This one is a standout matchup from the opening weekend as one of the big sides in the league take on the brand new expansion franchise. FC Cincinnati are new to the league after the USL Championship side of the same name was granted an MLS franchise.
Last season for Seattle Sounders was a very impressive showing which saw them finish second in the Western Conference. As a result, they were given a bye to the conference semi-finals where they would lose to eventual MLS cup finalists, Portland Timbers. As earlier stated, FC Cincinnati are new so they don’t have any history in MLS, but they did win the Eastern conference in the USL Championship. They would eventually lose in the conference semi-final stage of the post-season to New York Red Bulls II.
Pre-season for Seattle was nothing short of disastrous as they played six games without winning a single one. They lost the first five games of their preparation, including a very hefty 7-1 defeat to last seasons’ MLS Cup champions, Atlanta United. They did manage to pick up one draw at the very end of pre-season preparations as they were held at 2-2 with San Jose Earthquakes.
FC Cincinnati played seven games in their pre-season preparations, picking up wins against Colorado Rapids and Charleston Battery. The final game of their preparation saw them take on their state rivals, Columbus Crew, in the ominously named ‘Hell is Real’ derby. The game would see the much fancied Columbus take a resounding 3-0 victory.
This is the part of the preview where I would normally tell you about team news, but for this game, there is none. The only news is that everyone is fit, ready and raring to go for the new season ahead.
Prediction: Personally, I can’t see anything other than a nice, comfortable home win here. I’m gonna back Seattle to put their poor pre-season form behind them and give FC Cincinnati a heavy “Welcome to MLS” beating. 3-0 to the hosts.