Playoffs - 2020 - Robin Lod & Kei Kamara - Minnesota United

Slowly but surely the Audi 2020 MLS Cup Playoffs field is being whittled down. Five remain. By Thursday at midnight, it’ll be four. This postseason just keeps getting better and better.

All eyes turn to Kansas City for Thursday's second Western Conference Semifinal.

Sporting Kansas City vs. Minnesota United 

Thurs., 8:30 pm ET | FOX, Fox Deportes in US; TSN, TVA Sports in Canada

Sporting Kansas City: How much run does Alan Pulido have in him?

Hmmmm … available? That could mean two things. It could mean Pulido is ready to start! It probably doesn’t given he’s a little less than a month out from a knee sprain. It could mean Pulido could come off the bench! That’s probably what it means, and Kansas City can still create chances without him, so that’s what I’ll be expecting.

The Mexican changes the SKC attack because he’s both their best pure finisher and their best creator — of space for his teammates via his movement, both underneath and in behind, and on the ball as well. Ultimately, though, it’s still the back six who will decide this one in my opinion. This is not the same Minnesota team that came to Children’s Mercy and lost 1-0 in September. They’re going to find a way to pull those center backs around and be dangerous.

I’m thankful for … the underdog battle between Peter Vermes and Adrian Heath. At this point, I’ve been told I don’t believe in either team so much, that I’m beginning to believe in both! You’re both the favorites now!

Minnesota United: Will Adrian Heath run it back or start Kei Kamara?

I know Kei would be up UP for this game, but I’d stick with the false nine in Robin Lod.

First of all, the lineup just won you a playoff game. Second, I think Sporting KC’s center backs want none of Kevin Molino, Robin Lod and Emanuel Reynoso. Those are matchups — quick passes, quick feet and unpredictable movement — that Minnesota wins. Kamara is a more straightforward assignment.

I’m thankful for … Kevin Molino. If you are a long-time listener of Extratime, you know how I feel about "Hot Boy." His touches: silky. His balance and footwork: like a dancer. His career and reputation: much bigger if not for untimely injury. Emanuel Reynoso makes him even better. Bebelo dictates play and is a reliable and creative one-two partner. UNLEASH HOT BOY!