Sounders-D.C. United Preview
Following a successful road stretch, D.C. United looks to get back on track at home. That means finding a way to beat the Seattle Sounders.
United tries for a season-high third consecutive league victory Sunday night against the Sounders, who look for a seventh straight win in this series.
D.C. (12-10-9) dropped three in a row from Aug. 17-24. That included a home loss to the New York Red Bulls and the opener of a three-game road stretch at Philadelphia. However, United followed with a 3-0 win at Montreal and benefited from a first-half Portland own goal to win 1-0 over the Timbers last weekend.
Those victories helped keep D.C. comfortably in playoff position in the Eastern Conference. As well as build confidence during this stretch run.
"We're a tough team to beat right now," coach Ben Olsen told United's official website. "There's a lot of effort, a tremendous commitment defensively, and I think the box defending has been very sound. That's kind of seen us through these last two games, and that's got to be a real staple going forward."
D.C. also needs to take advantage of playing two of its final three regular-season games at home. Trying for a first-round match on its own pitch, D.C. has just two wins in its last eight home contests and lost two of three there.
Facing Seattle (14-9-8), which sits second in the Western Conference, might not solve those issues on the home front. The Sounders are undefeated in eight straight games versus D.C., riding a six-game winning streak in the series and will try for a third consecutive victory at United on Sunday.
However, Seattle players know the past doesn't necessarily mean much come kick-off, especially when it comes to two teams vying for the best playoff position possible.
"D.C. is also a team that's fighting for a good spot in the playoffs," Sounders defender Kelvin Leerdam told his club's official website. "Every point is now important. If you want to play homes games (in the playoffs), you need to win that game. It's going to be a tough one, but we should be positive."
Seattle takes to the road after playing FC Dallas to a scoreless draw in the mid-week at home. It marked the second time in three games that the Sounders failed to score. However, that result ended a string of the Sounders conceding at least two goals in seven of the previous eight contests.
Seattle midfielder Jordan Morris had been one of the hotter players in MLS with two goals and three assists in his previous three games before facing Dallas.
D.C.'s Wayne Rooney has a team-leading 11 goals, but none over his last five games.
Updated September 20, 2019