Orlando City will face off against the Seattle Sounders in a midweek match tonight at 7:30 p.m. at Exploria Stadium. The Sounders currently have a 10-14-3 record and 33 points, which puts them in 10th in the Western Conference standings. Let’s take a deep dive into the numbers behind the Lions’ upcoming Western Conference opponent.
The Sounders have struggled throughout the season to produce results on the offensive end. Seattle is tied for 18th in goals scored (36), which is due in large part to its on-target scoring attempts (111) and its accurate shooting percentage (32.9%), ranking 22nd in both categories. The Sounders have been in the middle of the pack in MLS in terms of total scoring attempts (337), where they rank 15th. This is a key reason why the Sounders have underachieved offensively this season, as Seattle is just 18th in goals. In fact, when looking at G-xG (goals minus expected goals) we see that Seattle is 3.6 goals behind what it should have this season. Part of the reason the Sounders are so far under their expected goal total is that they have been good at setting up scoring opportunities. This season, Seattle is sixth in accurate forward zone passes (5,443), tied for 11th in assists (40), and tied for 15th in live ball goal creation attempts (43).
For as much as Seattle has underperformed on the offensive side this year, it is safe to say that it has equally overperformed on defense. The Sounders are tied for seventh-fewest goals conceded (36), while also tied for 12th-most shots against (125) of any club. Furthermore, the club is 17th in tackles (438), 19th in clearances (470), and 21st in both blocks (346) and pressures (3,565), which puts Seattle in the bottom half of MLS in these categories. The only categories where the Sounders rank in the top half of MLS are successful pressure percentage (29.5%), where they rank 10th, and interceptions (456), where they are fourth best.
Players to Watch
Forward Jordan Morris has been the main source of offense this season for the Sounders. Morris is first among Seattle players in goals (7), total scoring attempts (46), on-target scoring attempts (23), and accurate shooting percentage (50%) among players who have played more than five games. Another key offensive player for Seattle has been forward Raul Ruidiaz, who has recovered from injury to get back in the Sounders’ lineup. Ruidiaz, who has played in 14 games and started in 10 of those, is second in goals (6), total scoring attempts (35), on-target scoring attempts (15), and accurate shooting percentage (42.9%) among players with more than five games played. Midfielder Nicolas Lodeiro has set up scoring opportunities for players like Morris and Ruidiaz all season long. He is first among Seattle players in assists (9), crosses (32), and accurate forward zone passes (806) on the year.
The Seattle defense has been led by midfielder Alex Roldan and defender Yeimar Andrade. Roldan has been a very well-rounded player, contributing to the defensive effort for Seattle all over the pitch. Among Sounders players, Roldan is first in tackles (53), second in pressures (314) and blocks (44), and third in interceptions (53). Andrade is in front of Roldan in interceptions (72), leading the team in that category, while he has also helped the Seattle defense escape imminent danger by leading all Sounders players in clearances (92). Lodeiro has also helped out on the defensive end for Seattle, leading the team in pressures (440), and he is second in duels won (225). The Sounders have relied on the goalkeeping duties of Stefan Frei for the majority of the season. Frei has started in 21 of 27 games for Seattle, conceding 30 goals and making 61 saves on 91 shots faced for a save percentage of 71.3%.
That’s what I found on the Seattle Sounders. Let me know what you think about the upcoming match in the comments below and, as always, go Orlando!