ExLink - 08/25/18 - SKCvMIN

Sporting Kansas City vs. Minnesota United FC | 2018 MLS Match Preview

Sporting Kansas City vs. Minnesota United FC
2018 MLS Regular Season — Week 26

Children’s Mercy Park — Kansas City
August 25 - 8:30 pm ET


Sporting Kansas City can move atop the Western Conference with a win, while Minnesota United FC are trying to snap a four-match losing streak and move closer to the playoff line Saturday night at Children’s Mercy Park.

Sporting have won three consecutive games — without conceding a goal — while the Loons have lost three of their last four, including a 2-0 defeat at FC Dallas Saturday night.

This is the third meeting between the Western Conference foes this season, with the sides playing to a 1-1 draw on May 20 in Minneapolis, and SKC winning 4-1 at home two weeks later.

Sporting Kansas City

Sporting Kansas City (12-6-6) appear to have found their mojo again, defeating the Portland Timbers, 3-0, Saturday night at home.

Diego Rubio struck for a brace in a nine-minute span in the first half and Johnny Russell added an insurance goal in the 89th minute before making one birthday girl very happy.

“I think from the very beginning of the game, we were actually very good with the ball,” coach Peter Vermes said. “We never really gave the ball in critical areas of the field. I thought we had a great aggressiveness in and around the box. When we got our chances, we finished. Everybody we brought into the game had a lot of energy, which really helped the team a lot.”

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: D - Ike Opara
  • International duty: None
  • Injury Report: OUT: D - Jimmy Medranda (knee surgery), F - Khiry Shelton (right MCL tear, lateral meniscus tear), D/M - Brad Evans (Achilles injury), M - Cristian Lobato (quad injury)

Projected Starting XI
(4-3-3, right to left)
GK: Tim Melia — Graham Zusi, Ike Opara, Matt Besler, Seth Sinovic — Roger Espinoza, Ilie Sanchez, Felipe Gutierrez — Gerso Fernandes, Diego Rubio, Daniel Salloi

Minnesota United FC

Minnesota (9-14-2) struggled to create chances without an injured Darwin Quintero, and dropped a 2-0 decision to FC Dallas Saturday night in Frisco.

After the match was delayed nearly two-and-a-half hours due to inclement weather, Maynor Figueroa opened the scoring just before halftime and Michael Barrios tacked on a second goal in the 57th minute.

"It’s not ideal, it’s not ideal for them as well," coach Adrian Heath said. "The fact that they’re at home, it’s probably a bit more comfortable for them — they’ve got everything they need. But I wouldn’t use that as an excuse."

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: D - Michael Boxall, D - Francisco Calvo
  • International duty: None
  • Injury Report: OUT: M - Sam Cronin (cervicogenic dysfunction), M - Kevin Molino (torn left ACL), M - Ethan Finlay (torn ACL), M - Maximiliano (right knee injury); QUESTIONABLE: F - Darwin Quintero (calf injury)

Projected Starting XI
(3-1-4-2, right to left)
GK: Bobby Shuttleworth — Michael Boxall, Brent Kallman, Francisco Calvo — Collen Warner — Miguel Ibarra, Ibson, Rasmus Schuller, Eric Miller — Angelo Rodriguez, Romario Ibarra

All-Time Series

  • Overall: Sporting Kansas City 2 win, 9 goals … Minnesota United FC 1 win, 3 goals … 2 draw
  • At Kansas City: Sporting 2 win, 7 goals … Minnesota United FC 0 wins, 2 goals … 0 draws
  • Last meeting at Kansas City: Sporting Kansas City 4, Minnesota United FC 1 (June 3, 2018)


Referee: Robert Sibiga
Assistant Referees: Adam Wienckowski, Kevin Klinger
4th Official: Fotis Bazakos
VAR: Kevin Terry Jr.