Sporting KC to face Real Salt Lake in conference semifinals Sunday

Sporting Kansas City will face rivals Real Salt Lake in the Western Conference Semifinals of the Audi 2018 MLS Cup Playoffs.

As the No. 1 seed in the West, Sporting KC will visit No. 6 seed Real Salt Lake in the first leg of the conference semifinals on Sunday at Rio Tinto Stadium.

The match will kick off at 9 p.m. and air live nationally on FS1 and FOX Deportes, while ESPN 94.5 FM and ESPN Deportes KC 1480 AM will carry local radio broadcasts.

Sporting KC and RSL will then square off in the decisive second leg of the Western Conference Semifinals on Sunday, Nov. 11, at Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas City, Kansas. Tickets for the game – Sporting KC’s first home playoff tilt since winning the 2013 MLS Cup against Real Salt Lake – are now available at SeatGeek.com.

Real Salt Lake posted a 3-2 road win over No. 3 seed LAFC in Thursday’s single-elimination Knockout Round.

As the lowest-seeded playoff team still alive in the West, RSL will now play top-seeded Sporting KC for the fourth and fifth time this season in all competitions.

Led by MLS Coach of the Year finalist Peter Vermes, Sporting KC eliminated RSL from the 2018 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup with a 2-0 fourth-round win on June 6 at Rio Tinto Stadium.

In regular season action, Sporting KC took a 4-2 road loss on July 4 before battling RSL to a 1-1 draw on Sept. 30 at Children’s Mercy Park.

Sporting KC is 9-11-8 against Real Salt Lake in the regular season, including a 1-6-5 mark since 2014.

The sides also met in the 2013 MLS Cup at Children’s Mercy Park, an epic encounter played amidst freezing conditions that saw Sporting KC prevail 7-6 on penalty kicks after a 1-1 draw through regulation and extra time.

The conference semifinals and conference finals of the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs are conducted in a home-and-away, aggregate-goal format. If the teams are tied after the two-game series, the team that scored more goals on the road advances.

If the teams remain tied after the away goals tiebreaker has been applied, they will play 30 minutes of extra time-divided into two 15-minute periods-followed by a penalty kick shootout if necessary.
– Story from Sporting KC

Vermes named finalist for MLS coach of year

Peter Vermes

Sporting Kansas City manager Peter Vermes is one of three finalists for MLS coach of the year, Major League Soccer announced today.

Vermes, who was previously an MLS coach of the year finalist in 2011 and 2012, is up for the annual award alongside Gerardo “Tata” Martino of Atlanta United FC and Bob Bradley of LAFC.

Sporting KC went a combined 3-0-0 against Atlanta and LAFC this season with six goals scored and just one allowed from the penalty spot, also shutting out both teams in their home venues.

The 2018 MLS coach of the year recipient will be announced at a later date.

Now in his 10th year as manager, Vermes has guided Sporting KC to a first-place finish in the Western Conference and overseen one of the best regular seasons in club history. The 2018 campaign saw Sporting KC set team records in goals (65), assists (69), goal differential (+25) and shots (583) while amassing 18 wins and 62 points, both of which are second-most for the club all-time.

As the league’s longest tenured manager, Vermes leads all active MLS coaches with eight straight playoff appearances. Over the course of 2018, he has employed an attractive and effective style of play with Sporting KC ranking high in each of these categories:

• 1st in shots per game (17.2)
• 2nd in shutouts (13)
• 2nd in possession (57.1 percent)
• 2nd in passing accuracy (83.8 percent)
• 3rd in goal differential (+25)
• 3rd in defense (1.18 goals allowed per game)
• 4th in offense (1.91 goals scored per game)

Vermes also thrived as an in-game manager-Sporting KC led MLS with 12 goals from substitutes, the most in club regular season history-and facilitated the breakthroughs of four homegrown players.

Forward Daniel Salloi leads the team with 11 league goals and 13 in all competitions, while 20-year-old Wan Kuzain Wan Kamal, 18-year-old Jaylin Lindsey and 16-year-old Gianluca Busio have each made notable impacts with the first team.

Vermes, who signed a contract extension through the 2023 season in May, navigated his side to the top of the West despite multiple injuries to key players. Starters Khiry Shelton and Felipe Gutierrez both missed two months of action, Jimmy Medranda and Cristian Lobato suffered season-ending injuries, and defenders Matt Besler, Ike Opara and Seth Sinovic were all sidelined for short spells in 2018.

As the No. 1 seed in the West, Sporting has earned a Knockout Round bye to the two-legged Western Conference Semifinals of the Audi 2018 MLS Cup Playoffs. Vermes’ side will play away in the first leg this Sunday and then play host in the decisive second leg on Sunday, Nov. 11. Tickets for that match – the first playoff tilt to be played at Children’s Mercy Park since the 2013 MLS Cup – are now available via SeatGeek.com.

In the conference semifinals, Sporting KC will face the lowest-seeded team to advance from the Knockout Round, with No. 4 FC Dallas as host to No. 5 Portland Timbers tonight at 8:30 p.m. and No. 3 LAFC as host to No. 6 Real Salt Lake at 9:30 p.m. Thursday.
m>- Story from Sporting KC

Sporting KC playoff match to be Nov. 11 in KCK

Sporting KC is in the playoffs, and one of the matches will be held Sunday, Nov. 11, at Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas City, Kansas.

Tickets for Sporting KC’s first home playoff match on Sunday, Nov. 11, are on sale via SeatGeek.com.

Season ticket members have first right to their seats for all playoff matches, excluding the MLS Cup final, and can contact their client services executive for questions and further information.