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Sporting KC takes on FC Dallas tonight

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Sporting Kansas City will play host to FC Dallas in the club’s MLS regular season home opener on Saturday at Sporting Park, Kansas City, Kan.

The match is set to kick off at 7:30 p.m. and will air locally on 38 The Spot and the Sporting KC television network across the Midwest.

Sporting Kansas City lost its regular season opener to the Seattle Sounders 1-0 last weekend, but followed that up with a 1-0 win over Liga MX leaders Cruz Azul in the first leg of the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals on Wednesday. Homegrown defender Kevin Ellis scored the game’s lone goal and goalkeeper Eric Kronberg recorded his first shutout of 2014 in the victory.

Saturday’s game will be the third in eight days for Peter Vermes’ club. Sporting Kansas City will travel to Mexico City for the second leg of the CCL quarterfinal series on Wednesday and return home to take on the San Jose Earthquakes next Saturday to conclude a stretch of five games in 15 days.

FC Dallas opened the 2014 MLS season with a 3-2 come-from-behind victory over the Montreal Impact on Saturday at Toyota Stadium. Dallas failed to qualify for the MLS Cup Playoffs in 2013 despite earning 20 points through the first two months of last season. During the offseason, FC Dallas acquired two young Designated Players in Andres Escobar and David Texeira. Argentine midfielder Mauro Diaz rounds out the trio of young DP’s on Oscar Pareja’s roster and had a goal and an assist in last weekend’s victory.

Pareja secured his first victory as coach of FC Dallas on Saturday after spending the previous two seasons coaching the Colorado Rapids. The Colombian head coach began his playing career with the New England Revolution before spending 10 seasons with Dallas.

Among the players listed as questionable on FC Dallas’ injury report are Peruvian national team goalkeeper Raul Fernandez (sports hernia) and defenders George John (right knee) and Zach Loyd (right hip strain). All three players missed the club’s regular season opener versus Montreal.

Sporting KC is 11-2-5 in MLS home openers all-time and have not lost a match at home to open the season since April 21, 2009 against Toronto FC.

Fans are encouraged to arrive early on Saturday. The first 10,000 fans to enter Sporting Park will receive a schedule magnet.

For more information, see www.sportingkc.com.

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