Sporting KC vs Minnesota United
When: Saturday, October 21, 2023 at 8:00 PM CT (8:09 kickoff)
Where: Children’s Mercy Park
How to Watch/Stream: Apple MLS Season Pass
It all comes down to this for Sporting Kansas City. And for Minnesota United. Decision Day 2023. It’s not as simple as, ‘win and you are in,’ but it’s darn close for both clubs. We’ve already talked a lot about this game here on the KC Soccer Journal, so I’ll point you to that work first.
- Playoff Scenarios and Potential SKC Opponents
- A tactical analysis of Sporting KC vs. Minnesota
- SKC Injury Report and Lineup Predictions
- Audio Preview of SKC vs. MNUFC
- Sporting KC need your support on Saturday Night
Minnesota United’s Recent Form
- Sept 20th @ LA Galaxy – 4-3 Loss
- Sept 23rd vs. St. Louis City – 2-1 Loss
- Sept 30th vs. San Jose Earthquakes – 1-1 Draw
- Oct 4th @ LAFC – 5-1 Loss
- Oct 7th vs. LA Galaxy – 5-2 Win
Before last weekend’s beatdown of the Galaxy, Minnesota was winless in their prior seven, including a 1-0 loss to Sporting KC back on September 16th.
What’s new for Minnesota?
No players have moved because the last game was so recent, but one big change has happened. Minnesota United fired their only head coach ever — Adrian Heath. They are 1-0 without him. New coach bump? It’s definitely a thing.
- OUT – Ryen Jiba (knee), Robin Lod (knee)
- QUESTIONABLE – None
Sporting KC: None
Goals: Alan Pulido (14), Daniel Salloi (7), Johnny Russell (6), Erik Thommy (5), Gadi Kinda, Willy Agada (3), Dany Rosero (2), Felipe Hernandez, Robert Castellanos, Khiry Shelton, Remi Walter (1)
Assists: Erik Thommy (11), Daniel Salloi (7), Gadi Kinda, Remi Walter (4), Tim Leibold, Alan Pulido, Johnny Russell, Nemanja Radoja (3), Jake Davis, Roger Espinoza (2), Marinos Tzionis, Graham Zusi, Andreu Fontas, Robert Voloder, Logan Ndenbe (1)
Goals: Teemu Pukki (10), Bongokuhle Hlongwane (8), Emanuel Reynoso (6), Hassani Dotson, Mender Garcia (3),
Luis Amarilla, Kervin Arriaga (2), eight with one (1)
Assists: Hlongwane (5), Dotson, Reynoso (4), Ismail Tajouri-Shradi (3), Arriaga, Franco Fragapane, Garcia, Robin Lod, Zarek Valentin (2), five with one (1)
I actually felt decent about Sporting Kansas City’s chances entering the week. They weren’t fully in control of their destiny, but the odds of all three teams they need to falter to actually win their games is fairly slim.
However, Sporting KC need to win too, and those odds just took a hit with the news that Russell and Pulido are both questionable. Maybe it’s all mind games from Peter Vermes? But that feels like wishful thinking. It’s probably the result of a hard week of practice and all-too-common training injuries.
Add that to the fact that Minnesota United looked like the far superior team when these clubs met a few weeks ago in Minnesota. Sporting KC escaped with a smash and grab 1-0 victory, but Minnesota eviscerated the SKC defense all night. Andreu Fontas is still probably having nightmares about the way Emanuel Reynoso carved him up. And a Tim Melia save of the year and the back of Jake Davis’ head are all that kept the clean sheet for Sporting.
That said, at home Sporting KC have been superior. Particularly against Minnesota. The last two meetings at CMP resulted in a 3-0 win and a 4-1 win. In fact, in the regular season, SKC have never lost to Minnesota at home. The only time they have lost in Kansas City, was a 3-0 shellacking in the playoffs. This is essentially a playoff game. Will they rise to the occasion?
I think they can win. I’m not sure they will. Please prove me wrong KC!
PREDICTION: 2-2 Draw