Match Preview - Aug. 14, 2021

Sporting Kansas City at FC Dallas
2021 MLS Regular Season | Match 19
Saturday, Aug. 14, 2021 | 7:30 p.m. CT
Toyota Stadium | Frisco, Texas

Broadcast Schedule:
English TV
| Bally Sports Kansas City Plus
English TV | Bally Sports Midwest Plus
Streaming | BallySports.com and Bally Sports app
English Radio | Sports Radio 810 WHB
Spanish Radio | La Grande 1340 AM

Sitting atop the Western Conference standings, Sporting Kansas City (10-4-4, 34 points) will put their four-game road unbeaten streak on the line Saturday when they visit red-hot FC Dallas (5-7-6, 21 points) in a compelling showdown between MLS originals on Saturday night at Toyota Stadium.

Saturday's contest will kick off at 7:30 p.m. CT and air live on Bally Sports Kansas City Plus and Bally Sports Midwest Plus, with three hours of live coverage beginning at 7 p.m. CT. Fans can also stream the action on BallySports.com and the new Bally Sports app in addition to receiving in-game updates and exclusive offers via the Sporting KC app. Local radio broadcasts will air on Sports Radio 810 WHB and La Grande 1340 AM, with The Final Whistle postgame show immediately following on 810 WHB.

Additionally, supporters are invited to attend the official watch party for Saturday's match at Rancho Grande Cantina in Parkville, Missouri (11015 MO-45) with programming and specials starting at 7 p.m. CT.

Sporting took sole possession of first place in the West and extended their road unbeaten run to four matches after claiming a 0-0 draw at the Colorado Rapids last Saturday. Goalkeeper Tim Melia made three excellent saves en route to his third shutout of the season, snapping a 32-game home scoring streak for the Rapids that dated back to 2018.

Sporting are no strangers to success away from home, as they lead MLS with five road wins this year and 10 away victories since the start of 2020. The current road unbeaten streak has seen Sporting scalp the LA Galaxy, Seattle Sounders FC and LAFC—three teams presently in playoff position—since the start of July.

Fixtures have come thick and fast for a Sporting side that will play seven competitive matches in 22 days between July 31 and Aug. 21. Despite the schedule congestion, Manager Peter Vermes will have several well-rested players at his disposal after the likes of Melia, Andreu Fontas, Graham Zusi, Roger Espinoza, Alan Pulido and Johnny Russell watched from the sidelines Tuesday as Sporting fell to LIGA MX powerhouse Club Leon in the Leagues Cup quarterfinals.

Led by third-year head coach Luchi Gonzalez, FC Dallas struggled out of the gates in 2021 by losing their first seven away matches. The Texas outfit got back on track with a 4-0 home win over the Galaxy on July 24 and has taken 10 points from their previous four matches, including a 2-1 victory against Sporting on July 31 at Children's Mercy Park. Jesus Ferreira has bagged two goals in his last three appearances, fellow homegrown Paxton Pomykal has flourished in midfield, winger Szabolcs Schon has four assists in as many games, and 18-year-old striker Ricardo Pepi has enjoyed a major breakout with eight goals.

FC Dallas has built one of the longest home undefeated streaks in MLS history, extending their run to 18 regular season matches with a 2-0 win in their inaugural meeting with Texas rivals Austin FC at Toyota Stadium last weekend. The home streak began almost exactly one year ago on Aug, 16, 2020, and with a result against Sporting, Dallas would move into a tie for the seventh longest home undefeated run in league history.

Having lost to Dallas by a 2-1 scoreline two weeks ago, Sporting will take a shot at revenge this weekend while also attempting to reverse a noticeable trend in the series. Dallas are 5-0-1 in the last six regular season meetings since 2019, scoring 15 goals and conceding four. Sporting are 1-5-2 in their last eight visits to Toyota Stadium dating back to 2013 and have won only twice at the venue since the Peter Vermes era began in 2009, prevailing 4-1 in June 2011 and 3-0 in October 2018.

On the injury front, Sporting defenders Nicolas Isimat-Mirin and Jaylin Lindsey will miss out with hamstring issues for an otherwise healthy Sporting squad, while Felipe Hernandez remains unavailable for personal reasons. Dallas, meanwhile, will be without a trio of youngsters in winger Beni Redzic (ankle) and defenders Justin Che (leg) and Johnny Nelson (back).