Sporting Kansas City continues the club’s Audi MLS Cup Playoffs run on Sunday afternoon when Sporting plays host to St. Louis at Children’s Mercy Park in Game 2 of the Round One Best-of-3 series, with Sporting leading the series 1-0. Kickoff is set for 4 p.m. CT and will be available to stream on MLS Season Pass on Apple TV in English and Spanish, while the match will also be available on the radio locally on Sports Radio 810 WHB (English) and La Grande 1340 AM (Spanish). Tickets are available via SeatGeek.com.
1. SPORTING LOOKS TO CLOSE OUT SERIES AT HOME
Sporting Kansas City will look to close out the MLS Cup Playoffs Round One Best-of-3 series against St. Louis when the club hosts Game 2 at Children’s Mercy Park on Sunday night.
Sporting holds a 1-0 lead in the series following a brilliant outing last Sunday when the team earned a 4-1 victory over their cross-state rivals at Citypark. Sporting’s four goals that night are the most St. Louis has conceded in a match this season in all competitions and also tied for second most by a road team in MLS Cup Playoffs history.
Sporting, who became the first club in MLS history to make the MLS Cup Playoffs after opening the regular season winless in their first 10 games, equaled a club record with four goals a playoff match, having accomplished the feat in 2002 and 2018.
- Game 1: Sunday, Oct. 29: STL 1-4 SKC
- Game 2: Sunday, Nov. 5 in KC (4 p.m. CT)
- Game 3: Saturday, Nov. 11 in STL, if necessary (5 p.m. CT)
2. KINDA LEADS SKC WITH MAN OF THE MATCH PERFORMANCE
Sporting Kansas City Designated Player Gadi Kinda produced a man of the match display last Sunday to lead Sporting to a 4-1 victory on the road against St. Louis in Game 1 of the MLS Cup Playoffs Round One Best-of-3 series.
Kinda, appearing in his sixth MLS Cup Playoffs match for Sporting, tallied a goal and two assists on the night as Sporting claimed a famous first-ever road victory in the burgeoning rivalry between KC and St. Louis.
Kinda first helped set up Logan Ndenbe’s brilliant opener before adding a stunning goal of his own shortly before halftime, dribbling away from three St. Louis defenders and rifling a powerful effort into the top corner from 25 yards. Kinda and Sporting’s night got better early in the second half, when the Israeli international’s corner was flicked on by Alan Pulido at the near post and finished by Daniel Salloi in front of goal to make the final score 4-1.
After missing all of the 2022 campaign following knee surgery, Kinda has shone in limited time this season, tallying five goals and seven assists in all competitions in just 1,239 minutes played. Kinda averaged a goal or assist every 103 minutes in 2023, the best mark on the team.
3. NDENBE BAGS FIRST PROFESSIONAL GOAL
Sporting Kansas City left back Logan Ndenbe capped a run of fine indiviual performances throughout the second half of the season with a stunning goal to open the scoring in Sporting’s 4-1 victory over St. Louis in Game 1 of the MLS Cup Playoffs Round One Best-of-3 series at Citypark on Sunday night.
Ndenbe received a pass from Alan Pulido out on the left wing, took one touch to settle the ball and struck a brilliant effort into the top corner from 20 yards out for not only his first goal for the club, but also his first-ever goal as a professional in his 94th appearance having also played at the senior level for KV Oostende in his native Belgium and EA Guingamp in France.
The U-22 initiative signing recorded his first MLS assist at the start of October during the 3-2 victory over Real Salt Lake in the club’s penultimate match of the season. Ndenbe, who has split time in 2023 with German newcomer Tim Leibold at left back, has made 24 appearances for the club in all competitions this season, while the team has gone 11-6-3 in the 20 matches that he’s started.
4. WALTER FIRES HOME GAME-WINNER
Sporting Kansas City midfielder Remi Walter showed up in a big way last Sunday when he rifled home the game-winning goal in the 4-1 victory over St. Louis in Game 1 of the MLS Cup Playoffs Round One Best-of-3 series at Citypark, firing a low strike beyond MLS Goalkeeper of the Year finalist Roman Burki in the 36th minute.
The goal marked Walter’s first goal or assist in a postseason match for Sporting, coming in his fourth appearance. Walter picked up the ball on the edge of the area after Burki had saved Gadi Kinda’s shot and been partially controlled by Daniel Salloi, allowing the Frenchman to take a deft first touch before sliding home the go-ahead goal.
Walter now has seven goals and nine assists in 109 appearances across all competitions for Sporting, while he has shown up clutch on several occasions as five of his seven goals have stood as game-winners since joining the club ahead of the 2021 campaign.
5. SALLOI RISES IN PLAYOFF CHARTS
Sporting Kansas City forward Daniel Salloi bagged a goal and an assist in the 4-1 victory over St. Louis at Citypark last Sunday in Game 1 of the MLS Cup Playoffs Round One Best-of-3 series, rising up the charts in Sporting’s postseason history in the process.
Salloi now has four goals and three assists in nine MLS Cup Playoffs appearances for Sporting, totaling seven goal contributions which is second on the team only behind veteran Graham Zusi’s eight (one goal, seven assists).
All-time, Salloi is now tied with Chris Klein for third most in club history behind only Preki (12) and Zusi (8). The Hungarian international and Sporting KC Academy product has enjoyed a productive season in 2023, tallying nine goals and 11 assists across all competitions for the club, placing him in a tie for first alongside Alan Pulido with 20 goal contributions this season.