Sporting KC to play Minnesota Dec. 2 in KCK in Western Conference semifinals

Major League Soccer announced the schedule for the conference semifinal round of the MLS Cup Playoffs, which will feature a showdown between regional rivals Sporting Kansas City and Minnesota United FC on Wednesday, Dec. 2, at Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas City, Kansas.

The highly anticipated Western Conference Semifinal is scheduled for 8 p.m. with national coverage on FS1, FOX Deportes and the FOX Sports app. A very limited number of tickets for the match are available at SeatGeek.com with stadium capacity reduced to 18% and comprehensive health and safety protocols in place at Children’s Mercy Park.

Following the Round One elimination of No. 1 seed Philadelphia Union and No. 2 seed Toronto FC in the Eastern Conference, Sporting Kansas now holds homefield advantage in the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs through the 2020 MLS Cup as the top seed in the West.

The winner between Sporting and Minnesota will advance to face No. 2 seed Seattle Sounders FC or No. 6 seed FC Dallas in the Western Conference final on Sunday, Dec. 6.

If Sporting reaches the conference final, Season ticket members will have access to an exclusive 24-hour ticket presale for the game beginning at 10 a.m. on Dec. 3. Remaining tickets will then go on sale to the general public at 10 a.m. on Dec. 4 via SeatGeek.com.

Sporting Kansas City and No. 4 seed Minnesota United FC will enter their conference semifinal matchup on the heels of momentous victories in Round One.

Sporting prevailed 3-0 on penalties after battling the San Jose Earthquakes to a wild 3-3 draw on Sunday afternoon, while Minnesota collected their first-ever playoff win later that evening with a 3-0 home result against the Colorado Rapids.

Next Wednesday’s win-or-go-home encounter will mark the first time Sporting and Minnesota have met in the MLS Cup Playoffs.

The Midwestern rivals have squared off 13 times across all competitions since Minnesota joined MLS in 2017, with Sporting owning a 7-4-2 record overall and a perfect 6-0-0 mark at home. The Loons have been outscored 15-1 in their six previous visits to Children’s Mercy Park.

Sporting ended the 2020 regular season by going 6-1-1 down the stretch, claiming their fourth first-place conference finish since 2011, before ousting San Jose in Round One.

Meanwhile, Minnesota boasts a league-best nine-game active unbeaten run after going 4-0-4 in their last eight regular season games and defeating Colorado in their Round One contest. The Loons haven’t lost since Sept. 23.

The MLS Cup Playoffs will conclude with the league’s 25th championship game on Saturday, Dec. 12, as the Eastern and Western Conference champions meet in the 2020 MLS Cup.

MLS Cup Playoffs: Conference Semifinal schedule
• Sunday, Nov. 29: (4) Orlando City SC vs. (8) New England Revolution
2 p.m. | ABC, ESPN Deportes, ESPN app
• Sunday, Nov. 29: (3) Columbus Crew SC vs. (7) Nashville SC
7 p.m. | ESPN, ESPN Deportes, ESPN app
• Tuesday, Dec. 1: (2) Seattle Sounders FC vs. (6) FC Dallas
8:30 p.m. | FS1, FOX Deportes, FOX Sports App
• Wednesday, Dec. 2: (1) Sporting Kansas City vs. (4) Minnesota United FC
8 p.m. | FS1, FOX Deportes, FOX Sports App

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New rules adopted for Kansas schools’ winter sports

The Kansas State High School Activities Association (KSHSAA) board on Tuesday approved a plan to begin winter sports and activities Dec. 1 and continue through Dec. 22.

After Dec. 22, there will be a winter moratorium, in which there will be no practices and no competition, beginning Dec. 23, according to an announcement.

The winter moratorium is usually Dec. 23 to Dec. 27, but the board has extended the moratorium through Jan. 3.

Practice can begin on Jan. 4 and competition may resume on Jan. 8, according to the KSHSAA. The new rules will apply to high schools and middle schools, according to the announcement.

Masks will be required of everyone, except for athletes while they are competing, and officials who are actively officiating.

Spectators will not be allowed at high school and middle school contests through Jan. 28, according to the announcement.

There also are limits placed on the number of events allowed for each individual sport. For example, basketball is capped at 20 games, not including the postseason.

Each school district may decide on its own winter sports rules, schedule and participation.

The Kansas City, Kansas, Public Schools board on Nov. 10 voted to start practices Jan. 4, with games beginning Jan. 18. (See http://wyandottedaily.com/kck-school-board-approves-winter-sports/)

Limited number of tickets available for Sporting KC home playoff match

A limited number of tickets for Sporting Kansas City’s next home playoff match against rivals Minnesota United FC are now on sale at SeatGeek.com while supplies last.

The Western Conference Semifinal between top-seeded Sporting and No. 4 seed Minnesota will take place on Dec. 1 or 2 at Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas City, Kansas.

Major League Soccer will announce the full conference semifinal schedule for the MLS Cup Playoffs later this week.

Children’s Mercy Park will hold the match at a reduced capacity of 18% with comprehensive health and safety protocols in place.

After the conference semifinals Dec. 1 or 2, the conference final is scheduled Dec. 6, with the MLS Cup match on Dec. 12.

The MLS Cup Playoffs consist of single-elimination games held by the higher-seeded club in a bracket-style format. As the No. 1 seed, Sporting Kansas City owns homefield advantage in the Western Conference and earned a Round One victory over the San Jose Earthquakes on Sunday, prevailing 3-0 on penalty kicks following a 3-3 draw.

Sporting owns a 7-4-2 record against Minnesota in all competitions, including two wins and a loss in 2020 and a perfect 6-0-0 mark at home. The Loons have been outscored 15-1 on their six previous visits to Children’s Mercy Park since joining MLS in 2017.

The upcoming conference semifinal matchup will feature a pair of in-form teams. Sporting went 6-1-1 from the start of October to the end of the regular season, finishing first in the West before eliminating San Jose in Round One. Minnesota, meanwhile, boasts a nine-game unbeaten run after ending the regular season 4-0-4 and claiming a 3-0 triumph over the Colorado Rapids in their Round One contest.