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 MLSsoccer.com 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 SportingKC.com 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.
- Story from Sporting KC