Sporting Kansas City is set to return home to Children’s Mercy Park for the first time in 161 days when the team hosts the LA Galaxy in the club’s home opener on Saturday, March 11. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. CT and is available to watch on MLS Season Pass on the Apple TV app in both English and Spanish, while the match will also be broadcast on the radio locally on Sports Radio 810 WHB (English) and La Grande 1340 AM (Spanish). Tickets are available via SeatGeek.com.
Sporting KC is set to enjoy their first match in front of home fans since Oct. 2, 2022 when the team hosts the LA Galaxy in the club’s home opener at Children’s Mercy Park on Saturday night. Sporting are still searching for their first win and goal of the season, having fallen 1-0 at Portland and tied 0-0 at Colorado to open their 2023 campaign.
Sporting has gone 16-3-8 in regular-season home openers throughout the club’s history, including a 5-1-6 mark at Children’s Mercy Park with the lone loss coming in 2018 to New York City FC. Over the last four seasons, Sporting are 3-0-1 in home openers having defeated the Philadelphia Union (2019) and Houston Dynamo FC twice (2020 & 2022), while also playing to a 1-1 draw with Orlando City SC (2021).
Sporting ended the 2022 season on a six-match home winning streak, outscoring their opponents 17-4 starting with a 4-2 win over the Galaxy on Aug. 6, 2022.
While the all-time regular-season series is tied at 26-26-16, Sporting has had the better of the series over the past eight years. Since midway through the 2015 season, Sporting has gone 7-2-5 against the Galaxy, including a 4-1-3 mark at Children’s Mercy Park.
Peter Vermes Media Availability: Media Day | Mar. 7
2. GALAXY STARS COMING TO TOWN
Sporting Kansas City will enjoy the friendly confines of Children’s Mercy Park for the first time in 161 days when the club hosts the LA Galaxy in the team’s 2023 home opener on Saturday night with kickoff set for 7:39 p.m. CT.
Sporting claimed the season series over the LA Galaxy in 2022 by going 1-0-1, despite SKC missing the MLS Cup Playoffs and the Galaxy qualifying for the postseason as the Western Conference’s fourth seed.
The first meeting of 2022 took place at Children’s Mercy Park on Aug. 6, 2022 and Sporting came out flying, taking a 3-0 lead into halftime after both Erik Thommy and Willy Agada (2) scored their first goals for the club. A late brace from LA’s Chicharito put the game in jeopardy but Daniel Salloi’s stoppage-time goal put any doubt to rest as Sporting ran out 4-2 winners.
The return fixture at Dignity Health Sports Park took place on Sept. 4, 2022 with the two teams splitting a back-and-forth affair 2-2. Chicharito gave LA an early lead before Sporting rebounded in the second half, taking the lead following goals from Johnny Russell and Felipe Hernandez. Chicharito’s late penalty kick pulled the hosts level and the Mexican star had a chance to win the match with another spot kick deep into stoppage time, but his Panenka’d attempt was stopped by John Pulskamp.
The regular-season series is tied 26-26-16, but Sporting holds a 18-9-8 mark at home.
3. YOUNG PULSKAMP RECORDS IMPRESSIVE SHUTOUT
Sporting Kansas City goalkeeper John Pulskamp continued to add to his reputation as one of the top young goalkeepers in the league in 2023 following an impressive four-save performance and shutout in Saturday night’s 0-0 draw with the Colorado Rapids at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.
Pulskamp, who at 21 years of age is both the youngest goalkeeper in the league to record a shutout and the youngest to start in 2023, was in command of his area throughout the match, from denying Darren Yapi on a breakaway in the opening minute of the match to blocking perennial Sporting-killer Michael Barrios’ volley late in the second half.
With Saturday’s clean sheet, the Bakersfield, California native became only the eighth goalkeeper in MLS history to record five regular season shutouts at 21 years of age or younger. Pulskamp enters Saturday’s match on a 174-minute shutout streak.
4. WALTER THE IRONMAN
Sporting Kansas City midfielder Remi Walter continued his impressive streak of consecutive starts with another 90-minute outing during the team’s 0-0 draw with the Colorado Rapids at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park on Saturday night.
Dating back to Sept. 29, 2021, Walter has started 44 consecutive MLS regular-season matches and has also gone the full 90 minutes in all but four of those contests. Walter’s active 44-match streak of successive starts ranks third among field players, only trailing Philadelphia Union center back Jakob Glesnes (75) and Columbus Crew midfielder Darlington Nagbe (69).
Walter has had another strong start to the season, as he ranks second in MLS through two matches with 23 recoveries while playing as Sporting’s lone defensive midfielder.
In 2022, Walter became just the third outfield player in Sporting KC history to start every match in a 34-game regular-season, joining teammate Graham Zusi and former midfielder Ilie Sanchez, who both accomplished the same feat in 2018.
5. CAPTAIN THOMMY LOOKS TO SPARK SKC
Sporting Kansas City midfielder and Designated Player Erik Thommy has started the 2023 campaign with the captain’s armband - club captain Johnny Russell is currently sidelined with a hamstring injury - and has been the driving force behind Sporting’s search for goals early in the year, along with forward Daniel Salloi.
Through two matches in 2023, Thommy and Salloi lead the team with nine shots while Thommy leads the team with six shots on goal. Thommy and Salloi are tied for third in MLS in shots, while Thommy’s six shots on goal are good for second across the league.
SHOOTING LEADERS (2023 MLS REGULAR SEASON)
SHOTS ON GOAL
St. Louis City
Erik Thommy post-match press conference at Colorado Rapids| Mar. 04, 2023