The Seattle Sounders will not be looking for excuses when they return to MLS action at home to Inter Miami on Saturday.
There is little time for recovery for the Sounders after they booked their place in the CONCACAF Champions League for the first time with a 1-1 draw at New York City on Wednesday.
Seattle had won 3-1 in the home leg and can look forward to a title decider against Pumas UNAM.
First, though, Brian Schmetzer’s men will be looking to get up to speed in their domestic league, having made a slow start in 2022 by their lofty standards.
“The culture of this club is to win every game, every trophy, every competition,” Schmetzer said. “We take all the games seriously.
“We don’t buy the excuse where if you commit to one tournament, you can’t proceed or do well in another. We don’t buy that.
“That’s an ethos we try to push into our younger players, because we’re going to have to have a bunch of younger players come on and play against Miami, but the expectation is still to win.”
DeAndre Yedlin knows all about that expectation, as the Miami defender came through the Sounders’ youth system before getting a big move to the Premier League.
Back in MLS with Inter, he said of Seattle: “It’s a team full of workers, and then you add the talent that they have and it makes them a very, very good team.
“That’s why they’re challenging for titles every year, so it will be a difficult game, especially playing away.”
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Seattle Sounders – Stefan Frei
The Sounders will make changes, but goalkeeper Frei might expect to go straight back out there. He has had a role in so many of Seattle’s greatest moments and excelled again against NYCFC, making seven saves and holding the home side to a single goal from chances worth 3.3 expected goals.
Inter Miami – DeAndre Yedlin
Seattle are not just a former team for Yedlin; Seattle is home. The former Tottenham and Newcastle United full-back is making no secret of his anticipation for this fixture, explaining: “Obviously the return to Seattle is going to be amazing. I have most of my family there, my daughter is going to be able to be in Seattle for the first time, so that will be nice. Just to be able to be back in the stadium, where I kind of grew up will be a good feeling.”
KEY OPTA FACTS
– This will be the first meeting between the Sounders and Inter Miami in MLS. Miami have lost seven of their eight matches against Western Conference opponents (W1), including all four on the road.
– Of the Sounders past 12 MLS matches, including playoffs, 11 have been either drawn or decided by a one-goal margin. Seattle have won only two of those matches (D5, including a penalty shootout loss, L5), though those two wins have come in their past three games (D1).
– Inter Miami recorded their first victory of the season on Saturday, beating the Revolution 3-2. Miami’s three-goal performance came after failing to score more than once in any of their previous eight matches dating back to the end of last season.
– Seattle have faced an MLS-high 15.8 shots per match this season, facing at least 15 shots in three of their first five games. The Sounders faced 15 or more shots just six times in the whole of last season, including just twice in their first 18 games.
– Leonardo Campana scored the first hat-trick in Inter Miami’s history in the Saturday victory over New England. Campana is the second Ecuadoran to score a hat-trick in MLS after Eduardo Hurtado, who scored three hat-tricks with the Galaxy between 1996 and 1997.