Match Preview: Orlando City Soccer Vs. Seattle Sounders
By Jhamie Chin - Orlando City Soccer // August 15, 2015
U.S. Soccer Star Dempsey Expected to Play for Seattle
SEATTLE, WASHINGTON – Orlando City SC faces the Seattle Sounders FC (10-12-2, 32 points) at CenturyLink Field for the first time this season on Sunday, August 16, as both teams continue their quest for a playoff berth. Kick-off is scheduled for 5 p.m. ET.
The match will be nationally televised on ESPN2. In addition, the game will be transmitted live in English on Real Radio 104.1 FM and in Spanish on La Grande 1030 AM.
“It’s (CenturyLink Field) a real vibrant atmosphere, arguably one of the best in MLS. But, it’s something that we’re used to,” said head coach Adrian Heath. “Heading into the game, we’re somewhat guessing what their team will be, due to the injuries as of late. Obviously, there’s no denying that they’re a better team with Obafemi Martins, Clint Dempsey, Alonso and plus the guys that they’ve signed. So, it’s important that we start well, and I know the players are looking forward to it. It’s one of those games that you circle when the fixture list is released so I’m looking forward to it myself.”
After going unbeaten in two of its previous three fixtures, the Lions will aim to build on its solid record against Western Conference teams. The contest will mark the team’s ninth game against a team from the West – previously winning four, drawing two and losing one.
In addition, Orlando is in the top 10 in the entire league for away records this season, with three wins, three draws and five loses.
The primetime fixture will feature two of Major League Soccer’s (MLS) strongest fan-bases, as Seattle leads the league with an average of 41,234 fans at CenturyLink Field for each home game. However, City is no stranger to playing in front of large crowds – with the Lions ranking second in MLS with an average of 32,973 supporters at their home matches.
Currently sitting in sixth place in the West, Seattle Sounders FC has struggled to produce positive results as of late, suffering eight defeats in its previous 10 fixtures.
During that stretch, Seattle has produced one victory in its past five home games, resulting in the third lowest goal-scoring production at home (1.17).
However, the club recently added reinforcements by acquiring Panamanian National Team captain Román Torres and Paraguayan international Nelson Valdez. In addition, U.S. Men’s National Team star Clint Dempsey and fellow Designated Player Obafemi Martins are both expected to make their return after being sidelined due to injury.
Dempsey leads the team in goals with seven finishes and three game-winning goals.