A pair of unbeaten teams square off Saturday when Sporting Kansas City (0-0-2, 2 points) plays host to the San Jose Earthquakes (2-0-0, 6 points) at Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas City, Kansas.
The match will kick off at 7:30 p.m. on FOX Sports Kansas City, ESPN 99.3 FM (English) and La Grande 1340 AM (Spanish), with a limited number of tickets still available at SeatGeek.com.
Supporters are encouraged to arrive early to Children’s Mercy Park on Saturday, as the first 10,000 fans through the gates will receive Sporting KC flags courtesy of match sponsor H&R Block and Block Advisors.
In addition, U2 cover band “Rattle and Hum” will perform on the stadium plaza from 5:30 to 7 p.m. and an Irish-themed Sporting KC scarf will be available to purchase at SportingStyle locations while supplies last.
Sporting Kansas City enters Week 3 without a goal scored or conceded in 2017. Manager Peter Vermes’ men played to a second straight scoreless draw in last Saturday’s home opener against FC Dallas, limiting one of the league’s best teams to just six shot attempts.
Matt Besler and Ike Opara anchor a Sporting KC backline that has earned consecutive shutouts to start the season for the first time since 2012. The club hasn’t allowed a regular season goal in 367 minutes dating back to last October.
While their opponents have been effectively stifled, Sporting KC is still searching for its first goal of the new campaign. The team ranks second in MLS in both shot attempts (29) and average possession (65 percent), and will look to translate those favorable markers into goals on Saturday evening.
Led by head coach Dominic Kinnear, San Jose has raced out to its second straight 2-0-0 start and owns a first-place tie in the fledgling Western Conference standings.
The Earthquakes won both matches at home, defeating Montreal Impact 1-0 before reversing a two-goal deficit to beat Vancouver Whitecaps FC last Saturday at Avaya Stadium.
Vancouver took a two-goal lead within 17 minutes, but a 23rd-minute red card to Whitecaps goalkeeper David Ousted gave San Jose a man advantage for the remainder of the night. The hosts took full advantage as goals from Chris Wondolowski, Nick Lima and Anibal Godoy secured all three points.
Godoy, a central midfielder who joined the side in 2015, has paced San Jose to its impressive start. The Panamanian has bagged both game-winning goals this season and leads MLS in successful passes and duels won. Wondolowski, meanwhile, brings unquestioned scoring pedigree: he ranks fourth on the league’s all-time goal chart and has hit double-figures in a record seven straight regular seasons. Wondolowski and Jahmir Hyka, an Albanian midfielder who joined in February, have also added two assists each.
Recent trends paint a positive picture for Sporting Kansas City: the team is 7-0-3 in its last 10 games at Children’s Mercy Park, while the San Jose Earthquakes are just 1-11-7 in their last 19 road tests. Sporting KC has won 11 of its last 12 home meetings against San Jose dating back to 2004, including nine of 10 in MLS competition.
Saturday’s opponents met three times in 2016. San Jose grabbed a 1-0 home win last April before Sporting KC emerged victorious in the final two matchups. Dom Dwyer and Kevin Ellis scored in a 2-1 victory last September to give Kansas City its first win in San Jose in 2000, then Benny Feilhaber and Graham Zusi were on target in a 2-0 Decision Day triumph last October at Children’s Mercy Park. That result clinched a club-record sixth straight playoff berth for Sporting KC and extended San Jose’s playoff drought to four seasons.
Sporting Kansas City remains without forward Diego Rubio (torn ACL), while Saad Abdul-Salaam (thigh strain), Cameron Iwasa (hamstring strain) and Erik Palmer-Brown (ankle sprain) are listed as questionable. Forward Quincy Amarikwa and midfielder Marc Pelosi are sidelined for San Jose with long-term knee injuries.
– Story from Sporting KC