Here's our preview story, dealing with the recently hot defense and Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, who may make his 100th appearance. Below, the basics:
CHICAGO FIRE (10-10-5; 35 POINTS)AT SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC (13-8-4; 43 POINTS)7 p.m., CenturyLink Field.TV: NBCSN. RADIO: 97.3 FM.HEAD TO HEAD: Sounders FC leads 4-0-3 overall and 2-0-1 at home. Chicago is the only MLS team never to have beaten the Sounders. NOTES: Seattle is tied for second in the Western Conference, but leads MLS with an average of 1.72 points per game. … The Sounders have won six of their last seven matches, including three straight by 1-0 scores. Chicago is 4-1-2 over its last seven. ... Seattle is unbeaten over its last 11 home matches (8-0-3). Chicago is 2-6-3 on the road. … The Sounders will be without forwards Clint Dempsey and Eddie Johnson due to U.S. national team duty. Chicago will be without midfielders Joel Lindpere (Estonia) and Arevalo Rios (Uruguay). … Sounders goalkeeper Michael Gspurning has a 286-minute shutout streak. … Chicago forward Mike Magee is second in MLS with a career-high 14 goals. He is tied for the league lead with five game-winning goals. … Seattle defender Djimi Traore is one caution away from suspension for accumulation. … The referee is Hilario Grajeda.QUOTABLE: “A team that’s rested, but a team that’s also primed to try and win the game because they’re a team that is in desperate need for points. … It’s a team that’s probably going to play it pretty tight to the vest. … (Magee and Chris Rolfe) are more tricky type forwards, so you have to be sharp and alert and be prepared for a lot of place changing.” – Coach Sigi Schmid on the FireNEXT: The Sounders conclude this three-game homestand with a 7 p.m. Friday match against Real Salt Lake.