ExLink - 09/30/18 - SKCvRSL

Sporting Kansas City vs. Real Salt Lake | 2018 MLS Match Preview

Sporting Kansas City vs. Real Salt Lake
2018 MLS Regular Season — Week 31

Children’s Mercy Park — Kansas City
Sept. 30 — 5 pm ET
WATCH: FS1, MLS LIVE on DAZN (Canada)

It’s another matchup with playoff implications as Sporting Kansas City look for a win over rival Real Salt Lake in the Week 31 finale at Children’s Mercy Park on Sunday.

Sporting are coming off a 2-0 loss at the Philadelphia Union that knocked them off their perch atop the Western Conference, while fifth-place Real Salt Lake, one point ahead of the Seattle Sounders, fell by the same scoreline at Atlanta United.

This is the second meeting between the Western Conference foes this year, with Real Salt Lake winning 4-2 at Rio Tinto Stadium on July 4.

After Daniel Salloi opened the scoring in the 20th minute, Jefferson Savarino, Corey Baird and Sebastian Saucedo struck before halftime to give RSL a 3-1 lead. Ike Opara pulled Sporting to within a goal in the 64th minute before Luis Silva iced the win with a penalty kick In the 10th minute of stoppage time.

Sporting Kansas City

Sporting Kansas City (15-8-6) suffered a 2-0 defeat to the Union at rainy Talen Energy Stadium last Sunday and fell to second place in the West, two points behind FC Dallas.

Jay Simpson broke the stalemate in the 71st minute and netted his second goal one minute before full time to seal the win for the Union.

“I don’t think the score is indicative of the result, I think if we had 20 more minutes we would have scored today,” Peter Vermes said. “For some reason we just couldn’t hit the back of the net. We created a lot of great chances, we were shooting but it felt like we just weren’t finishing."

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: None
  • International duty: None
  • Injury Report: OUT: D - Jimmy Medranda (knee surgery), M - Cristian Lobato (quad injury); QUESTIONABLE: F - Diego Rubio (knee injury), F - Khiry Shelton (knee 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 — Johnny Russell, Krisztian Nemeth, Daniel Salloi

  • Notes: Sporting Kansas City have conceded just one headed goal this season. Every other team in the league has conceded at least four headed goals this year. … Sporting Kansas City have scored 30 goals in 14 home games this season, tied for their most since 2010.

Real Salt Lake

A four-match unbeaten streak came to an end for Real Salt Lake (13-11-6), which lost to Atlanta United, 2-0, Saturday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

Julian Gressel put the hosts in front in the 37th minute and Hector Villalba tacked on an insurance tally in the 61st minute before Jefferson Savarino hit the post for RSL.

“Aside from the loss, the mood was great,” Mike Petke said of his side’s return to training Tuesday. “Rewatching the game, and I know a lot of the guys rewatched the game, there was a lot of good stuff we did in that game. Atlanta’s a beast.”

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: M - Kyle Beckerman, D - Justen Glad, D - Brooks Lennon, D - Marcelo Silva, M - Sunny
  • International duty: None
  • Injury Report: OUT: D - Tony Beltran (right knee surgery), M - Jordan Allen (knee surgery), GK - Alex Horwath (Achilles surgery), D - David Horst (Achilles surgery); QUESTIONABLE: D - Demar Phillips (hamstring injury)

Projected Starting XI
(4-4-2, right to left)
GK: Nick Rimando — Brooks Lennon, Marcelo Silva, Justen Glad, Aaron Herrera — Jefferson Savarino, Sunny, Kyle Beckerman, Joao Plata — Albert Rusnak, Damir Kreilach

  • Notes: In the 14 games that Sunny has started for Real Salt Lake this year, they average 1.9 goals for and 1.4 against (1.6 PPG). In the 16 games he has not started, those numbers swap to 1.4 goals for and 1.9 against (1.4 PPG). … Real Salt Lake’s loss to Atlanta last weekend snapped a four-game unbeaten streak in league play (3W-1D). They have not lost consecutive MLS games since April (21 games since).

All-Time Series

Officials

Referee: Kevin Stott
Assistant Referees: Jason White, Jeremy Hanson
4th Official: Marcos DeOliveira
VAR: Edvin Jurisevic

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