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Major League Soccer

Preview: Sporting KC vs St Louis City

Rivalry Season Two



SKC vs StL | Credit: Thad Bell

Sporting Kansas City vs. St. Louis City SC
2024 MLS Regular Season | Match 9
Saturday, April 20th | 7:30 p.m. CT
Children’s Mercy Park | Kansas City
Broadcast: Apple TV
Play-by-Play: Jake Zivin
Analyst: Taylor Twellman


Second-year club St. Louis City SC travels across Missouri to face MLS Original club Sporting Kansas City on Saturday evening. Sporting KC (2-2-4, 10 pts) and St. Louis (2-1-5, 11 pts) sit in 9th and 8th respectively in the Western Conference.

The brief and intense history

The two squads became natural rivals last season with both fan bases already having a natural, pre-existing rivalry. St. Louis came out strong in their inaugural season, setting records for an expansion team while Sporting KC was at the opposite end of fortune, going winless in their first ten games.

St. Louis drew first blood when Kansas City traveled to City Park in May. Sporting KC was still trying to recover from their poor start while re-integrating their two injured Designated Players.  St. Louis came out strong, scoring twice in the first 25 minutes. SKC dominated possession despite some tired legs from a midweek game and travel but was successfully countered by St. Louis with the final score an embarrassing 4-0 in favor of the expansion side.

The next match was in Kansas City in early September. SKC was slowly climbing out of the hole they dug themselves into in the first ten games. St. Louis came out strong and it looked like they were going to continue the domination when Sam Adeniran took on the SKC defense on his own and lasered a strike past Tim Melia for the lead. SKC striker Alan Pulido answered twice later in the first half and the game finished 2-1.

St. Louis again dominated the scoreline when SKC traveled back across the state at the end of September. St. Louis scored four before Wily Agada notched one in stoppage time to prevent the shutout.

As the playoffs started, Sporting KC had just enough points to finish eighth, tied with San Jose.  SKC and the Earthquakes battled to a scoreless draw that was settled in Kansas City’s favor by penalties.

St Louis had earned home-field advantage for the playoffs finishing first in the Western Conference. In an almost Hollywood story season for the city new to professional soccer, it looked like St. Louis was destined to demolish Kansas City again.

Sporting KC turned the tables and surprised the St. Louis fans when they scored first. While the home team responded quickly, SKC added two more in the first half and a fourth in the second. With a 4-1 smash in St. Louis, Sporting KC returned home in the driver’s seat.

St. Louis tried to dominate the match in Kansas City but it was the MLS Original side that led by two goals until a late consolation goal made it 2-1.

Sporting KC fell in the next round of the playoffs in Houston when they came out flat. Some admittedly wrong calls went in Houston’s favor and SKC lost 1-0 to end the 2023 season.


This season has started far differently for both sides. St. Louis kicked off their first season hot, winning their first five and three of those on the road. The expansion team were the beneficiaries of some luck, some bad play and being underestimated by their opponents. Despite that they settled into being an above average team after their hot start.

St. Louis manager Bradley Carnell made the most of his squad. They played direct, high energy soccer and forced their opponents into mistakes. While they faded a bit down the stretch, Carnell’s squad had built enough of a lead and kept earning enough points to finish first in the Western Conference.

Sporting KC was the exact opposite, going winless in their first ten games and only earning three points from three scoreless draws. Vermes preached getting Alan Pulido and Gadi Kinda would make a difference. The two designated players getting healthy, and a big team meeting turned the tide. It was a long climb out of the conference basement and they just barely made the playoffs.

This season the two squads are almost equal on points. St. Louis is facing some injuries and drop in form while Kansas City is struggling to find form, especially late in games when they have “at times” gave away quick goals in just a few minutes.

For St. Louis this is significant drop in form from 2023. SKC may be looking for consistency but are still far ahead of 2023’s start.

What will this match look like?

Carnell’s side is usually at their best when they cede possession but then disrupt opponents. Sporting KC has been their best when they control the possession but that is no longer true all the time. When SKC beat St. Louis last year, they allowed St. Louis to have possession and then countered them.

Sporting KC has scored 14 but allowed 13 while St. Louis has scored 12 and allowed 11. The visitors are winless on the road (0-1-2) while SKC has struggled at home (1-2-2).

Will St. Louis have a confidence boost after they just earned their second win with a 1-0 result over Austin. Sporting KC lost at home (neutral site-ish) 3-2 to Messi and Inter Miami at Arrowhead.


Reports out of St. Lous indicate that Edu Löwen and Njabulo Blom will be listed as out. Dangerous forward Sam Adeniran is training on his own as a result of a dispute with the club.

Sporting KC will be without playoff hero Logan Ndenbe as he recovers from knee surgery last year. Everyone else may be available. The big question is Remi Walter. He hurt his ankle from a late Miami tackle. Vermes stated he might be available and was in training on Thursday.



Referee: Allen Chapman

Assistant ref: Justin Howard

Assistant ref: Diego Blas

4th official: Lukasz Szpala

VAR: Geoff Gambl


Pod preview of the St. Louis match with the Shades of Blue crew plus a special guest.


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