Seattle, WA – As Major League Soccer enters the midway point of the season, Seattle Sounders FC is one team that will be hoping for much better results in the second half of the campaign.
Seattle entered the year as one of the favorites in the Western Conference, but the Sounders enter Sunday's match against Chivas USA at CenturyLink Field in seventh place, seven points out of a playoff spot.
Sigi Schmid's side has taken only one point from its last three games, and while the results haven't matched expectations, the injury bug has bitten the Sounders particularly hard.
Forward Eddie Johnson is still away on international duty and miss Sunday's match while playing in the Gold Cup final for the United States against Panama.
But Schmid got better news regarding Djimi Traore, Andy Rose and Brad Evans, who have each missed time through injury recently.
Both Traore and Rose returned to training this past week, while Evans is in line to start on Sunday after making a substitute appearance in the last match.
The news is not as promising regarding goalkeepers Michael Gspurning and Marcus Hahnemann, the team's top two netminders, who are both still out while recovering from injuries, leaving Andrew Weber between the posts.
Chivas will be looking to build on its first win in 15 games after securing a 1-0 victory over Toronto FC last time out.
Goalkeeper Dan Kennedy recorded his second clean sheet in the win, and he feels his teammates are still fighting despite the fact that they have been propping up the Western Conference table for some time.
"It feels like three points; we haven't felt that in a while," Kennedy said when asked what the win over TFC felt like. "I think we've deserved it. We were so close to it in Montreal, and that would've been a massive result. I think this team is still fighting, still in it. Hopefully now, we just build the confidence of this group and grind out some more results."