Sporting Kansas City at Colorado Rapids
2020 MLS Regular Season | Match 8 of 23
Saturday, Aug. 29, 2020 | 8 p.m. CT
Dick's Sporting Goods Park | Commerce City, Colorado

Broadcast Schedule:
English TV | FOX Sports Kansas City
English TV | FOX Sports Midwest
Streaming | FOX Sports GO
English Radio | Sports Radio 810 WHB
Spanish Radio | La Grande 1340 AM

How to Watch | What to Know | By The Numbers
MatchCenter | Match Notes | Media Guide | Media Assets

A pair of MLS charter members will rekindle their longstanding rivalry on Saturday when Western Conference leaders Sporting Kansas City (5-2-0, 15 points) visit the Colorado Rapids at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colorado.

Saturday’s clash will kick off at 8 p.m. CT with three hours of live coverage beginning at 7:30 p.m. CT on FOX Sports Kansas City, FOX Sports Midwest and FOX Sports GO. Local radio broadcasts will air live on Sports Radio 810 WHB and La Grande 1340 AM, while the Sporting KC app will provide additional in-game updates and exclusive offers to users.

The 80th all-time meeting between Sporting and Colorado across all competitions will pit two teams looking to bounce back from three-goal defeats. Sporting suffered a 5-2 setback to the Houston Dynamo in their return to Children’s Mercy Park on Tuesday, while the Rapids took a 4-1 home loss to rivals Real Salt Lake last weekend as their winless skid hit four match.

Colorado was scheduled to play at FC Dallas on Wednesday, but the game was one of five MLS fixtures to be postponed that evening in response to the tragic events that recently took place in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

“We’ve met with the players over all the issues going on," Sporting Kansas City Manager Peter Vermes told reporters on a video conference call on Thursday. "These issues concerning our country have to be dealt with, (we want them to know) we understand that. We’ve listened to players. We listen to staff, we’re incredibly supportive.

“I have to commend the guys, they’re pursuing excellence in two areas," he continued. "They’re trying to be the best on the field and the second is off the field. They’d like to see change. I support that. I agree with it.”

Despite the midweek loss to Houston—a game in which Johnny Russell scored in the first half and Gadi Kinda bagged his team-leading fourth goal of the regular season—Sporting remains four points clear atop the Western Conference table and a point behind Columbus Crew SC in the Supporters’ Shield race.

Sporting will also be encouraged by the fact that they lead MLS with 17 regular season goals and ranks second with 2.43 goals per game. Kinda and Mexican striker Alan Pulido are two of eight MLS players with at least three goals and two assists this year, while Russell and Khiry Shelton have provided a scoring punch on the wings. Kinda has notably scored in all four regular season appearances outside of the MLS is Back Tournament.

Led by second-year head coach and former MLS veteran Robin Fraser, the Rapids began 2020 brightly by going 2-0-0 for the first time since 2012. Following a four-month hiatus in play due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Colorado hit a rough patch at the MLS is Back Tournament by finishing last in Group D with two losses and a draw. On the heels of a disappointing home result against RSL, the Rapids are now winless in four and will view Saturday as a potential springboard back into the win column.

Colorado has conceded a league-high 17 goals this season, and although questions linger in defense, the team boasts a formidable and deep attack. Former Sporting forwards Kei Kamara and Diego Rubio combined for 25 regular season goals in 2019, while Jonathan Lewis and reigning MLS Rookie of the Year Andre Shinyashiki are also dangerous pieces in the final third.

Sporting and Colorado most recently met on July 17 as Vermes' side emerged victorious by a 3-2 scoreline in Walt Disney World. The instant classic proved to be one of the wildest games in the MLS is Back Tournament, delivering goals, red cards and moments of controversy. Kellyn Acosta gave Colorado a 1-0 halftime lead with a brilliant early strike, but a pair of second-half red cards to defender Danny Wilson and captain Jack Price turned the game on its head. Shelton and Pulido scored to give Sporting a 2-1 advantage, and although Lewis equalized in the 84th minute, Graham Zusi broke Colorado hearts by slotting home a deflected strike in the 91st minute.

As MLS originals who joined the league in 1996, Sporting and Colorado have squared off 79 times in all competitions, making the Rapids the most frequent opponent in Kansas City history. Sporting holds a narrow advantage with 32 wins, 29 losses and 18 ties, including a 26-24-15 record in the regular season. However, Sporting has a 5-18-10 regular season road record in the series, winning just three times in Colorado since the turn of the millennium (2000, 2004, 2014).

Saturday marks the resumption of a busy match schedule through the end of the regular season, as clubs will play one or two times per week through Decision Day on Nov. 8 to conclude the 23-game campaign. The Audi MLS Cup Playoffs, featuring an expanded field of 18 teams, are slated to begin on Nov. 20 and culminate with the 25th MLS Cup on Dec. 12.