 4 wins (15 goals) … New York 4 wins (15 goals) … Ties 3
- At Seattle: Seattle 3 wins (10 goals) … New York 1 win (5 goals) … Ties 1
Referee: Baldomero Toledo
Assistant Referees: Frank Anderson (bench side), Gianni Facchini (far side)
Fourth Official: Dave Gantar