NWSL Matchday 21
Who: Sporting Kansas City (5-9-6, 21 pts) vs Chicago Fire (4-6-8, 20 pts)
When: Saturday, June 24th, 2023 at 7:30 p.m. CT
Where: Children’s Mercy Park| Kansas City
Watch: Apple TV | Free on MLS Season Pass
English Radio | Sports Radio 810 WHB
Spanish Radio | La Grande 1340 AM
Sporting Kansas City hosts the Chicago Fire Saturday evening. The Fire are fresh off a strong victory over the Portland Timbers when former SKC forward Kei Kamara scored in the 83rd minute. Kamara’s goal was his fifth on the season but more importantly, it brought him just one shy of U.S. and MLS legend Landon Donovan (145) for second place on the league’s all-time scoring chart. Kamara has the opportunity to level Donovan’s record versus his former team. Kamara scored 38 goals for Sporting KC between 2009 and 2013.
Alan Pulido is Sporting KC’s leading scorer and has caught fire since coming back from his year-long injury.
Most MLS Goals Scored in June
1. Alan Pulido (SKC), 6 goals
2. Hany Mukhtar (NSH), 4 goals
3. Niko Gioacchini (STL), 4 goals
Most MLS Goals + Assists in June
1. Alan Pulido (SKC), 7 (6G, 1A)
2. Carles Gil (NE), 5 (2G, 3A)
3. Eight players tied with 4
Both teams come into the weekend in eleventh place in their respective conferences. Chicago with 20 points is three points below the playoff line while Sporting KC is just one out of ninth and post-season play.
After an abysmal start for both sides, both started turning it around in May. Chicago’s resurgence started when the Fire fired manager Ezra Hendrickson and Frank Klopas was named interim coach. Klopas previously played for both the Fire and the Kansas City Wizards and had stints managing the Fire and Montreal.
Under Klopas, the Fire have a pair of wins, three draws and three defeats but have started to play more consistently.
Sporting KC suffered from injuries and a lack of confidence but as Pulido, Gadi Kinda and others started getting healthy and gaining fitness the team’s form improved. Sporting KC was one of the best teams in May. In their last ten matches, SKC has just two defeats with five wins and three draws.
Sporting Kansas City
- DEF – Kayden Pierre (Hamstring Injury)
- GK – Tim Melia (Quad Injury)
- DEF – Kortne Ford (Achilles Surgery)
- DEF – Logan Ndenbe (Hamstring Injury)
- DEF – Dany Rosero (One-Game Suspension – Yellow Card Accumulation)
- DEF – Graham Zusi (Hamstring Injury)
- MID – Cam Duke (Concussion)
- FWD – Willy Agada (Tibia Stress Fracture)
Referee: Alex Chilowicz
Assistant ref: Matthew Nelson
Assistant ref: Diego Blas
4th official: JC Griggs
VAR: Luis Guardia