Seattle draws Sporting Kansas City in its MLS lid-lifter Sunday, which includes the MLS debut of heralded rookie Jordan Morris of Stanford and Mercer Island.
Following their Wednesday exit from the CONCACAF Champions League Wednesday, the Seattle Sounders open league play against Sporting Kansas City Sunday (4 p.m., FOX Sports 1). Seattle was winless against Kansas City in 2015, with two draws and a loss.
Seattle, 5-2-0 in home openers, looks to make a convincing statement of its title intentions after an inconsistent midweek performance against Club América. The back line, bereft of center back Román Torres, will be under pressure to not allow quick counterattacks the way that América did on several of its goals.
Sporting Kansas City, meanwhile, relies on its star forward Dom Dwyer, who scored 12 goals in 30 league appearances last season, as well as 31-year-old midfielder Benny Feilhaber, who played a key role for Kansas City in 2015 with 10 goals and 15 assists.
Sunday will also mark the league debut of Mercer Island native Jordan Morris, almost certainly a lock for a starting forward position following two Champions League appearances.
Morris, 21, will be under greater than usual pressure to make his presence felt early in the season, both as an indicator of the club’s future fortunes, and as a plug to fill the spot in the roster left by the departure of Nigerian striker Obafemi Martins to China’s Shanghai Shenhua Feb. 25.
Fans are advised to arrive early and expect traffic delays due to closure on the SR 99 Alaskan Way Viaduct in both directions due to construction.