Fresh of last Saturdays confidence boosting 2-1 win over the Columbus Crew in Columbus, the Seattle Sounders FC ( 9-5-5, 32 points) looked primed and ready to take on the challenge of hosting defending MLS Champions, Atlanta United ( 9-7-3, 30 points) Sunday afternoon at Century Linke Field 12:55 p.m. PT ESPN)
Sunday’s clash will be the third between the two MLS model franchises. The previous matches ended in a draw so Sunday will be the proverbial rubber match. The Sounders were the envy of many MLS franchises due to their success since joining the league in 2009. The Sounders have made the playoffs since they joined the league, have participated in two MLS Cups, winning one ( 2016) and losing another ( 2017). With solid ownership, a broad fanbase what’s their not to love?
Enter Atlanta United, founded in 2014 the team began MLS play in 2017 as the twenty-second team in the league. And yes right on cue Atlanta made the MLS playoffs in its first year in the league and won the MLS title in 2018. While it’s not quite in the Cascadia triad of the Portland Timbers and Vancouver Whitecaps, Atlanta is no doubt a Seattle Sounders rival from our plan to success is better than yours. The rival according to Brian Schmetzer is more on the field than off -field. The budding rival is a testament to how MLS has grown from a few local darbies to a league that has teams out to show superiority with multiple story lines.
Sounders FC is currently amidst a 12-match home unbeaten streak (10- 0-2) dating back to September 29 of last season. The current streak is the third-longest in club history and just two shy of the franchise record of 14 (10-0-4) set in 2013. With a full squad the Sounders are looking to make a statement against Atlanta United who have the leagues third best scorers in Josef Martinez
Martinez scored a brace in Atlanta United 3-3 draw at home last Saturday against the New York Red Bulls.
|Goals||Ruidiaz (6)||J. Martinez (12)|
|Assists||Lodeiro (8)||P. Martinez (4)|
|Goalkeeper||Frei (1.32)||Guzan ( 1.21)|