Sounders prepare for clash against New York City FC
The Seattle Sounders (5-4-6) prepare for an interconference matchup with the Eastern Conference's New York City FC (7-3-5) on Saturday. This will be the first time these two teams meet this season and will be a nationally televised game on ESPN at Yankee Stadium.
Five key players will return to the Sounders for this Saturday's game. Forward Clint Dempsey, forward Jordan Morris, defender Joevin Jones, defender Roman Torres and midfielder/defender Oniel Fisher all return from international duty. Dempsey and Morris led the United States to a win over Trinidad and Tobago in the World Cup Qualifying, before earning a point in a tie with Mexico at Estadio Azteca.
Despite being without five of their players, the Sounders have won four of their last five games, including a 2-1 win over the Portland Timbers in the U.S. Open Cup. The Sounders are in sixth place in the Western Conference and are currently tied with the San Jose Earthquakes and the Vancouver Whitecaps with 19 points. In the Eastern Conference, New York City FC is in third place and are looking to make the playoffs for the second time in team history, after beginning play in 2015.
One of the challenges the Sounders will face is trying to contain New York City FC's striker David Villa. Villa is tied for third in the MLS with eight goals scored this season and also has six assists. In comparison, the leading scorer for the Sounders is Dempsey and Will Bruin, who have only scored four goals each this season.
Seattle will take on New York City FC Saturday at 10:00 a.m. on ESPN at Yankee Stadium. The Sounders will then host Orlando City SC on June 21, in their first game at CenturyLink Field since June 4.