Sounders ready for hot Kansas City

Aug 5, 2011, 8:35 AM | Updated: 6:11 pm
Jeff Parke's late goal gave the Sounders a 1-0 win over Kansas City in May. (Jane Gershovich/
(Jane Gershovich/

Kansas City’s temperature is hot, and so is its Major League Soccer team.

Sounders FC will have its hands full with 90 degree temperatures and torrid Sporting Kansas City Saturday night in the brand new LIVESTRONG Sporting Park.

The $200 million structure seats 18,500 for soccer matches, and 25,000 for concerts. It’s another sign of how seriously cities and franchises are taking pro soccer in the United States.

Sounders FC coach Sigi Schmid is impressed.

“It’s definitely a phenomenal facility,” Schmid said during the Coach’s Corner interview. “Size-wise, it’s not the biggest in MLS, but it has all the bells and whistles on it. The way they decked it out, and made it fan-friendly, it’s definitely a nice place with a nice pitch.”

Kansas City’s soccer team has enjoyed the new digs. They are unbeaten since the stadium opened June 9. KC is coming off a 2-nil home field victory over Real Salt Lake Wednesday night.

Coach Schmid knows this will be a tough task for the “rave green.”

“They’re on a great roll, and haven’t lost in their new building,” he said. “We hope to be the team that takes care of that for them.”

The Sounders won the first match against KC at Seattle’s Xbox Pitch, 1-0. Defender Jeff Parke had the game winner during injury time. Seattle squandered several early scoring chances it will need to convert this time.

Schmid gave us a scouting report on Sporting Kansas City.

“Obviously, Omar Bravo is playing very well for them. He’s played a number of different positions up front,” Schmid said. “Teal Bunbury comes off the bench, or sometimes he’s starting. Their outside backs like to get forward. Chance Myers has done a nice job.”

Myers did not play in the last match because of a quad strain. Michael Harrington could be the Kansas City starter on the back line.

Seattle is coming off a dominating 2-0 CONCACAF Champions League victory over San Francisco FC of Panama. The defense eliminated mental errors while Alvaro Fernandez scored and created numerous chances for his mates.

Sounders FC currently sit in third place of the Western Conference standings. They’re just seven points behind the league-leading Los Angeles Galaxy, who lost 3-nil in Portland last Wednesday evening.

Matt Johnson hosts the pre-game show at 5 p.m. Saturday, with Arlo White calling the action at 5:30 on 97.3 KIRO FM.

Seattle Sounders FC

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Sounders ready for hot Kansas City