SPORTING KANSAS CITY AT SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC
WHEN/WHERE: 3 p.m. Saturday; at CenturyLink Field, Seattle
TV/RADIO: Fox Sports KC; 99.3 FM
ABOUT SPORTING KC (9-4-10, 37 points): The club is playing its third match in a week after a draw against Atlanta United FC on Sunday and a U.S. Open Cup semifinal victory against San Jose on Wednesday. ... Sporting KC is riding a nine-match unbeaten streak in MLS play, though six of the nine have been draws.
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ABOUT SEATTLE (9-7-7, 34 points): The defending MLS Cup champions had a lackluster start to 2017, but they are 4-0-3 over their past seven matches. They haven’t allowed a goal in the last three games, and they’ve scored three or more in four of the last five. ... Clint Dempsey scored twice in last week’s win, and he has nine goals for the year. ... The Sounders’ path to the 2016 MLS Cup began with a victory against Sporting KC in the opening round of the Western Conference playoffs.
BOTTOM LINE: Sporting KC leads the Western Conference, but four teams are just three points back, amplifying the importance of the final three months of the regular season. By the end of the weekend, it’s possible five teams could be tied for first in the West, Sporting KC and Seattle included.
PREDICTION: Seattle 2, Sporting KC 1