Sporting KC to battle Dallas in matinee Saturday in KCK

First-place Sporting Kansas City (6-3-2, 20 points) will play FC Dallas (4-2-4, 16 points) at 2:30 p.m. Saturday at Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas City, Kansas.

Live match coverage will begin nationwide at 2:30 p.m. on Univision and TUDN during National Hispanic Heritage Month.

Tickets for the Western Conference clash between the pair of MLS charter clubs can be purchased online at SeatGeek.com as Sporting KC plays the club’s 200th match at the world-class venue with comprehensive health and safety protocols in place for a reduced-capacity crowd of 18 percent.

In addition to the nationally televised Spanish-language broadcasts, FOX Sports Kansas City and FOX Sports Midwest Plus will broadcast three hours of on-site commentary from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. on Saturday. Live streams will be available to viewers on Twitter and FOX Sports GO, as well as local radio coverage on Sports Radio 810 WHB and La Grande 1340 AM.

Sporting Kansas City vaulted to first place in the ultra-competitive Western Conference with a 1-0 victory over Minnesota United FC on Sunday, courtesy of a late game-winner from Johnny Russell and a strong defensive performance in which the Loons were held without a shot on goal for the first time in their 114-game MLS history.

Sporting will now continue a three-game homestand as the 2020 campaign reaches its midway point in Week 12 of the abbreviated 23-game MLS regular season.

FC Dallas won just two of its first eight games in 2020 – and did not participate in the MLS is Back Tournament in Florida – but has found its rhythm in the past week with back-to-back home wins, beating rivals Houston by a 2-1 scoreline on Saturday before Santiago Mosquera’s hat trick lifted Dallas to a 4-1 win over Colorado on Wednesday.

With six points in five days, FC Dallas is now fourth in the West and is the only team in the conference to emerge victorious in its past two outings.

Saturday’s showdown will serve as a rematch of the 1-1 draw between the two sides on Sept. 2 at Children’s Mercy Park, which saw Franco Jara and Khiry Shelton trade first-half goals as Sporting outshot Dallas by a 22-5 margin.

Iowa native Kyle Zobeck made his MLS debut in net for FC Dallas that night, replacing Jimmy Maurer in the first half due to injury, and the former 2013 MLS SuperDraft pick has since started each of the last three games for the Western Conference’s stingiest defense.

As indicated by the last meeting, the regular season series between the MLS originals is deadlocked at 25-25-13 through 63 meetings dating back to Kansas City’s first ever road match in April 1996. However, Sporting is 8-2-3 against Dallas in its last 13 home games across all competitions – highlighted by a 10-game unbeaten run from 2012-2018 – despite going 0-2-1 in the most recent three encounters in KC.

Saturday’s splendid forecast calls for 72 degrees and sunny skies throughout the mid-day match. Across all competitions, Sporting boasts an 18-0-9 record in 27 all-time home matches at Children’s Mercy Park that have kicked off at 4 p.m. or earlier.

While Sporting aims to keep that run going in the race for first place, below are four additional statistical milestones of potential note on Saturday:

• Sporting’s 11-game scoring streak is one shy of matching the club record for most consecutive games without being shutout to start a season.
• Vermes is one shy of the 150th regular season win of his coaching career, an achievement reached by four previous MLS managers.
• Saturday will be Sporting’s 200th match at Children’s Mercy Park (including friendlies) since the stadium opened on June 9, 2011.
• Sporting is one shy of the team’s 250th home win in club history across all competitions.

SportingStyle locations will be selling Kick Childhood Cancer retail items, including limited-edition scarves and beanies, in support of The Victory Project and Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. For every beanie sold, Sporting KC will donate a beanie to Children’s Mercy Hospital for patients battling cancer.

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