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Minnesota United FC vs. Sporting Kansas City | 2017 MLS Match Preview

Minnesota United FC vs. Sporting Kansas City
2017 MLS Regular Season
TCF Bank Stadium – Minneapolis, Minn.
Saturday, Oct. 7 – 8 pm ET
WATCH: MLS LIVE

Minnesota United FC will look to notch another milestone in their MLS history on Saturday, hosting Sporting Kansas City with a shot of picking up two wins in a week for the first time. The Loons registered a shock 3-2 victory over fellow expansion side Atlanta United FC on Wednesday, in which Minnesota were down 2-1 late, but two goals after the 89th minute led the visitors to the upset victory.

Both teams will be missing key contributors for the match, with the international break pulling players away, but Minnesota may get an edge on that front, with three key starters for Sporting (Matt Besler, Benny Feilhaber and Graham Zusi) called away as part of a contingent of seven call-ups. Hope is not lost for Sporting, however, as two of Minnesota United's missing are defensive starters: Michael Boxall and Francisco Calvo.

Still, Sporting KC will have their work cut out for them at TCF Bank Stadium on Saturday. Minnesota have nothing to lose at this point, and everything to gain, as another win would bring them within four points of the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. In contrast, Kansas City are on track to qualify for the 2017 Audi MLS Cup Playoffs, but haven't yet clinched their spot, and with how tight it's been, the pressure could well be on Peter Vermes' side. Will his available players rise to the occasion, or will Minnesota make this a week to remember?

Minnesota United FC

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: M Collin Marin
  • International Duty: Michael Boxall (NZL), Francisco Calvo (CRC), Kevin Molino (TRI), Johan Venegas (CRC), Jermaine Taylor (JAM)
  • Injury Report: OUT: M Bernardo Anor (leg), M/D Thomas de Villardi (Achilles), M Sam Cronin (head); QUESTIONABLE: Marc Burch (left thigh)

Projected Starting XI
(4-3-3, right to left)

GK: Bobby Shuttleworth – Jerome Thiesson, Brent Kallman, Vadim Demidov, Marc Burch – Miguel Ibarra, Collin Martin, Ibson – Sam Nicholson, Christian Ramirez, Ethan Finlay

Notes: Christian Ramirez has 14 goals this season, tied for third-most in MLS history for a player on an MLS expansion team...In his last two games, Sam Nicholson has recorded his first MLS career goal and first MLS career assist.

Sporting Kansas City

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: None
  • International Duty: Matt Besler (USA), Benny Feilhaber (USA), James Musa (NZL), Soni Mustivar (HAI), Kevin Oliveira (CPV), Soony Saad (LIB), Graham Zusi (USA)
  • Injury Report: OUT – F Cameron Porter (leg/ankle)

Projected Starting XI
(4-3-3, right to left)

GK: Tim Melia – Seth Sinovic, Erik Palmer-Brown, Ike Opara, Saad Abdul-Salaam – Jimmy Medranda, Ilie Sanchez, Roger Espinoza – Cristian Lobato, Diego Rubio, Gerso Fernandes

Notes: Sporting KC have been shut out 11 times this season, tied for second-most in the league.

All-Time Series

This is the third meeting all-time between the teams in MLS play, as they have split the series so far, with the home side winning each time.

  • Overall: Minnesota 1 win (2 goals) … Kansas City 1 win (3 goals) … Ties 0
  • At MIN: Minnesota 1 win (2 goals) ... Kansas City 0 wins (0 goals) ... Ties 0

Referees

Referee: Jose Carlos Rivero
Assistant Referees: Eric Boria, Felisha Mariscal
Fourth Official: Sorin Stoica
Video Assistant Referee (VAR): Kevin Terry, Jr.