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Sounders Update: Sporting Kansas City

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By John Boyle
Herald Writer
Opponent: Sporting Kansas City
When: 7 p.m.
Where: CenturyLink Field
TV: Kong (Ch. 6/16)
Radio: 97.3 KIRO FM; Spanish broadcast available on LaGran D 99.3 FM.
Scouting report
The Sounders (7-4-3) hope to end one of their worst stretches of play in franchise history, but to do so, they will have to beat one of the league's top teams. Since a poor start to the 2011 season, Sporting Kansas City (9-3-1) has been one of Major League Soccer's best teams during the past calendar year. With 28 points in 13 games, Kansas City has the league's best record on a points-per-game basis, and the streaky team appears to be back on the upswing. It has won two in a row after a four-game winless streak that followed the seven-game, season-opening winning streak.
"They're very aggressive in terms of their overall approach to the game," Sounders coach Sigi Schmid said. "They're aggressive defensively. They run all over. They try to high-pressure. They're aggressive offensively. They're a big team. ... They're a very aggressive team offensively and defensively."
While it has been mostly good times in Kansas City this season, the Sounders are desperately searching for answers. After jumping out the best start in franchise history, Seattle has taken a big step back, going winless in five straight (0-3-2) on the heels of a five-game winning streak. Last weekend's loss, a 4-1 defeat against the expansion Montreal Impact, might have been Seattle's worst result yet this season.
"We need to play much better soccer than we played at Montreal," Schmid said. "That was a disappointing effort on our part. I know the team is not happy with it, and we have to put the ship right on Wednesday."
Seattle will welcome back one if its top players, midfielder Osvaldo Alonso, following a two-game suspension. Several other players are close to returning from injuries and could be available tonight, including defenders Patrick Ianni and Leo Gonzalez.
Ianni's presence could be particularly important because Seattle will be without center back Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, who will serve a one-game suspension for receiving a red card against Montreal.
Schmid also hinted that he could make a change at goalkeeper following the recent struggles of Bryan Meredith, who has been playing in place of injured starter Michael Gspurning. Seattle's next option at goalkeeper would be Andrew Weber, who previously played for San Jose, starting two matches in 2009.
Story tags » Sounders FC

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