Match preview: Sporting KC travel to Seattle for showdown with Sounders on ABC

Sporting Kansas City goaltender Tim Melia is 8-3-2 with five shutouts and a 1.08 goals-against average in 13 regular-season appearances against Seattle. Since joining SKC in 2015, Melia’s 63 regular-season shutouts are the most in MLS, with Sounders goalkeeper Stefan Frei ranking second after compiling 60 clean sheets over the past eight seasons. Frei ranks third in MLS history in goaltending wins (141) and shutouts (88), and his next appearance will be his 300th in all competitions for the Sounders.

Seattle’s roster, which includes a pair of former SKC teammates in defender Jimmy Medranda and midfielder Kelyn Rowe, is headlined by six MLS 2021 stars – Alex Roldan, Cristian Roldan, Nouhou, Yeimar, Joao Paulo and Raul Ruidiaz – as well as 2020 MLS MVP finalists Nicolas Lodeiro and Jordan Morris. Lodeiro leads the team with eight goals in all competitions this year and Cristian Roldan has eight assists, but Paulo and Ruidiaz are among four Seattle starters ruled out through injury along with Obed Vargas and Xavier Arreaga.

Manager Peter Vermes will also be without four players on Saturday as Gadi Kinda, Alan Pulido, Nikola Vujnovic and Ozzie Cisneros continue to recover from injuries. Defender Kortne Ford, who scored for Sporting on Wednesday before leaving the game before half-time, is listed as doubtful in the team’s player availability report.

Lance B. Holton