Revenge! Sporting KC beat St. Louis CITY for "more than just 3 points"


"It's a little bit more than just three points, for sure."

Sporting Kansas City manager and sporting director Peter Vermes didn't shy away from the importance of their 2-1 win over St. Louis CITY SC on Saturday night at Children's Mercy Park.

The result helped Sporting get revenge for a 4-0 defeat in May at CITYPARK, adding fuel to the fire of a budding, Midwest-centric rivalry with the league's newest club. The hosts drew a regular-season record 21,650 crowd (stadium capacity) against the expansion team.

"We really haven't had a rivalry\] for a long time," said Vermes. "[Houston was a big one for us in the early years, then it moved on to Chicago and that kinda went away.

" ... This is building up to be a good rivalry. I think it's great for the future of the league. Because when you have rivalries, it draws a lot more attention to the game, and this league continues to grow in a good way."

Pulido stars

Crucial for Sporting was the performance of striker Alan Pulido. The Designated Player has been among the most lethal attackers in the league, but has been hampered by injuries since arriving in 2020 from Liga MX giants Chivas Guadalajara. His brace brings his season-long total to 12 goals, four more than any of his prior seasons in MLS.

"I am very happy for these two goals," said the Mexican international, who missed the entirety of 2022 with a knee injury. "We go together. I cannot score if the team is not working in the same moment. I am very happy, but more happy for the victory, not for me. ... It's a very good night because I scored and the team won."

Playoff outlook

The win continues Sporting's strong form as they look to rise into the Western Conference portion of the Audi 2023 MLS Cup Playoffs. They've won both of their matches since exiting Leagues Cup in the Round of 32, and are now just two points out of the playoffs in 11th place (top nine teams qualify) with seven games to go.

As SKC look to further ascend the table and put behind their poor start to the season (10 games winless), Vermes isn't in the mood to jinx anything.

"I don't want to speak to that," he shrugged. "I'll just say that last week was a very important win, tonight was a very important win."

"The whole point is that you have to do everything you can to get into the playoffs," Vermes continued. "And how you do that is you gotta rack up points. So far, so good since we've come out of Leagues Cup."