Sporting Kansas City vs Seattle Sounders Predictions, Preview, Betting Picks

Johnny RussellAn out-of-form Sporting Kansas City team will be back in action on Saturday at home to Seattle Sounders (8.30pm ET). Following SKC’s defeat to Minnesota last time out, they have a not-so-easy task, though perhaps the return to home soil will aid improvement. Read on for our MLS game preview, predictions & betting picks.

Things really haven’t gone well for Saturday’s hosts this season. SKC find themselves sitting rock bottom of the table after 16 games, while they come into this game off the back of three straight defeats, which certainly isn’t what you’d expect from a team that has been crowned regular season champions of the Eastern Conference twice since 2018. After another disappointing effort against the Loons last time out, they now need to improve.

Fortunately for the hosts, despite also being a team that is strongly associated with MLS success, the Sounders have also struggled at the start of the 2024 campaign. Right now, the team that has featured in four of the last eight MLS Cup finals, is down in 10th position, outside of the playoffs by two points, so they too are looking for improvement. Therefore, this game must be seen as a big opportunity by both to get a positive result.

Hosts hemorrhaging goals at home

SKC’s major problem this season has been a lack of defensive solidity. Typically, teams allow more goals on the road, which can sometimes be offset by more sturdy efforts at home, but Saturday’s hosts haven’t really used their home advantage to good effect from a defensive point of view this season.

Last time out at home, Peter Vermes’ men conceded twice in defeat to the Whitecaps, while they have not kept a clean sheet at home in Major League Soccer all season, conceding at least once in eight out of eight at home. They have also conceded two or more in six out of eight, conceding three goals in four of those six. No Western Conference team has conceded more home goals than SKC, who have now surrendered a rather worrying average of 2.25 goals on their own patch.

Sounders not so sound on road

Like the hosts at home, Saturday’s visitors have found it somewhat difficult to be defensively sound on their travels. Sure, Seattle have not performed quite as poorly in the defensive third as SKC (who has?) but they are certainly leaking goals with regularity when playing away from the comforts of Lumen Field.

The Sounders are without a traveling clean sheet in five games, while they’ve shut their opponents out just once on the road this season, conceding 14 goals in total, which comes out at an average of 1.55 per game. Such an average isn’t overly appalling but it looks worse when we consider that they’ve scored an average of only 1.22.

Goals on menu

When these two meet, there’s not usually a shortage of goals, which is far from surprising given the recent defensive efforts of both. They last met at Lumen Field back in 2023, where they shared three goals at SKC won 2-1. Prior to that, five goals were scored as the Sounders won 4-1 at Children’s Mercy Park.

Interestingly, nine of the last ten renewals of this fixture have contained at least three goals, while six of the last seven at Children’s Mercy Park have seen three or more goals scored, with four or more scored in three of the last five.

The fact that both teams enter this game in poor defensive form, with neither keeping a clean sheet in the last month, is hard to ignore. This also draws us towards expecting goals to be scored at Children’s Mercy Park on Saturday. Looking at the early lines from the USA betting online sites, backing goals to arrive, via an ‘Over 2.5 Goals’ play, is the way to go.

For all the pair have struggled at the back, they have each been scoring with regularity. The hosts have scored in each of their last five MLS games, and with the likes of Johnny Russell, Erik Thommy, Alan Pulido and William Agada, they’re not short of offensive quality.

The visitors have also scored plenty of goals, scoring in each of their last four, netting multiple goals in two of their last three. With Jordan Morris, Albert Rusnak and Raul Ruidiaz to call upon, the Sounders will always carry a threat going forward, which is why they’ve scored seven goals in their last four away games, three of which have contained at least three goals.

It is also worth mentioning that four of the last five Seattle Sounders away games have had three or more goals, plus at least three goals have been netted in each of SKC’s last eight home games in all competitions.

As mentioned in this MLS matchup preview above, though far from indicative of future performance, it’s also probably worth drawing on the fact that these two teams very rarely play out a low-scoring game, especially when they meet in Kansas City.

Ultimately, as both teams will be keen to get at what can only be described as weak backlines, the goals should be set to flow at Children’s Mercy Park. Bettors can make this pay by following this tip as the conclusion to our betting predictions and picks for this game: