July 28, 2018 / 9:26 PM / in 24 days

NYCFC, Sounders both hot entering Sunday's clash

New York City FC is undefeated in four matches this month and hasn’t allowed a goal in a franchise-record 398 minutes.

Still, coach Domenec Torrent — who was hired after Patrick Vieira left for French Ligue 1 side Nice last month — isn’t pleased.

“We are able to win, but I’m not happy with our performance because I can’t play in that way,” Torrent said after Thursday night’s 2-0 victory at Orlando City SC. “If you want to win MLS or if you want to try to win MLS, even when (Orlando) play with 10 players, we played bad, really bad. I say in the second half, I don’t like to defend deep. I repeat three times, but I don’t know what happened.”

And with a cross-country trip and only two off days before Sunday’s match at Seattle, Torrent admitted any changes might have to wait until next week.

“We have no time for the next game,” Torrent said.

NYCFC (13-4-4, 43 points) is coming off its first road win since March 31. Maxi Moralez and Anton Tinnerholm scored late in the first half for New York. It was Moralez’s eighth goal of the season, tying

Ismael Tajouri-Shradi and David Villa for the team lead.

Villa wasn’t on the 18-man roster for NYCFC’s game Thursday because of a knee injury and remains questionable. Tajour-Shradi (hamstring) and Jo Inge Berget (quadriceps) both came on as reserves in Orlando.

The two-time defending Western Conference champion Sounders (6-9-5, 23 points) are unbeaten in five matches this month (3-0-2) as they attempt to rally for a playoff berth in the second half of the MLS season.

Peruvian international Raul Ruidiaz celebrated his 28th birthday and his first MLS start with with a goal Wednesday in Seattle’s 1-0 victory at San Jose.

“(I feel) an incredible happiness,” Ruidíaz said. “The most important thing is the team got three points.”

The Sounders enter the weekend seven points out of the West’s sixth and final playoff berth.

“We have certainly talked about momentum, but it’s all about collecting points,” Sounders coach Brian Schmetzer said.

The Sounders not only got a boost from Ruidiaz in their last match but also the return of central defender Roman Torres, who made his first start since April 22 because of injury and a trip to the World Cup with Panama. Midfielder Victor Rodriguez (right hamstring strain) and defender Chad Marshall (calf contusion) sat out Wednesday and are questionable for Sunday’s match.

NYCFC holds a 2-1-0 edge in the all-time series, including winning the only previous meeting in Seattle.

—Field Level Media

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