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Preview: Sporting KC vs Vancouver Whitecaps

Preview: Sporting KC hosts Vancouver Whitecaps



Daniel Salloi vs Vancouver in 2021 playoffs | Thad Bell

NWSL Matchday 22

Who:  Sporting Kansas City (5-10-6, 21 pts) vs Vancouver Whitecaps (6-5-7, 25 pts)

When: Saturday, July 1st, 2023 at 7:30 p.m. CT (7:39 kickoff)

Where: Children’s Mercy Park| Kansas City

Watch:  Apple TV

English Radio | Sports Radio 810 WHB

Spanish Radio | La Grande 1340 AM

Sporting Kansas City hosts the Vancouver Whitecaps Saturday evening. The Whitecaps have only one loss in their last six matches with three wins and two draws. Vanni Sartini’s squad is fresh off a 3-2 win at LAFC. Vancouver’s leading scorer Brian White added his seventh of the season while their second leading scorer Ryan Gauld added a goal and two assists.

After being one of the hottest teams in May through the middle of June (5 wins, 2 draws and a loss), Sporting KC has faltered recently. I, the last three they have lost two at home and earned a stoppage-time draw at the Galaxy.

Sporting KC manager Petr Vermes acknowledged that drop off in form. “We did lose momentum, especially in two of the games, the two games at home we lost momentum. We are the ones that put ourselves here and we are the ones that have to find a way out of it.”

Looking forward and how to get back in form, Vermes stated, “I don’t think it’s a game at a time, I think it’s forty-five minutes at a time. If you can take forty-five minutes and do well with forty-five minutes, you get your break and talk about some adjustments for the second half and you go after the next forty-five minutes and you keep building that way. That is as calculated and pragmatic as you have to be going forward.”


Sporting KC has not won in the last three meetings between the two sides. SKC drew 1-1 on June 3rd when both game captains scored, Pulido in the 20th minute and Ryan Gauld on a penalty in the 88th. The two meetings in 2022 were both 1-0 wins for Vancouver. Sporting KC did not knock Vancouver out of the playoffs in 2021.

Head-to-head all-time, SKC has 12 wins compared to Vancouver’s 8 with a combined 6 draws.

Coach’s thoughts on the opponent:

When asked about Vancouver, Vermes responded, “It’s the same as when we played at their place, they had a lot of energy, they bring the energy. The other is at times they can be very direct but at other times they are confident enough to keep the ball so they can play both ways. They are a good team so it’s no wonder they are getting results. I say it week after week, everybody you play you have to be ready to play. This is another one of those games where we have to be on top of our game as well.”


Sporting Kansas City


DEF – Logan Ndenbe (Hamstring Injury)
DEF – Kayden Pierre (Hamstring Injury)


GK – Tim Melia (Quad Injury)
DEF – Kortne Ford (Achilles Surgery)
DEF – Graham Zusi (Hamstring Injury)
FWD – Willy Agada (Tibia Stress Fracture)

Notes: Ndenbe now available but Vermes said he would be reluctant to give him a lot of minutes yet with just rejoining full training this week. Pierre as been back in full training for second week but has been out longer he has a good foundation but probably needs another week. Agada running, Zusi may have started running.

Melia has been doing catching drills to stay sharp. Says he could play if needed.

Vancouver Whitecaps

Tristan Blackmon – right heel contusion

Russell Teibert – left knee pain

Brian White – hip strain


International Duty:

Ali Ahmed – Canada
Javain Brown – Jamaica
Julian Gressel – United States

Notes: Vancouver has signed Giovanni Aguilar from their MLS Next Pro team on a short-term contract.



Referee: Malik Badawi

Assistant Referee #1: Cameron Blanchard

Assistant Referee #2: Ian McKay

4th Official: Mark Allatin

VAR: Pierre-Luc Lauziere

Assistant VAR: Jeremy Hanson

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