Sporting KC travels to Columbus on Sunday

A pair of MLS originals seeking summertime momentum will lock horns Sunday when Sporting Kansas City (3-5-7, 16 points) travels to face Columbus Crew SC (5-9-2, 17 points) at MAPFRE Stadium in Columbus, Ohio.

The interconference battle will kick off at 4:30 p.m. with three hours of live coverage beginning at 4 p.m. on FOX Sports Kansas City Plus, FOX Sports Midwest Plus and FOX Sports GO.

The contest will also be joined in progress on FOX Sports Kansas City upon conclusion of Kansas City Royals baseball. Sports Radio 810 WHB and ESPN Deportes KC 1480 AM will air local radio broadcasts, while the Sporting KC App will provide additional in-game updates.

Well-rested after a weekend off, Sporting jumps into the second half of the season with a quartet of reinforcements.

Europeans Botond Barath, Nicolas Hasler, Krisztian Nemeth and Johnny Russell have missed two straight games on international duty-including last Wednesday’s loss to Minnesota United FC in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup – but will be available for selection Sunday against Columbus.

Nemeth and Russell have been particularly influential this season, bagging a team-best seven goals apiece in MLS competition.

Manager Peter Vermes’ side will also be pleased to report an improved bill of health. The club’s injury report had swollen to 10 players for most of May, but the only players ruled out of Sunday’s clash are long-term absentees Roger Espinoza, Erik Hurtado, Jaylin Lindsey and Rodney Wallace.

Sporting enjoyed a thrilling run to the Concacaf Champions League Semifinals this spring, but the team has secured just one win since the start of April and hasn’t kept a clean sheet since March 14. Vermes’ men will now face an opponent whose struggles are remarkably similar: Columbus began the 2019 campaign with a 4-1-1 record-notching shutouts in all four wins-but have gone 1-8-1 since April 13 with zero shutouts.

Led by head coach Caleb Porter, who previously led the Portland Timbers to the 2015 MLS Cup, Crew SC will be without a handful of influential players currently on national team duty.

Forward and leading scorer Gyasi Zardes, deep-lying midfielder Wil Trapp and colossal center back Jonathan Mensah have combined for 45 of a possible 48 starts in MLS, but their absences will force Porter to flex his squad’s depth and rely on midfielder Pedro Santos (four goals, two assists) and forward David Accam.

The pacey Accam scored in both of Columbus’ Open Cup matches earlier this month, including a 3-2 Round of 16 loss to Atlanta United FC on Tuesday at MAPFRE Stadium. His arrival in a trade from the Philadelphia Union should help Crew SC cope with the loss of talismanic playmaker Federico Higuain, who will miss the rest of the season with an ACL injury.

Sporting is 6-1-2 in their last nine regular season games against Columbus and own a 3-1-2 record in their last six trips to MAPFRE Stadium. The teams have drawn each of their last two meetings-a 1-1 draw in Central Ohio in September 2017 and a scoreless stalemate last year in Kansas City.

Sporting leads the all-time regular season series 25-22-8, scoring 85 goals and allowing 84 since the first meeting in May 1996.

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Rivers expected to rise because of rain

Rains that could hit the Midwest this weekend could cause small tributaries to rise above flood stage in the next few days, according to a National Weather Service forecaster.

In a news conference Friday, forecasters said the rise of the Missouri River over the next few days from rains that had already taken place will be 1 to 2 feet from St. Joseph, Missouri, to the mouth of the river.

With widespread heavy rain in the forecast for this weekend, additional creeks and streams are expected to rise above flooding, according to forecasters, with a 1 to 2 foot increase possible on top of the earlier increase, if the rain materializes.

At this time, the rivers here are not expected to rise above their highest levels in March and May.

Corps of Engineers officials said releases from Gavins Point dam in South Dakota will be decreased from 75,000 cfs to 70,000 cfs next week and conditions will be assessed daily.

The lower Kansas basin and the Osage basin reservoirs have seen improvement in the past week, according to Corps of Engineers officials.

While the reservoirs are 7 percent lower than last week, a single rainfall could still push some of them into surcharge operations, according to officials.

Tuttle Creek was releasing 10,000 cfs on Friday, with Milford at 5,000 cfs and Perry at 1,000 cfs, officials said. Officials expected those amounts to remain steady, and they are monitoring conditions on the Missouri River.

In the Osage basin, Truman dam was releasing 50,000 cfs on Friday with a forecast to maintain that amount. Melvern was increasing from 1,500 cfs on Friday to 3,000 cfs on Saturday. Pomona was at 1,500 cfs, while Hillsdale remained at 2,800 cfs. Stockton and Pomme de Terre were at 3,000 cfs.

This has been the largest flooding rehabilitation effort in the Kansas City district since 1993, according to officials.

Corps officials said they had 79 requests for levee rehabilitation since March, and that could easily rise to 90.

According to Corps officials, the peak river level at Kansas City was on June 2 at 305,000 cfs. The amount of regulated releases in that amount was 105,000 cfs, with 200,000 unregulated rain that fell on the basin and made its way to that point. Sixty-five percent of the water coming through the Missouri River on June 2 was from unregulated rainfall, officials said.

For St. Joseph, Missouri, the peak was May 30 at 210,000 cfs. About 30 percent of that peak was regulated waters coming from reservoirs upstream, while 70 percent of the water was rainfall that fell in the basin and was unregulated, according to Corps officials.

In Wyandotte County, the Missouri River at Parkville, which includes Wyandotte County in its area, is currently in minor flood stage, well below its peak levels this spring. The river was at 25.65 feet at 1:45 p.m. Saturday, and hydrology charts predicted that it would rise to 27.7 feet on Monday evening or Tuesday morning. The gauge is on I-435 over the Missouri River, between Wyandotte and Platte counties.

The Kansas River at 23rd Street, where the gauge is at Kansas Avenue and the state line, was at 29.28 feet in action stage at 12:45 p.m. Saturday, and was expected to rise to 32.5 feet by Monday evening or Tuesday. The level is below minor flood stage.

The Missouri River at Parkville, which includes Wyandotte County in its area, was at minor flood stage on Saturday afternoon, and projected to rise a little with rainfall in the forecast. The gauge is on I-435 over the Missouri River, between Wyandotte and Platte counties. (National Weather Service – USGS graphic)
The Kansas River at 23rd Street, where the gauge is at Kansas Avenue and the state line, was in the action stage on Saturday afternoon and was projected to rise in a few days. Its projected rise is still under flood stage, at this time. (National Weather Service – USGS graphic)

Wyandotte County under severe thunderstorm watch

Wyandotte County is under a severe thunderstorm watch through 10 p.m. Saturday. It is in an area of enhanced risk for severe storms. (National Weather Service graphic)

The National Weather Service has issued a severe thunderstorm watch from 2:45 p.m. Saturday through 10 p.m. Saturday.

Wyandotte County and several other counties are under the severe thunderstorm watch, according to the weather service.

Severe storms are possible this afternoon into tonight across the entire area, the weather service said. Possible severe weather includes damaging winds, large hail and a tornado.

In addition, heavy rain is expected with these storms, which could lead to flash flooding and additional river flooding the weather service said. Residents are advised to avoid flooded roadways, turn around and take another route.

A flash flood watch is in effect from 7 p.m. Saturday through 2 a.m. Monday, according to the weather service.

Storms also are possible on Sunday morning and afternoon, according to the weather service. By Monday, from 2 to 3 inches of rain may fall over the region.

Wyandotte County remains under a flood warning for the Missouri River at Parkville, which affects Wyandotte County, and is currently in minor flood stage, according to the weather service.

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