Five Things presented by Children’s Mercy Kansas City: Sporting set for home showdown vs. San Jose | March 16, 2024


Sporting Kansas City returns home this weekend for a showdown with the San Jose Earthquakes at Children’s Mercy Park on Saturday night. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. CT and will be available to stream for free 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


Sporting KC has started the 2024 campaign unbeaten through three matches yet await their first taste of victory following a trio of draws. Sporting began the year with a 1-1 draw at Houston before settling for a frustrating 1-1 draw at home vs. Philadelphia and most recently picked up a solid point following a 0-0 draw at LAFC.

Sporting will take encouragement from their draw at LAFC on Saturday, as the club is now the only team to pick up two shutouts at BMO Stadium. While an 0-0-3 start can be skewed positive or negative, seven teams have started a season with that mark and five went on to make the playoffs - with the 2015 Portland Timbers winning MLS Cup.

Sporting is currently riding a five-match unbeaten streak at Children’s Mercy Park, going 3-0-2 since a midweek loss to Nashville SC on Sept. 20, 2023. Over their last 12 home games, Sporting has posted a 7-2-3 record since the start of July 2023.

Across all competitions, Sporting has lost just one of their last nine matches - the 1-0 loss in Houston in the 2023 MLS Cup Playoffs Western Conference Semifinals. In those nine games, Sporting has posted a 4-1-4 record since their most recent regular-season loss in St. Louis on Sept. 30, 2023.


Sporting Kansas City returns home this weekend to take on the struggling San Jose Earthquakes at Children’s Mercy Park on Saturday night in a match that marks a rematch from the 2023 MLS Cup Playoffs Western Conference Wild Card Match. Sporting has started the season winless but unbeaten at 0-0-3, while San Jose are yet to pick up a point through three games, going 0-3-0.

Sporting won the most recent regular-season showdown with the ‘Quakes on Aug. 26, 2023 at Children’s Mercy Park 3-0 courtesy of goals from Daniel Salloi, Johnny Russell and Erik Thommy. Previously in 2023, San Jose cruised to a 3-0 win of their own at PayPal Park back on April 15 when the hosts took advantage of Robert Castellanos’ first-half red card to run out 3-0 winners following a brace from Jeremy Ebobisse and a Cristian Espinoza strike.

The most consequential match of the 2023 season between the two sides came on Oct. 25 with a single-elimination postseason opener. Both sides went close throughout the 90 minutes but with the game ending 0-0, Sporting would end up advancing 4-2 on penalty kicks following heroics from goalkeeper Tim Melia.

Since late 2016, Sporting has gone 9-2-3 against San Jose with a 6-0-1 mark at Children’s Mercy Park. All-time, Sporting is 30-26-10 against the Earthquakes, including a 23-8-2 record at home.


Sporting Kansas City goalkeeper Tim Melia posted his first shutout of the 2024 season in impressive fashion last weekend in the 0-0 draw against Los Angeles FC at BMO Stadium on Saturday night.

The veteran shot-stopper made six saves on the night to earn a point for Sporting, repelling LAFC’s expected goal total of 1.95. Melia was on form throughout the night, from clawing away Eduard Atuesta’s early one-on-one opportunity to pushing away Cristian Olivera’s shot in the final play of the game.

Melia and Sporting have conceded just two goals in three matches so far in 2024 for a goals against average of 0.67 - a mark less than half of the 1.50 GAA that the team posted throughout 2023.

The shutout saw Melia extend his own club record with his 77th in all competitions and 67th in MLS regular-season action. In addition, Melia became the first goalkeeper in MLS to record two shutouts at LAFC’s BMO Stadium, having also kept a clean sheet in a 2-0 Sporting victory on Aug. 11, 2018.


Sporting Kansas City newcomer Memo Rodriguez earned his first start in his third appearance this past weekend with a 90-minute outing in the 0-0 draw with LAFC at BMO Stadium in Southern California.

Rodriguez impressed in his first start for the club, threatening with shots from distance - including a late second-half effort that Hugo Lloris pushed around the post. The 28-year-old was tied for the team-lead with two crosses and second on the team with two clearances on the night, while he completed 93 percent of his 31 passes in the heart of midfield.

Rodriguez arrived in the offseason as a free agent after spending the 2023 season with the LA Galaxy and Austin FC following his departure from hometown club the Houston Dynamo at the conclusion of the 2022 campaign.


Sporting Kansas City forward Alenis Vargas has been selected to the Honduras Men’s National Team for two matches during the FIFA international window in March.

Vargas, who signed for Sporting in December after a standout 2023 season with Sporting KC II in MLS NEXT Pro, will represent his country for the first time after never previously earning a national team selection at the youth or senior levels. The 20-year-old will join Honduras for a 2024 Copa America qualifying playoff against Costa Rica on March 23 and a friendly against El Salvador on March 26.

Vargas will depart for international duty on Sunday and is slated to miss Sporting’s home match against the LA Galaxy on March 23 before returning to the club ahead of a trip to Toronto FC on March 30.

Vargas is part of a Honduras squad assembled by head coach Reinaldo Rueda that will aim to qualify for the 2024 Copa America by defeating Costa Rica in a one-game playoff on March 23 at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas. The winner of the match will enter Group D of the Copa America alongside world powerhouse Brazil, Colombia and Paraguay. Vargas and Honduras will then venture west for a friendly contest against Concacaf rival El Salvador on March 26 at BMO Stadium in Los Angeles.