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Sporting KC v Minnesota United: Preview, Injuries & Predictions

Sporting Kansas City hit the road for a two-game mini road trip. First up? Minnesota United who KC have had great success against.



Michael Boxall stretching Russell's hamstring (probably). | Credit: Thad Bell

Sporting KC @ Minnesota United

When: Saturday, April 27, 2024 at 7:30 PM CT (7:40 kickoff)

Where: Allianz Field

How to Watch/Stream: Apple MLS Season Pass

2024 is not 2023 for Sporting Kansas City. We all know how tough of a start that 2023 was as SKC went 0-7-3 through their first 10 games. They had a measly three points and three goals through that stretch.

Through just nine games in 2024, Sporting KC are 2-2-5 (11 points) and have scored 17 (!!) goals. While it’s dramatically better than 2023, that was the worst start in team history. It’s a low bar to clear.

One can’t help but think Sporting KC should be in a far better position than they are now (10th in the Western Conference). Despite only having two wins this season, they have actually led eight out of nine games. The only game they didn’t lead was the LAFC game which ended in a 0-0 draw. Of those eight leads, they blew six of them. That’s 14 dropped points, 12 of which came at home.

While it’s unrealistic, if they had those 14 points, they would be sitting on 25 points and seven points clear of both Inter Miami and the LA Galaxy in the Supporters Shield race. To steal a line from my colleague Ben Gartland, if those 14 points were a team, they’d be in 5th place in the West, which is where Saturday’s opponent Minnesota United sit.

It’s hard to imagine SKC won’t look back at this stretch with regrets. Last year, they were bad because they were missing a ton of players, among other reasons. This year, they’ve been relatively healthy. However, they haven’t used their roster. They’ve used the fewest players in MLS (18), have the oldest team (29.7) and have the most unused subs. It’s hard to imagine a summer swoon isn’t coming. This team can’t afford a swoon.

What’s new for Minnesota in 2024?

Probably the biggest change in Minnesota is the team moving on from coach Adrian Heath, which technically happened last year late in the season. He’s been replaced by a new CSO Khaled El-Ahmad, and they just brought in a coach (yes, during the season) in Eric Ramsay who was previously a top assistant coach for Manchester United in the English Premier League. They haven’t made a ton of roster moves yet, but they are getting more out of their current roster than Heath.

OUT: The biggest ‘out’ is still on the roster. Emanuel Reynoso is missing. Earlier this month he missed a green card appointment and is stuck in Argentina. It’s the third time in the last two years he’s simply been missing.

“Emanuel Reynoso did not attend his recent green card appointment, and he remains in Argentina. We do not have an updated timeline for his return and have no additional comment at this time. Our entire focus is on the players and staff who are here,” Khaled El-Ahmad, MNUFC’s chief soccer officer, said in a statement on April 9th.

Other notable names that are gone are Ismael Tajouri-Shradi, Jan Gregus and Bakaye Dibassy, all of whom had their options declined. Long standing CB Brent Kallman is out of contract. The team also loaned out two defenders, Ethan Bristow (Stockport County [EFL League Two]) and Mikael Marques (Västerås SK [Sweeden])

IN: There aren’t significant minutes from any of the winter signings Minnesota made. Midfielder Alejandro Bran has the most minutes (216). He arrived on loan from CS Herediano (Costa Rica). The next largest contribution comes from defender Hugo Bacharach (90 minutes) who was a SuperDraft pick. However, he tore his Meniscus and is out 6-8 weeks.

CB Victor Eriksson was expected to be one of the club’s bigger acquisitions. He played for IFK Värnamo (Sweeden) previously but only has one appearance for six minutes. It was thought he may compete for a starting CB spot.

Kansas City’s Form

  • March 23rd vs. LA Galaxy – 2-3 Loss
  • March 30th @ Toronto FC – 3-1 Win
  • April 7th vs. Portland Timbers – 3-3 Draw
  • April 13th vs. Inter Miami – 2-3 Loss
  • April 20th vs. St. Louis City – 3-3 Draw

Five games, five leads, four of which were at home, and only one win. And that win was on the road. Maybe the road is just what KC needs?

Minnesota’s Recent Form

  • March 19th vs. St. Patrick’s United – 1-0 Win (friendly)
  • March 30th @ Philadelphia Union – 0-2 Loss
  • April 6th vs. Real Salt Lake – 1-1 Draw
  • April 13th vs. Houston Dynamo – 1-2 Loss
  • April 21st @ Charlotte FC – 3-0 Win

There is a lot of talk in MLS circles about Minnesota United being ‘hot,’ but they just have one win in their last four in league play. Before this series of games, they did win three of their first four, but they’ve slumped slightly since.

Injury/Availability Report

Official injury reports aren’t available until matchday minus one, so here are last week’s reports sprinkled in with anything else we’ve learned through the week. Come back Friday for updates. 

Updated: 4/27/2024

Sporting KC:

  • OUT – Logan Ndenbe (Torn ACL), Jake Davis (yellow card accumulation)
  • QUESTIONABLE – Stephen Afrifa (Thigh)

Remi played 90 minutes last week and Memo was on the bench but didn’t get into the game. I don’t expect to see Russell on the injury report, but I found it interesting Vermes said on the radio he’s nowhere near fully fit.


  • OUT – Hugo Bacharach (Knee), Emanuel Reynoso (AWOL), Jordan Adebayo-Smith (Ankle), Sang Bin Jeong (Unknown)
  • QUESTIONABLE – Hassani Dotson (Leg)


Sporting KC: Jake Davis (yellow card accumulation)

Minnesota: None


Sporting KC

Goals: Erik Thommy (4), Willy Agada (3), Remi Walter, Alan Pulido, Dany Rosero (2), Jake Davis, Nemanja Radoja, Alenis Vargas (1)

Assists: Davis, Agada, Memo Rodriguez (2), Johnny Russell, Daniel Salloi, Andreu Fontas, Tim Leibold, Robi Voloder, Remi Walter (1)


Goals: Robin Lod, Tani Oluwaseyi (3), Bongokuhle Hlongwane, Teemu Pukki (2), three with one (1)

Assists: Lod (5), Franco Fragapane, Oluwaseyi (2), five with one (1)


Minnesota United have only lost once at home this season. That was two weeks ago against the Dynamo. The good news for Kansas City is they have won four straight against Minnesota United. Three of those were coached by Heath and another by an interim coach. This will be the first meeting against the Ramsay led team.

It will be interesting to see if Ramsay can lead Minnesota to have better success against their ‘not-really-rivals’ to the south. SKC lead the all-time series 11-4-4, including a perfect record at Children’s Mercy Park. Of course, this game is on the road, but Sporting KC are a respectable 2-3-4 at Allianz Field.

All that said, I can’t in good consciousness pick Sporting KC to win based on what we’ve seen the last few weeks. It would be wild if they did win and had two road wins and only one win at home, despite playing six of nine games so far at home. Go prove to us you aren’t a 10th place team SKC!


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