After their brief one game home stand, if you want to call it that, the Seattle Sounders head back on the road for a three game road trip. Their first stop along the way will be at fabled Yankee Stadium as they take on expansion side New York City FC. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:00pm EST on Fox Sports 1.
The Sounders are on a brief two game winning streak and have won three of their last four. In their last four matches, the Sounders have scored five goals while only conceding two in that time. That’s right, two clean sheets in their last four and the two games they did give up goals, it was one against the Los Angeles Galaxy and one against the Colorado Rapids.
Going into the 2015 MLS season, many fans were a bit worried about the Sounders defense. You can add this writer to that list. They gave up a ton of goals last season, but were bailed out by their potent offense. Things have changed for the Sounders and now they have a solid defense to go with a great offense.
Both teams enter this match going in complete opposite directions. That being said, some could say this match is a “trap” game for the Sounders. New York City FC is winless in their last six and has been shutout in two straight matches and four times on the season. NYCFC has been struggling and the Sounders have been known from time to time to play down to their “weaker opponent”.
Yes, these players are professional and to steal a phrase most commonly uttered during the NFL season, “any given Sunday (day) a team can win”. That being said, New York City has not been looking good as of late. Some would consider that at bit shocking considering Jason Kreis in the man in charge.
While games are being played at Yankee Stadium, the pitch is a bit smaller than most pitches across MLS. This could hurt or help the Sounders to be honest. It should definitely help them defensively and keep them from getting spread too far apart. It may hinder their offense though. It won’t allow Obafemi Martins and Clint Dempsey, one of the most dangerous pairings in MLS, to create space and wreak havoc on the City defense.
The Sounders are entering the match rather healthy and should have their full complement of players available including Cristian Roldan and Victor Mansaray. Both players are returning from international duty, Roldan for the United States U-20 and Mansaray from the United States U-18. They will also have reigning MLS Defender of the Year Chad Marshall back from his one game suspension.
New York City has five players listed on the injury report at this time, defenders Jason Hernandez (calf strain, DNP 4/24) and Josh Williams (adductor strain, DNP 4/24). Forwards David Villa (hamstring strain, DNP 4/24) and Adam Nemec are listed as well as midfielder Javier Calle (hamstring injury). The last three players being “big time signings” and could explain the early struggles for NYCFC.
The Sounders will more than likely come out looking for an early goal and show why they are one of the better offensive minded teams in the league. After the secure that early lead, they will also show why they are one of the better defensive minded teams in the league as well. The numbers don’t lie, just look at the picture below.