Preview: Sporting KC hosts D.C. United on Friday
Sporting KC vs D.C. United
Friday, April 5, 2013 - 7:30 p.m. CT
Sporting Park | Kansas City, Kansas
English TV: KSMO, WIBW, Mediacom 22 (tape delay)
English Radio: Sports Radio 810
Spanish Radio: La Gran D 1340 AM
Sporting Kansas City welcomes D.C. United to Sporting Park at 7:30 p.m. CT on Friday in a meeting between the top two teams in the Eastern Conference last season. Local broadcast partner KSMO will begin coverage at 7 p.m. CT. with hosts Callum Williams and Jake Yadrich. The match, sponsored by H&R Block, can also be heard live on Sports Radio 810 and La Gran D 1340 AM.
A limited number of tickets for Friday's match-up are still available online at Ticketmaster.com or at the Sporting Park box offices.
Sporting Kansas City and D.C. United played two times during the 2012 season with Sporting KC earning one-goal victories in both matches. Sporting KC secured a dramatic 1-0 victory on a goal in second-half stoppage time in the team's season opener, D.C. United's only loss at RFK Stadium in the regular season, prior to a recording a 2-1 result at Sporting Park.
D.C. United midfielder Nick DeLeon, a 2012 MLS Rookie of the Year finalist, will miss Friday's match after injuring his hamstring on March 23 against the Columbus Crew, leaving D.C. United without the club's lone goal scorer from the 2012 series.
Sporting Kansas City is 18-18-9 all-time against D.C. United and are in the midst of a seven-game unbeaten streak at home against D.C. United dating back to 2007 to lift the all-time home record in the series to 12-6-5. In 2013, Sporting Kansas City and D.C. United will meet on three occasions with two fixtures at Sporting Park.
D.C. United enters Friday's match with a 1-2-1 record and searching for the club's first win at Sporting Park. Conversely, Sporting Kansas City is 2-1-2 in 2013 and undefeated in the club's last nine matches at home in MLS competition (including playoffs) dating back to the 2012 season.
Captain Jimmy Nielsen and the Sporting KC defense are riding a 339-minute shutout streak, the longest in MLS this season, ahead of tomorrow's test. Nielsen boasted the best shutout streak among MLS goalkeepers in 2012 at 414 minutes and a clean sheet on Friday would see the streak reach 429 minutes, the longest such streak by a Sporting KC goalkeeper since Tony Meola was in net for the 2000 season.
D.C. United is coming off a bye week after their most recent match resulted in a 2-1 loss against the Columbus Crew. Young Designated Player Rafael notched a goal 22 minutes into his MLS debut in the defeat on an assist from Chris Pontius. The team's leading goal scorer a year ago, Pontius has played every minute for D.C. United this season.
Sporting Kansas City most recently handed Montreal their first blemish of the 2013 season, defeating the Impact 2-0 at Sporting Park last Saturday. Designated Player Claudio Bieler scored his third goal of the year in the fifth minute of play with Graham Zusi adding an insurance goal in the 80th minute of the match. United States Men's National Team midfielder Benny Feilhaber earned assists on both goals for his first points in a Sporting KC uniform.
Parking lots at Sporting Park open three hours prior to kick off on Friday. Parking maps and directions are located on SportingKC.com/parking.
All fans are encouraged to arrive early and the first 10,000 fans will receive a 2013 Sporting Kansas City flag courtesy of H&R Block. The Boulevard Members Club, opening at 5:30 p.m. CT to all Members Stand ticket holders, will feature a pre-game special for $3 Boulevard Pilsners.
The Final Whistle: Sporting KC Postgame show will air live on Sports Radio 810 WHB from the Boulevard Members Club, which will be open to all ticket holders after the conclusion of the match.