Cristian Roldan of the Seattle Sounders, right, and Juan Rangel of Mexico’s Leon fight for the ball during a CONCACAF Champions League soccer match in Leon, Mexico, Thursday, March 17, 2022. (AP Photo/Mario Armas)
- Both teams enter semifinal looking to become just the fifth MLS club to make the final since 2008
- Due to the pandemic, Wednesday’s meeting will be the first between the teams since 2019
- Read on for betting odds, a full preview and best bets for this Champions League clash
After the New England Revolution and CF Montreal bowed out in the quarterfinal round, the Seattle Sounders and New York City FC meet in the first leg of the semifinal on April 6th, hoping to strike a decisive advantage over their MLS rival and put one foot in the final.
The two teams represent North America’s top soccer league’s only chance of ending recent Mexican dominance in the CONCACAF Champions League, with Liga MX clubs having won it every year since 2006 onwards. Both clubs enter the match with less-than-sparkling starts to their domestic campaigns. Seattle has lost two of its first five, while New York City, the defending MLS Cup champion, has suffered two straight defeats and three in total.
But both have reserved their best form for this competition, which makes reading too much into recent MLS form something of a misnomer for those looking at the odds on offer for the spread and moneyline.
Seattle Sounders vs NYCFC Odds
|Seattle Sounders vs NYCFC||SEA -0.5 (+110) | NYC +0.5 (-132)||SEA +110 | NYC +260 | DRAW +235||Ov 2.5 (+116) | Un 2.5 (-141)|
Odds as of April 6th at Barstool Sportsbook
Seattle is listed as a favorite for Wednesday’s first leg, with the oddsmakers predicting that the Sounders will lean on their usual dominant home form at Lumen Field, a place where they are yet to concede a goal through the first two rounds of this competition. Therefore, New York sports betting fans can get a price on NYCFC as +235 underdogs.
Rave Green Royalty
Despite being arguably the most dominant club in MLS over the last six or seven years, Brian Schmetzer’s team has always seemed unable to carry that dominance over to the CONCACAF region’s premier tournament. Watching the likes of Toronto FC, CF Montreal and Los Angeles FC reach the final, Seattle never seemed to be able to make that breakthrough, reaching the semifinals just once in its history, way back in 2012.
Our club is built for moments like this. ❇️
— Seattle Sounders FC (@SoundersFC) April 6, 2022
The team certainly seems to be reserving its best form for this competition this season. After opening with a 0-0 draw at Honduran side Motagua, Seattle then thumped it 5-0 at home before rolling past Club Leon of Mexico 3-0 in the first leg of the quarterfinal. The Sounders then booked their place in the final four with a 1-1 draw in Leon.
— Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League (@TheChampions) April 5, 2022
That form contrasts heavily with how Seattle has started out its MLS campaign, losing its first two games against Nashville and Real Salt Lake. Schmetzer makes no apologies for the fact that he has been focusing on the CONCACAF Champions League, but he has done so for more than a month without two of his best players in Raul Ruidiaz and Nicolas Lodeiro.
However, both featured heavily in last weekend’s 2-1 win at Minnesota in MLS Week 5, as Seattle showed the kind of knockout punch that it has long been renowned for in picking up its first away win of the season.
NYC’s Cup Running Empty
While winning the franchise’s first MLS Cup last December was a moment that will live long in the memory of New York City fans, the team has looked a long way off that high so far this season. The Cityzens have lost three straight in all competitions.
After only getting by Comunicaciones on away goals in the quarterfinal round after a 4-2 second-leg loss, New York followed that up with consecutive MLS losses, most recently 2-1 last weekend against a Toronto FC club that has fallen a long way since it was last in the MLS Cup conversation.
However, form can be fleeting, and with reigning MLS Golden Boot winner Valentin ‘Taty’ Castellanos among the NYCFC ranks, games can be decided in seconds. Much like the rest of his team, the Argentine striker seems to be reserving his best form for the Champions League.
🇦🇷 Taty Castellanos is a game changer for #NYCFC and the Argentine was involved in all three goals during their Concacaf Champions League win last night.
⏱ 90 mins
⭐️ 9.20 FotMob rating
⚽️ 1 goal
🎯 3/5 shot accuracy
🤝 2 assists
👟 20/32 accurate passes
🔑 3 key passes pic.twitter.com/tTfJVqvlpE
— FotMob (@FotMob) March 9, 2022
He has yet to open his account in MLS play this season despite playing in all five games, yet has scored four goals in four appearances in the Champions League. Go figure.
Seattle Sounders vs NYCFC 2022 League Stats
|2-2-1||2022 Domestic League Record||1-3-1|
A Burgeoning Rivalry
Though they don’t play each other often – and haven’t met since 2019 owing to the pandemic – games between the two sides have tended to be fairly decisive affairs, with no draws through their five meetings.
Ready for the main event. 🍿
— Seattle Sounders FC (@SoundersFC) April 5, 2022
So far, New York City has won three to Seattle’s two, with both earning a win on their rival’s turf at one point. The most recent game saw New York City cruise to a 3-0 victory at Yankee Stadium in July 2019, a year that famously ended with Seattle winning its second and most recent MLS Cup.
Best best: Draw (+235)
For the last 20 years, Paul Attfield has worked in sports media. Starting out in his native Britain with the likes of The Independent, he eventually switched continents, with his work appearing in the likes of the Los Angeles Times, Washington Post and Yahoo Sports since.