Sporting Kansas City continues its 2014-2015 CONCACAF Champions League campaign on Thursday as it plays host to Deportivo Saprissa in the first of back-to-back group stage matches at Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kan.
Sporting KC (0-0-1, 1 pt) and Saprissa (1-0-1, 4 pts) were drawn into Group 2 of this year’s edition of the tournament along with Real Esteli FC (0-1-2, 2 pts).
Tickets to both matches are included in Sporting Kansas City season ticket packages. Additional tickets can be purchased at Ticketmaster.com or at the Sporting Park box offices on game day. Because of CONCACAF regulations, there will be no standing room only tickets released for CCL home matches.
Thursday’s match will kick off at 7 p.m. and will be nationally televised on Fox Sports 1 (English) and Univision Deportes (Spanish).
Sporting Kansas City opened the 2014-2015 CCL group stage in Nicaragua, playing Real Esteli FC to a 1-1 draw at Estadio Independencia last month. Sporting KC conceded an own goal in the sixth minute before winger Antonio Dovale leveled the score 10 minutes later with a perfectly placed free kick.
Sporting KC advanced from group stage of the 2013-2014 edition of the tournament before falling to eventual champions Cruz Azul in the quarterfinals.
Saprissa will be making its fourth appearance in the current format of the competition and first since the 2011 edition when they reached the semifinal stage. Sporting KC and Saprissa have previously played in CONCACAF competition meeting in the 2005 Champions Cup quarterfinals. Saprissa prevailed 2-1 on aggregate after a scoreless first leg in Kansas City.
In this year’s tournament, Deportivo Saprissa leads Group 2 with four points after two games against Real Esteli: a 1-1 road draw and a 3-0 home victory. Real Esteli is second with two points through three contests. Sporting KC can draw even with Saprissa in the standings with a win on Thursday. Sporting KC is the only MLS team making a second consecutive appearance in the CCL and conceded just one goal in three CCL matches at Sporting Park during last year’s competition.
Saprissa is the defending champion of the Costa Rican Primera Division and is undefeated (3-0-1) in their first four league games. Forward Ariel Rodriguez is the Champion’s League joint-top scorer thus far with four goals in the tournament, including a hat-trick on Aug. 26.
The CONCACAF Champions League features the top club teams from across North America, Central America, and the Caribbean. The winner of the tournament earns a berth in the 2015 FIFA Club World Cup. The tournament started in 1962 and was originally called the CONCACAF Champions Cup before switching to the current format in 2008 (and now called the CONCACAF Champions League).
– Story from Sporting KC