Sporting Kansas City vs. Austin FC
2021 MLS Regular Season | Match 4
Sunday, May 9, 2021
6:30 p.m. CT pregame | 6:55 p.m. CT kickoff
Children's Mercy Park | Kansas City, Kansas
English TV | FS1
Spanish TV | FOX Deportes
Streaming | FOX Sports App
English Radio | Sports Radio 810 WHB, SiriusXM FC
Spanish Radio | La Grande 1340 AM
The final match in Week 4 of the 2021 MLS regular season will treat fans to a compelling Sunday night showdown between charter members Sporting Kansas City (1-1-1, 4 points) and expansion side Austin FC (2-1-0) at Children’s Mercy Park. A limited number of tickets for the 6:30 p.m. CT matchup on Mother’s Day are available at SeatGeek.com while supplies last as Sporting and Austin prepare for their inaugural meeting in MLS.
Sunday’s Western Conference clash will be televised nationally on FS1 and FOX Deportes with live streams via the FOX Sports app and FoxSports.com. Supporters can also catch the action on Sports Radio 810 WHB and SiriusXM FC in English and La Grande 1340 AM in Spanish, with 810 WHB airing The Final Whistle postgame show immediately afterward. The Sporting KC app will provide additional in-game updates and exclusive offers, including a digital coupon for free Breyers ice cream at Price Chopper locations in the Kansas City area through May 11.
Upon arriving at Children’s Mercy Park, supporters will have an opportunity to shop at the new Charlie Hustle Pop-Up Store, located at the Mazuma Plaza on the west side of the stadium. The Charlie Hustle Pop-Up Store will be open throughout the season, featuring the limited-edition Sporting Club Collection as well as a selection of classic Charlie Hustle merchandise.
A Sporting reunion several months in the making will come to fruition on Sunday when three club legends return to Kansas City as members of the opposition. Austin FC head coach Josh Wolff, assistant Davy Arnaud and defender Matt Besler, three of the most accomplished MLS players in Kansas City history, will go head-to-head against Manager Peter Vermes and Sporting with an expected sellout crowd in attendance. Wolff, Arnaud and Besler left indelible marks on the field as Kansas City players, combining for 784 competitive appearances and seven MLS All-Star selections as members of the club. Five of Sporting's seven major trophies were secured with Wolff, Arnaud or Besler as an integral member of the squad.
In Sporting’s first loss of the season last weekend at Real Salt Lake, striker Alan Pulido offered a bright spot by notching his team’s lone goal in impressive fashion. Sporting's club-record signing had been limited to second-half substitute appearances in the first two matches of 2021 due to an injury sustained in preseason, but on Saturday he picked up where he left off last year as one of the most prolific players in the league. Since the start of 2020, the Mexican international ranks second in MLS with 0.973 combined goals and primary assists per game in the regular season.
Austin FC have won two of their first three matches as an MLS debutant and will open the season with eight straight road games. Designated Player Cecilio Dominguez and midfield playmaker Diego Fagundez have bagged two goals apiece, while Besler anchored a stout defensive effort that saw Austin post a 1-0 shutout win over Minnesota United FC last Saturday. The Texas outfit enters Week 4 as the league’s only club with two road victories, and five different players have accounted for the team’s five assists.
Just as Besler returns to his hometown, one of his closest friends and former teammates could make history of his own. Defender Graham Zusi, who has been sidelined since last October with a foot injury, is one shy of his 295th regular season appearance for Sporting. That would vault Zusi ahead of Besler and into sole possession of first place in team history. Additionally, captain Johnny Russell is one shy of his 100th competitive appearance for the club.
Sporting haven’t lost their inaugural home game against an MLS expansion club since falling to Montreal in 2012, posting a 5-0-1 record in such matches since 2016. The hosts will aim to improve upon that mark after last weekend’s defeat to RSL snapped an eight-game regular season unbeaten streak dating back to 2020, the longest active run in MLS.