Sporting KC kicks off against D.C. United at 6 p.m. Saturday

Sporting Kansas City heads east to face D.C. United on Saturday at RFK Stadium.

The match, set to kick off at 6 p.m., will feature the defending MLS Cup champion Sporting KC and the 2013 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open winner D.C. United.

Fans can view the match locally on KMCI’s 38 The Spot and on SKCTV across the Midwest.

Saturday marks the seventh game in a span of 28 days for Sporting Kansas City, who is looking to snap a four-game winless streak and secure the club’s first victory since May 10 against the Montreal Impact at Stade Saputo. Sporting KC recorded back-to-back draws in its last two outings, including a 1-1 result against 2013 Supporters’ Shield winners New York Red Bulls on Tuesday.

D.C. United finished at the bottom of the MLS standings in 2013 with just three wins through 34 regular season matches. However, the club secured a draw and four victories on the road to the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup title, including a 1-0 victory over Real Salt Lake in the final.

Sporting KC hoisted the U.S. Open Cup trophy in 2012 and also played Real Salt Lake in a championship match in 2013, defeating the Western Conference opponents in the MLS Cup final.

With their titles, Sporting Kansas City (Group 2) and D.C. United (Group 4) will each represent Major League Soccer in the 2014-15 CONCACAF Champions League later this year.

In 2014, D.C. United sits in third place in the Eastern Conference, one point behind Sporting Kansas City, and maintains a 5-4-3 record. D.C. United has scored 12 goals at home this season, second best in the East behind only the New York Red Bulls who have tallied 13. D.C. United forward Fabian Espindola has contributed four of his team-leading six goals this season and all five of his assists at home.

Espindola, who ranks sixth in Major League soccer for goals scored (6) in 2014 and second for assists (5), was acquired by D.C. United in the offseason along with two former KC teammates. Midfielder Davy Arnaud, once a captain in KC and the team’s all-time leader in regular season games played, and Designated Player Eddie Johnson were part of a roster overhaul by head coach Ben Olsen that also included four new contributors on the backline in Cristian Fernandez, Jeff Parke, Bobby Boswell and Sean Franklin.

Sporting KC is 5-4-4 in 2014 and holds a slight advantage (20-18-10) over D.C. United all-time. Sporting KC is 6-12-5 on the road against D.C. United, but is undefeated in the last seven matches between the two clubs with six victories. Sporting KC’s last loss to D.C. United came at RFK Stadium on May 5, 2010.

Sporting KC’s Dom Dwyer has scored 10 goals this season and sits in second place for goals scored behind New York’s Bradley Wright-Phillips (11), who notched the game-tying goal in Tuesday’s 1-1 draw at Sporting Park. Manager Peter Vermes will again be without Matt Besler (USMNT), Graham Zusi (USMNT) and Lawrence Olum (Kenya) due to international duty, however he has two-time MLS All-Star Aurelien Collin back in central defense after recovering from a hamstring strain.

– Story from Sporting KC

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *