Two charter members of Major League Soccer resume their Western Conference rivalry on Saturday when Sporting Kansas City (1-1-0, 3 points) plays host to the San Jose Earthquakes (1-0-0, 3 points) at Children’s Mercy Park.
The St. Patrick’s Day showdown will kick off at 7:30 p.m. with three hours of live coverage beginning at 7 p.m. on FOX Sports Kansas City, FOX Sports Midwest Plus and FOX Sports GO. Local radio broadcasts will also air live on ESPN 94.5 FM (English) and ESPN Deportes KC 1480 AM (Spanish), while the Sporting KC Uphoria app will provide live updates.
Ticket’s for Saturday’s match are available at SeatGeek.com, and the first 10,000 supporters through the stadium gates will receive a free slap koozie courtesy of match sponsor H&R Block. A limited-edition St. Patrick’s Day scarf will be for sale at each SportingStyle location, where fans can also take advantage of free kit customization with the purchase of any jersey
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Sporting Kansas City jumped into the victory column last Saturday, ousting the Chicago Fire in a 4-3 thriller at Toyota Park.
Midfielder Felipe Gutierrez bookended the scoring for the visitors en route to MLS Team of the Week honors, heading home in the ninth minute before bagging an 86th-minute winner to complete the comeback.
Winger Johnny Russell had opened his MLS account on the stroke of halftime, but the Fire responded with three unanswered goals in the second half to take a 3-2 lead.
Substitute Jimmy Medranda conjured a timely equalizer in the 83rd minute, which set the stage for Gutierrez’s heroics on a wonderfully worked team goal involving Russell, Daniel Salloi and Gerso Fernandes.
Last weekend’s instant classic marked the first time Sporting KC hit four goals in a regular-season match since August 2015. It also ended a club-record 37-game streak in which manager Peter Vermes’ men had conceded two or fewer goals, a run that began in October 2016.
The contest was a stark departure from the overall trend of a 2017 campaign that saw Sporting KC allow the fewest goals in MLS while ranking 18th in scoring offense.
The San Jose Earthquakes are coming off a bye in Week 2, having claimed a 3-2 home win over Minnesota United FC in their season opener.
Forward Danny Hoesen spurred the hosts to victory with an impressive brace that ultimately resulted in MLS Player of the Week recognition. Another standout from the comprehensive performance was midfielder Vako Qazaishvili, who assisted both of Hoesen’s strikes and added a goal of his own to give the Earthquakes a 2-0 cushion in the first half.
Led by first-year head coach Mikael Stahre, San Jose returned to the MLS Cup Playoffs last fall for the first time since 2012. A Knockout Round exit to Vancouver Whitecaps FC closed the curtains on a year that produced 13 goals and eight assists from evergreen striker Chris Wondolowski.
The 35-year-old veteran, who sits second behind Landon Donovan on the all-time MLS goal chart, is the only player in league history to reach double-digit goals in eight straight regular seasons.
One of Stahre’s most notable offseason acquisitions was attacking threat Magnus Eriksson, a 27-year-old designated player who has amassed nearly 100 goals as a professional.
Recent history paints a favorable picture for Sporting KC, who have won 10 of their last 11 regular season home games against San Jose dating back to 2004.
Vermes’ side posted a 2-1 home win almost exactly a year ago before limiting the Earthquakes to just five shot attempts in a scoreless road draw last June.
The clubs met again two months later in the 2017 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup semifinals, playing to a 1-1 draw after Hoesen and Diego Rubio traded first-half goals.
Sporting KC goalkeeper Tim Melia was the hero in the decisive shootout, saving two penalties to propel his team to the tournament final.
– Story from Sporting KC