Connect with us

Sporting KC

Sporting KC v Philadelphia Union: Preview, Predictions & How to Watch

Sporting Kansas City look to find their first win of the 2023 season in their sixth (!!) game of the season. They hit the road to face the Philadelphia Union and the KC Soccer Journal has you covered with what you need to know.



Sporting KC's Johnny Russell
Sporting KC's Johnny Russell in training. | Credit: Thad Bell

Sporting KC @ Philadelphia Union

When: Saturday, April 1, 2023 at 6:30 PM CT

Where: Children’s Mercy Park

How to Watch/Stream: Apple MLS Season Pass (subscription required)

Be sure to check out our NEW sister site, Philadelphia Soccer Now, for plenty of in-depth coverage of the Union.

Five games and zero wins. Two straight losses, including a rough 4-1 outing at home last weekend against the Seattle Sounders. It all adds up to a Sporting Kansas City team that is struggling to find out who they are. Sure, there are excuses with the millions of dollars in missing superstar players, but no one wants to hear them. The fans, and the players themselves, just want results.

Those may be hard to come by this weekend as the team hits the road for the fourth time in six games this season and head to last year’s MLS Cup runners-up, the Philadelphia Union.

The Union were league-wide favorites to be a top contender to win lots of trophies in 2023. However, they’ve gotten off to a bit of a rough start. They are 2-3-0, including a loss last week at home against Orlando. They are mixing in MLS league play with CONCACAF Champions League, and we know what that can do to a team (see: Sporting KC circa 2019, Seattle in 2022, etc.).

Despite the rough start for both teams, Philly find themselves above the playoff line at 8th place in the Eastern Conference in a four-way tie. And somehow Sporting KC are only two points below the playoff line in the Western Conference despite having just two points through five games. (Surely, you’ve heard us mention how bad the new playoff format is?)

And no matter how tone deaf it may be, Peter Vermes is not wrong that it’s not a must win. But they sure better win soon!

Philadelphia’s Recent Form

  • Feb 25th vs. Columbus Crew – 4-1 Win
  • March 4th @ Inter Miami CF – 0-2 Loss
  • March 11th vs. Chicago Fire – 1-0 Win
  • March 18th @ CF Montreal – 2-3 Loss
  • March 25th vs. Orlando City – 1-2 Loss

That Columbus win looks good in retrospective, but their only other league win is against Chicago. They also played two CCL games against Alianza, drawing 0-0 on the road and winning 4-0 at home.

Importantly, they also have a BIG game in CCL against Atlas (Liga MX) on Tuesday, so maybe they rest some players against Kansas City.

What’s New in Philly in 2023?

There hasn’t been much change in Philly year-over-year and why would there be? They were so good last year. They only have five additions and five subtractions.

IN: There are no “big” additions, but they did add some key depth pieces in Andres Perea (via trade from Orlando City), CB Damion Lowe (via trade from Miami) and Joaquin Torres (via trade from Montreal). It’s funny how they lost to all the teams they did trades with!

They also added another Homegrown (it’s what Philly does!) in forward Nelson Pierre and re-signed GK Joe Bendik and added GK Holden Trent via the draft.

OUT: The biggest move is the transfer of young talent Paxten Aaronson to Eintracht Frankfurt (Germany). Outside of that they declined the option of forward Corey Burke and made a couple fringe roster moves, including the mutual termination of the contract of defender Abasa Aremeyaw.

Injury Report

Sporting KC:

Sporting KC Injury Updates and Lineup Predictions v Philadelphia

Philadelphia: Sounds like it may be questionable designations for Andre Blake and Kai Wagner, but nothing official yet.


Sporting KC

Goals: Daniel Salloi, Willy Agada (1)

Assists: Uhhh… None.


Goals: Julian Carranza, Daniel Gazdag, Mikael Uhre (2), Andres Perea, Joaquin Torres (1)

Assists: Gazdag (4), Jose Martinez (2), three with one (1)


As we talked about on For the Glory KC this week, the Philadelphia Union hadn’t lost at home since September of 2021. That is until last week when they lost to Orlando City SC. I still think that can be written off as a bit of a fluke since multiple players were gone on international duty and goalkeeper Andre Blake was out with an adductor injury. According to Jonathan Tannenwald of the Philadelphia Inquirer, he “could return” on Saturday.

Andre Blake on schedule for return Saturday against Sporting Kansas City

“The hope is that he does play on Saturday,” Philadelphia head coach Jim Curtin.

Couple that with Sporting KC being winless in five games and coming off back-to-back losses, and it all looks pretty bleak. That all adds up to me being unable to predict anything but a loss until Sporting Kansas City shows something different. Maybe Johnny Russell and Alan Pulido light the world on fire this weekend. One can only hope.

It can’t be ruled out that Philly don’t roll out their true starting lineup with the big CCL game on Tuesday against Atlas coming up. If they are taking CCL seriously, maybe they punt on this game and Kansas City can sneak in and steal some points. But I can’t pick that, until KC show me something!

PREDICTION: 2-1 Sporting KC Loss

Prefer your preview in audio form? We’ve got you covered:

For the Glory KC: Sporting KC v Philly & KC Current v Portland

Recent Comments

KC Soccer Journal in your Inbox!

Be the first to know when news breaks, sign up to get all of our posts sent directly to your inbox.


Follow us on Twitter