Seattle Sounders and Cincinnati square off at Lumen Field in MLS action in midweek. With just a handful of regular-season games left before the playoffs begin, this is a crucial clash for both teams.
At the time of writing, Seattle are four points away from seventh in the Western Conference table. As for Cincinnati, they currently sit sixth in the Eastern section. Who will come out on top in Washington?
Seattle Sounders Overview
Seattle Sounders finished second in the Western Conference and third in the overall table the last term, but the Rave could miss out on the playoffs altogether this time around. They are tenth right now after an inconsistent season, collecting just 39 points from 31 games. However, a win here would make the last two games very interesting.
Overall, the Sounders have picked up 12 wins, suffered 16 defeats, and have drawn three times. They have struggled for wins in recent weeks, claiming just two from their past eight, with five of those ending in defeat. After back-to-back victories over Houston Dynamo and Austin, Seattle were beaten at Vancouver Whitecaps last time out.
Despite their inconsistent form of late, Seattle have been good at home. Brian Schmetzer’s team head into this one at Lumen Field, having won five of the last five on their own patch. Overall, they have secured nine MLS home wins, and 28 of their 39 points this term have come at home. Can they make home advantage count here?
FC Cincinnati Overview
Cincinnati are well and truly in the mix to take a playoff spot with just a few games to play in the regular 2022 MLS season. The Ohio outfit are sitting pretty in the sixth position on 45 points after 11 wins, 12 draws, and eight defeats. In the Eastern Conference, only runaway leaders Philadelphia Union and Ohio rivals Columbus Crew have suffered fewer defeats.
Cincinnati have made themselves incredibly hard to beat in recent months, losing just one of their last 17. However, 11 of those have finished in draws. Pat Noonan’s side have hit form at just the right time, though, winning three and drawing one of the last four. In the previous two, the Orange and Blue beat San Jose Earthquakes 6-0 and Real Salt Lake 2-1.
The recent victory over Salt Lake was their first away success since winning three in a row in May. Prior to that, the Lions had drawn three away fixtures on the spin. Losses to Montreal and Columbus are their only away defeats since March. Three points on the road in midweek would be massive for Cincinnati.
With Seattle Sounders desperate for points, they could do without a game against one of the toughest teams to beat in the league right now. Sounders are solid at home and will back themselves to edge out Cincinnati, but the visitors have their own ambitions.
These two clubs have only ever met once before, with Seattle running out big 4-1 winners on their own patch in a league game at the start of the 2019 season. Jordan Morris helped himself to a brace, and Kelvin Leerdam and Raul Ruidiaz were also on the scoresheet. However, we fancy the visitors to win this one.