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After making a promising start this season, Seattle Sounders’ recent form has dipped, causing them to fall behind Los Angeles FC and St. Louis City SC. The side have won just one of their last five MLS games and are winless in the last four. After edging past New York Red Bulls at the end of last month, Seattle Sounders lost to San Jose Earthquakes before securing draws against Portland Timbers and Charlotte FC. Earlier this week, they lost against Los Angeles FC.
Orlando City also dropped points in their previous encounter when they conceded a late equalizer against Philadelphia Union. Before that, the club lost against the New England Revolution. The biggest positive for Orlando City, besides their stellar away record, is the fact that the club has only lost one of the last eight MLS games. Nonetheless, Seattle Sounders will be a tough nut to crack, especially in their own backyard.
The odds strongly favor the hosts in this encounter, but this encounter could go either way. The chances of Seattle Sounders extending their winless streak to five games are also relatively high, considering the form Orlando City are in. This could be one of the games in which both teams end up canceling each other out and ultimately settle for a frustrating but valuable point.
There is not a lot of history between the two sides as they play in different divisions. The two clubs have only clashed six times in the MLS. The odds strongly favor the hosts because of an extremely one-sided head-to-head record that sees Seattle Sounders with four wins.
Orlando City have only won once, and that maiden win came when these two sides last met. At the Exploria Stadium last season, goals from Albert Rusnak and Raul Ruidiaz gave Seattle Sounders a 2-0 lead.
The advantage remained intact until the 53rd minute when Facundo Torres pulled one back for the hosts. 15 minutes later, parity was reinstated from the spot via Ercan Kara, and the dramatic comeback was complete via a winning goal from Kyle Smith in the 91st minute.
At Lumen Field, these two teams have met only thrice. Seattle Sounders have won two of those games, with one ending in a draw. Orlando City will be desperate to nab their maiden win on this pitch and return to winning ways – a mutual emotion they will share with the hosts.
A promising start to the new campaign made up for the disappointing end of last season for Seattle Sounders earlier this season. At the end of the 2022 MLS campaign, the two-time MLS champions failed to win any of their last four games.
There were defeats for the club this season, but they rarely came in quick succession until recently. 15 games in, the roughest patch of the season so far came for Seattle Sounders as they dropped from the top of the table to third place.
The hosts are coming into this game after losing two and drawing two of their last four games. They have struggled on the road as well as at home, which could be advantageous to Orlando City, who possess the second-best away record in the MLS this season.
Seattle Sounders' last two home games were against San Jose Earthquakes and Portland Timbers. The hosts suffered a 1-0 loss against the former before playing out a goalless draw against the latter. After that, they were on the road for two games.
They scored three in Charlotte but ended up conceding the same number to nab a point before failing to score again in Los Angeles against the defending champions. Seattle Sounders have failed to score in four of the last six matches. They have fired blanks in the last two home games.
While concerns are rising in the final third, the defensive performance has also deteriorated a bit for Seattle Sounders. Despite keeping just two clean sheets in the last five games, the hosts still hold the record for most clean sheets in the league this season.
In 19 games so far, the Seattle Sounders have secured a shutout on nine occasions. They have also conceded the second-fewest goals in the Western Conference after Los Angeles FC. They have kept a clean sheet in four out of their last five wins in the MLS this season.
The game against Seattle Sounders will be the third and final challenging encounter for Orlando City in quick succession. In the last two MLS games, the club was pitted against title-contenders New England Revolution and 2021 MLS runners-up Philadelphia Union.
Both those games reaped outcomes that were disappointing for Orlando City, and they will be eager to make things right in this game at Lumen Field – a place where they have never won before.
After this fixture, Orlando City will return home for two games against teams that are not title contenders. First up will be Chicago Fire FC, and then Toronto FC will visit the Exploria Stadium. But as of now, the focus will be on returning to winning ways in Seattle.
Orlando City were on the brink of a third win in four games when they hosted Philadelphia Union earlier this week. Duncan McGuire opened the scoring for Orlando City in the 13th minute before Martin Ojeda doubled the advantage nine minutes into the second half.
Complacency crept into the Orlando City defense after the second goal, allowing Los Angeles FC's Jack McGlynn to pull one back at the hour-mark before Jose Andres Martinez netted the equalizer in the 90th minute to ensure Orlando City dropped two crucial points.
Facundo Torres was leading the goalscoring chart at Orlando City FC until two weeks ago. The Uruguayan has scored five goals and registered two assists in 15 games this season. He nabbed a brace against the New York Red Bulls and then scored and assisted against the Colorado Rapids.
However, amidst interest from Arsenal, the attacker has missed the last two games for Orlando City. In those games, Duncan McGuire has found the back of the net, and because of that, the 22-year-old is Orlando City's leading scorer with six goals and two assists in 14 appearances.
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With an interest in strategy and mathematics, applying that to sports writing was the natural progression. A writer at night and the founder of a gaming company, Nikhil’s previous experience includes working with ESPN for five years. His specialization includes soccer, basketball, tennis, and esports betting. Email: [email protected]More info on Nikhil Kalro
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