Expansion Charlotte FC has yet to win on the road this season.
Sunday’s game at Seattle wouldn’t seem a likely place for a breakthrough, but don’t tell that to Charlotte coach Miguel Angel Ramirez.
“I’m not taking a plane almost six hours to just fight for a point,” Ramirez said during a Friday news conference. “If I go there, it’s because I want the three points. If not, I stay here.
“I never wake up in the morning thinking maybe on Sunday we get a point. I don’t have this mentality. I go always for three points. And if not, I don’t make (this) my job.”
Thanks to its play at home, Charlotte (5-7-1, 16 points) is in the middle of the pack in the Eastern Conference. It has just one point in six road matches, however, a scoreless draw at Colorado.
The Sounders (4-6-1, 13 points) enter in an unfamiliar spot, far below the playoff line in the West. Seattle has made the playoffs in all 13 of its MLS seasons.
The Sounders’ slow start has been attributed to their historic run to the CONCACAF Champions League title.
“We want to be in the playoffs come the end of the year, playing at a high level and going deep into the playoffs,” Sounders coach Brian Schmetzer said. “The goal for this club, now, is to win MLS Cup. … What I want for this team is to understand just because we won Champions League does not mean that that is a successful season. We want to make sure we get more.”
Charlotte will be without leading scorer Karol Swiderski, who is on international duty with Poland. Winger Yordy Reyna remains out with a thigh issue. Defenders Christian Makoun (thigh) and Harrison Afful (lower leg) were both listed as questionable after Wednesday’s 3-1 U.S. Open Cup loss to the New York Red Bulls.
The Sounders will get midfielder Cristian Roldan back after he missed last Sunday’s 1-0 loss at Colorado because of yellow-card accumulation.
–Field Level Media