Kansas City, Missouri – Seattle Sounders FC will reunite with a former, but familiar, face on Sunday night.
Seattle is still looking for their first win this MLS season. Sporting Kansas City, on the other hand, has won four games, lost one and drew a single match.
Standing in Seattle’s way of obtaining that first win is Brad Evans.
During the off-season, Evans was traded to Sporting Kansas City. Evans spent the majority of his career, from 2009-17, with the Seattle Sounders.
He was part of the Sounders’ 2016 MLS Cup-winning season.
Sporting Kansas City-Seattle Sounders Preview: Brad Evans Faces His Former Club
An integral part of the Sounders’ defense, he’s now under the leadership of Sporting KC head coach Peter Vermes. Evans is partnered on a defense that features the likes of Matt Besler, Graham Zusi and Ike Opera.
However, Sporting Kansas City has also expressed plans on using Evans in the midfield.
Sporting Kansas City vs. Seattle Sounders FC
2018 MLS Regular Season
Children’s Mercy Park
April 15, 2018 – 4 p.m. ET
Stream: MLS Live
What to Watch For
The Sounders Attack
Seattle has a big, tough task ahead of them.
Sporting Kansas City has a stacked team in all areas: goalkeeper, defense, midfield and forward/attack. Seattle has been banged and bruised this entire season and hasn’t been able to find consistency with their starting 11 players.
Brian Schmetzer, Sounders head coach, has a lot on his plate.
His first priority is to find a working attack for Seattle. While all areas of the pitch are important, goals have to be scored somehow.
Midfielder Henry Wingo is still listed as questionable on the latest MLS injury report, due to a surgery performed on his left thumb.
However, Seattle brings back forward Will Bruin, who was dealing with a concussion. With Clint Dempsey suspended for an extra match and Jordan Morris out for the year, Bruin will be relied on heavily.
“Clint’s an experienced guy and we have guys on the team that can deal with those types of matters,” Schmetzer said, regarding Dempsey’s suspension and his availability of players. “We’re trying to just push past it. I don’t agree with it. But, at this point in time, we have to focus on Sporting KC.”
“You’re always planning for the worst-case scenario.”
During his press conference before jetting off to Kansas City, Schmetzer said that Harry Shipp, who was going to help fill in for Dempsey, was carted off the practice field with an ankle injury.
“The next, next man has to step up now,” Schmetzer said.
The Injury Report
Seattle Sounders FC
As mentioned, Shipp was carted off the field with an apparent ankle injury.
Listed on the injury report as out are defender Kim Kee-Hee, midfielder Osvaldo Alonso and midfielder Victor Rodriguez.
Also out, for the entire season, is Morris.
Seattle has been plagued by injuries and suspensions all season — and it’s only a little over a month in. In addition to Dempsey’s suspension, Kelvin Leerdam will also serve a one-game suspension for a red card against the Montreal Impact.
Sporting Kansas City
Peter Vermes is a lucky, lucky head coach.
Only one player is listed on Sporting Kansas City’s injury report. Felipe Gutierrez has been listed as questionable with an “undisclosed” injury.
Previous Meeting: August 12, 2017
Last season, the two sides met up twice and split the win-loss count.
On May 17, 2017, Sporting blanked the Sounders with a 3-0 victory. forward Gerso Fernandes scored all three goals in the victory.
However, on Aug. 12, 2017, Seattle blanked Sporting Kansas City.
He didn’t have a hat-trick, but Dempsey scored the lone goal in the Sounders victory.
Prediction: SKC 3, Seattle 0
Seattle is going to have to wait another week for their first MLS win.
With the roster that Vermes has, along with how healthy it is, right now isn’t the time to claim that first victory.
Kansas City had a fantastic pick up during the off-season of forward Khiry Shelton. While Shelton is still awaiting his first goal, he has started in all five matches he appeared in and provided two assists.
Sporting Kansas City also has another diamond in the rough with Diego Rubio, who has a goal in only two matches.
The Sounders have struggled on defense all season and SKC has some young, talented attackers.
It’s going to be a long evening for Seattle.