Sporting KC season finale Sunday at Dallas

Sporting Kansas City will close out the club’s 2022 campaign this Sunday on the road against FC Dallas at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas.

All seven Western Conference clashes will kick off at 4:18 p.m. on the final day of the regular season – preceded by seven Eastern Conference match-ups starting at 1:55 p.m. – and will hold a live watchalong show to capture all of the Decision Day drama on the league’s YouTube and Twitch channels.

Sporting’s showdown with FC Dallas will air live on 38 The Spot with three hours of coverage beginning at 4 p.m. The telecast will mark the end of an era for local television broadcasts in MLS as the league has partnered with Apple to stream matches through the Apple TV app from 2023 through 2032.

Sunday’s match will also stream live on and in the Sporting KC app for viewers in Kansas and Missouri (excluding the St. Louis area per MLS policy), as well as ESPN+ for out-of-market subscribers, in addition to radio coverage on ESPN KC 94.5 FM and La Grande 1340 AM. Sporting KC Pub Partners across the Midwest will show the match, including an enhanced watch party at Blind Box Barbecue (1601 Village West Parkway) in Kansas City, Kansas.

While Sporting KC has been eliminated from postseason contention, FC Dallas have secured a berth in the Audi 2022 MLS Cup Playoffs under first-year head coach Nico Estevez. A draw or win on Sunday would clinch a home playoff match and the club’s first top-three finish in the West since winning the Supporters’ Shield in 2016, whereas a loss could see FC Dallas slip to fifth in the standings. Based on Decision Day results, Sporting can finish as high as 17th or as low as 24th in the overall table which will determine the club’s position in a variety of MLS roster mechanisms.

Sporting enters Sunday’s season finale on a strong run of form with wins in each of the team’s past three matches and riding a seven-game unbeaten run (5-0-2) which stands as the longest active streak in MLS. A road result at FC Dallas would see Sporting conclude the campaign with the best finish to a regular season in team history.

Defensively, Sporting KC has four shutouts in the last six matches including a 1-0 victory over Seattle last Sunday. Willy Agada scored the game-winning goal and now has eight goals in his last eight starts, moving the 23-year-old into a tie with club captain Johnny Russell for the team’s Golden Boot.

Fellow forward Daniel Salloi – who assisted Agada’s goal last week and leads the team with 12 goal contributions — sits one behind with seven regular season goals to go along with five assists. Salloi and Russell each have six regular season goals in their careers against FC Dallas, which is tied with Preki for most of any KC player in the all-time series.

In addition to the Golden Boot, Agada is also in contention to break a club record that has stood for more than 20 years since Miklos Molnar scored 12 times in 17 regular season appearances in 2000 to set the bar for the best goals per game ratio in a single season by a KC player. Currently, Agada’s eight goals in 12 regular season matches has him atop the chart with 0.73 goals per game – narrowly ahead of Molnar’s mark of 0.71 goals per game.

One other Sporting KC player could also write his name into the record books on Sunday. Since Major League Soccer expanded the regular season to 34 matches in 2011, only two SKC field players have started in all 34 matches in a single season: Ilie Sanchez and Graham Zusi in 2018. Midfielder Remi Walter is poised to accomplish the feat as the Frenchman ranks second in MLS in distance covered (220.4 miles) and third among field players in recoveries (246).

After going winless in the club’s first seven regular season finales away from home between 1996 and 2006, Sporting Kansas City has won five of the team’s last seven regular season finales on the road dating back to 2007 when KC defeated FC Dallas. Sporting prevailed in each of its two visits to Toyota Stadium in 2021 — against an FC Dallas side that hasn’t lost more than one regular season game to any other opponent at home over the last five seasons — and in the most recent meeting, SKC eliminated FC Dallas from this year’s U.S. Open Cup with a 4-2 come-from-behind victory in extra time in May.

While Sporting is unbeaten in seven straight matches, FC Dallas enters with a six-game home unbeaten run and the best defense in the Western Conference with only 36 goals conceded on the year. Maarten Paes has the second best goals against average among MLS starting goalkeepers and has helped the club to its greatest year-over-year improvement, going from 33 points in 2021 (7-15-12) to 50 points to date in 2022 (13-9-11).

FC Dallas forward Jesus Ferreira has tied the club record with 18 goals this season and is the top scoring American in Major League Soccer. Fellow Designated Player Alan Velasco has contributed six goals and six assists in his debut season — including goals in back-to-back matches before missing the team’s last three games due to injury — and the FC Dallas midfield features U.S. Men’s National Team member Paul Arriola and summer signing Sebastian Lletget.

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Sporting wins final 2022 home game, beats Sounders 1-0

Forwards Johnny Russell and Willy Agada were all smiles as Agada got up after scoring the game-winning goal in Sporting Kansas City’s 1-0 victory over Seattle, capping a streak of six consecutive home wins. (Photo copyright 2022 by Brian Turrel)

by Brian Turrel

Sporting Kansas City closed its home schedule on a high note, winning 1-0 over the Seattle Sounders on Sunday afternoon at Children’s Mercy Park and booting the Sounders from playoff contention, the end of an impressive 13-year streak.

Despite Kansas City’s lowly position in the standings, the home team had the better chances all afternoon, forcing Seattle goalkeeper Stefan Frei to make 10 saves against only one for Sporting’s John Pulskamp.

Forward Willy Agada was responsible for most of the danger up front, taking crosses from Johnny Russell and Daniel Salloi on the wings. In a notable sequence in the 29th minute, Agada headed a cross from Russell on goal and then fired back the rebound. Frei made a diving stab to parry the header and then scrambled into position for a body block on the rebound shot.

Agada broke through in the 42nd minute, picking up a cross from Salloi, taking one touch to settle the ball, and then turning on it to blast it inside the far post.

Sporting kept up the pressure through the late stages of the game, fending off Seattle’s attempts to find an equalizer, and bringing on Felipe Hernandez and Kayden Pierre for fresh legs. Kortne Ford entered in the 77th minute for defensive reinforcement to protect the lead.

Kansas City manager Peter Vermes will have some difficult decisions to make in the off season. Fan favorites Graham Zusi and Roger Espinoza are out of contract and at the tail end of their careers.

After the match, Vermes talked about the team’s great late-season form. “It’s always good to leave a last impression to start the next year,” the veteran coach said. “So the win, the shutout, the way we played, it’s all very important to how we finish here but more importantly, to how we go into next year.”

Also, designated players Alan Pulido and Gadi Kinda will return from missing a season due to injury and expect to find playing time in an offensive corps that found success in their absence.

After the match, Vermes talked about the team’s great late-season form.

“It’s always good to leave a last impression to start the next year,” the veteran coach said. “So the win, the shutout, the way we played, it’s all very important to how we finish here but more importantly, to how we go into next year.”

Sporting Kansas City wraps up the 2022 season next Sunday on the road against FC Dallas.

Forward Johnny Russell headed the ball in front of the Seattle goal. (Photo copyright 2022 by Brian Turrel)
Forward Willy Agada turned on a cross from Daniel Salloi and hit it inside the far post for a score. (Photo copyright 2022 by Brian Turrel)
Seattle defender Yeimar Gomez Andrade slid in to disrupt a run from defender Ben Sweat. (Photo copyright 2022 by Brian Turrel)
Forward Willy Agada headed a shot on goal in the first half. (Photo copyright 2022 by Brian Turrel)
Seattle goalkeeper Stefan Frei came off the line to intercept a run from forward Daniel Salloi. (Photo copyright 2022 by Brian Turrel)
Forward Daniel Salloi took a shot on goal in the second half. (Photo copyright 2022 by Brian Turrel)
After the game, forward Daniel Salloi signed a girl’s cast, then a boy’s shoe, then a shirt, a poster, a hat, an arm and several other items. (Photo copyright 2022 by Brian Turrel)

Sporting KC’s Fan Appreciation match to be Sunday

Sporting Kansas City will take the field at Children’s Mercy Park for the final time in 2022 when the team plays host to the Seattle Sounders on Sunday in the club’s annual Fan Appreciation match.

Kick off is set for 4:25 p.m. and tickets for the match are available online without fees at, including recently released standing room only tickets for $22.

The Western Conference clash will be nationally televised on FS1 and will be live streamed on and the FOX Sports App. Radio coverage will air live on SiriusXM FC, ESPN Kansas City 94.5 FM and La Grande 1340 AM.

The first 5,000 fans in attendance on Sunday will receive a Sporting KC key chain and Sunday’s home finale will feature several more Fan Appreciation festivities.

Riding a six-match unbeaten run – the longest in the Western Conference – and a five-match home winning streak, Sporting will take on a Seattle Sounders FC side on Sunday that won the Concacaf Champions League in May, however is winless in its last eight MLS road matches (0-7-1) and in a must-win situation to stave off playoff elimination.

Two of the most successful clubs in the past decade of American soccer with four major domestic trophies apiece, Sporting has been mathematically eliminated from postseason contention with two matches remaining while Seattle sits five points back of playoff position and on the brink of missing the playoffs for the first time in the club’s 14-year history.

Sporting has won four of the last six meetings with the Sounders dating back to 2019, however Seattle won the most recent matchup by 3-0 in June and also prevailed in the team’s last visit to Children’s Mercy Park with a 2-1 win last September. The pair of victories have given Seattle the all-time lead in the regular season series with an 11-9-4 record.

Club captain Johnny Russell has six goals and an assist in eight career regular season appearances against Seattle, with his six goals in the match-up tied for his most versus any MLS opponent. Recently named the team’s MVP for 2022, Russell leads the club’s Golden Boot race with eight regular season goals on the campaign – one ahead of fellow forwards Willy Agada and Daniel Salloi.

Seattle’s roster, which features a pair of former SKC teammates in defender Jimmy Medranda and midfielder Kelyn Rowe (suspended on Sunday), is headlined by a plethora of MLS All-Stars in Nicolas Lodeiro, Jordan Morris, Alex Roldan, Cristian Roldan, Nouhou, Yeimar, Joao Paulo and Raul Ruidiaz. However, Paulo suffered a torn ACL in May and Ruidiaz – the team’s leading scorer with nine goals – was injured recently while on international duty with Peru.

Similarly, Sporting remains without designated players Alan Pulido and Gadi Kinda due to season-long knee injuries, while veteran goalkeeper Tim Melia (hamstring) has missed the last two months of action and Graham Zusi (quad) is questionable after being sidelined for the past four matches.

Sporting has enjoyed a resurgence since the start of August with the best winning percentage (.750), most goals per match (2.63) and most shutouts (3) of any team in the Western Conference. Historically, Sporting is 14-3-5 all-time in regular season home finales – including a 7-2-2 mark at Children’s Mercy Park – and the club is unbeaten in 11 straight October home matches (9-0-2) dating back to 2015.

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