Sporting KC vs Minnesota United
When: Saturday, May 13, 2023 at 7:30 PM CT
Where: Children’s Mercy Park
How to Watch/Stream: Apple MLS Season Pass (FREE)
Dubbed the “Nicest Rivalry in Sports,” Minnesota United travels to Kansas City to take on Sporting who are coming of their first regular season win of the year.
A win is a win, but KC followed it up with a 1-0 loss to 10-man Houston Dynamo (who subsequently drew the Loons in the Round of 16 matchup) in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open cup midweek on the road.
Looking back on the road victory over the Seattle Sounders, Kansas City’s designated player duo looked great in the first half. Gadi Kinda and Alan Pulido started together for the first time since both went down with long-term injuries and gave fans a sign of (hopefully) more good things to come.
Kinda collected an assist in the fourth minute when Erik Thommy rifled a shot in the back of the net in what felt like a release for a team who started the season on a 10-game winless streak.
Thommy bagged an assist of his own with a beautifully placed ball that found Pulido for his second goal across all competitions since his return from injury and first in league play.
Though the team held on for a 2-1 victory in enemy territory, the pressure has not dissipated. The club will now look to show the SKC hopeful that they can return to winning ways.
Minnesota’s Recent Form
April 22 at Seattle Sounders – 2-1 (Loss)
April 25 at Detroit City FC – 3-1 (Win) – Open Cup
April 30 vs FC Dallas – 0-0 (Draw)
May 6 at Vancouver Whitecaps – 3-2 (Loss)
May 9 vs Philadelphia Union – 3-3 (7-6 win on penalties) – Open Cup
Though the Loons sit in 8th in the Wester Conference, their last regular season victory came in a 1-0 road win against St. Louis City.
Nicest Rivalry in Sports
If you just look at historical numbers, the match up has played in Kansas City’s favor when played at Children’s Mercy Park.
Minnesota has traveled to CMP 7 times and has yet to walk away with a point.
Overall, Sporting lead the regular season series 8-4-4.
The difference now is that Sporting KC is struggling to find the back of the net. Minnesota doesn’t exactly have a high-octane offense, but three players have scored multiple goals for the Loons.
- Bongokuhle Hlongwane – 2 goals
- Mender Garcia – 2 goals
- Luis Amarilla – 2 goals (both penalties)
Sporting KC Injury/Availability:
OUT: Kortne Ford (Achilles surgery), Kayden Pierre (hamstring), Willy Agada (stress fracture tibia)
QUESTIONABLE: Tim Leibold (hamstring), Khiry Shelton (adductor injury)
For a more in depth look at Sporting’s lineup ahead of the match, click here.
Minnesota United Injury/Availability:
OUT: Bakaye Dibassy, Mikael Marques, Ryen Jiba, Emanuel Reynoso
I don’t want to put too much into the first win against the Sounders, but it sure is difficult to not have a little hope.
The DP’s are back and hopefully Kinda can play more than just a half in front of the home fans. The Loons are going through a rough patch of form, but SKC hasn’t shown signs of keeping their form in tact.
The win against Seattle didn’t come without stress. The second half was a complete turnaround from the first and the short-handed Sounders had more than enough opportunities to tie the game or even win it.
I think it’s important to remain realistic when assessing this team. Sure the Seattle game could have been a turnaround, but there is so much more work on the field that needs to be done before I can confidently predict a 90-minute performance where SKC dominates.
However, our friends up north are struggling holding on to leads, giving up late goals at home that have ended in draws or losses.
IF Pulido can go back to becoming “PuliGOL” and Kinda is shifty and magical, hopefully we have a chance of keeping the Loons on their poor run of form. If not, we need the rest of the lineup to show up and that has yet to be the case this season.
2-2 Draw. (Hey! At least that means we’re scoring goals again)