WHEN/WHERE: 4 p.m. Sunday, at Sporting Park
TV/RADIO: ESPN; 99.3 FM, KDTD (1340 AM)
ABOUT SEATTLE (14-13-3, 45 points): The Sounders are unbeaten over their past four MLS matches, their best streak of the season. After a midseason injury, Obafemi Martins has quickly returned to form, scoring six goals in six matches since rejoining the club, and he has 13 for the season. Star forward Clint Dempsey has a team-best nine assists, along with eight goals.
ABOUT SPORTING KC (12-9-8, 44 points): The club has won only once over its past seven matches, and coach Peter Vermes classified a loss Wednesday in Houston as a “horrific” performance. A bounceback victory Sunday could propel Sporting KC back into contention to earn one of the two first-round byes into the Western Conference semifinals, but a loss could put it fighting for a playoff spot over the final month. ... The club is without defender Matt Besler and midfielder Benny Feilhaber, who are serving one-match suspensions with yellow card accumulation. Forward Krisztian Nemeth is questionable with a left foot injury.
BOTTOM LINE: Sporting KC has held Seattle scoreless twice this season — resulting in one victory and one draw — but replicating the feat without Besler is a tall order.
PREDICTION: Seattle 2, Sporting KC 1
To reach Sam McDowell, call 816-234-4869 or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @SamMcDowell11. Tap here to download The Star’s free Extra Time KC soccer app for iOS and Android devices.