Five Things

Sporting Kansas City hosts the New England Revolution in MLS regular season play on Sunday, June 12 at Children’s Mercy Park for their 2022 Soccer For All: Pride match. Kickoff for the nationally televised match is set for 2 p.m. CT on ABC and ESPN Deportes.

Saturday’s match marks a return to the MLS campaign for Sporting KC after some time off last week for the FIFA International Break. Sporting wrapped up a busy May in which they played in seven highly competitive matches, including two U.S. Open Cup thrillers, and five MLS contests. Sporting posted a 3-2-2 record in the month of May and advanced to the Open Cup Quarterfinals.

Below are five storylines to keep in mind for Sunday’s matinee match between Sporting Kansas City and the New England Revolution.

Sporting KC soccer is back

As stated above, Sporting KC took some much-needed time off last weekend after a rather congested month of May. While Children’s Mercy Park was not in use by Sporting, the United States Men’s National Team came to town, fought to a hard-fought scoreless draw against Uruguay and applauded the atmosphere the Kansas City soccer community provided. Now, Sporting KC returns to Children’s Mercy Park for a match with a familiar foe in the New England Revolution.

MLS Charter Clubs

On Sunday, Sporting and the Revolution will face off in the regular season for the 56th time. However, Sunday marks the first meeting between these two sides since April 2019. The last meeting between these two sides was an eight-goal barn burner of a match at Children’s Mercy Park. The match ended in a 4-4 draw with the Revs also being shown two red cards in the second half.

Despite both sides being around since the beginning, they have only met in the playoffs on one occasion. En route to Sporting KC’s 2013 MLS Cup Championship, the Kansas City side knocked New England out of the Eastern Conference Semifinals 4-3 on aggregate. After a 2-1, Leg One defeat at Gillette Stadium, Sporting returned to Children’s Mercy Park for Leg Two needing a win. They got their way, forcing extra time with a late equalizer before advancing to the conference semifinals with a 113th-minute match-winner.

Children’s Mercy Park

Homefield advantage proved to be the difference-maker in that playoff match and has continued to give Sporting KC a competitive edge in 2022. This season, Sporting is 3-2-2 at home in the regular season and 5-2-2 at home in all competitions. Their two additional wins have come in Open Cup play, with both being electrifying come-from-behind victories over MLS opponents. Thanks to those two wins they will host USL League One side Union Omaha in the quarterfinals on Wednesday, June 22. Sporting has scored 13 goals in front of the home fans and conceded just nine, posting three clean sheets in the process. New England has a single road victory this season, allowing 15 goals away from home.

Head Coaching Legends

Both teams certainly have firepower on the pitch. Johnny Russell leads Sporting KC with six goals in all competitions, Kortne Ford is a candidate for MLS Comeback Player of the Year and Felipe Hernandez and Cam Duke have been serving up assists all season long. Carles Gil is the reigning MLS MVP, and although his tenure with the Revs is quickly coming to a close, Matt Turner is the reigning MLS Goalkeeper of the Year. The truly impressive matchup is in the technical areas.

New England’s head coach Bruce Arena is a former USMNT manager, has won five MLS Cups and led the Revolution to a Supporter’s Shield a year prior. He is the all-time leader in wins for an MLS manager with 241 wins and has been coaching in the MLS since its inception in 1996. Sporting KC Manager and Sporting Director Peter Vermes has bragging rights as well. He is the only person to win MLS Cup as a player and manager, is the longest-tenured manager for one club in MLS history, coaching in half of Sporting’s regular season matches and is nearing 500 all-time matches managed for Sporting. Sunday is truly a matchup of coaching giants and living legends of the game.

New England’s roster turnover

Looking back at the players on the pitch, Sporting KC will be without forwards Daniel Salloi and Marinos Tzionis as they wrap up four UEFA Nations League matches with Hungary and Cyprus respectively. On the opponent’s roster, some names are missing from their historic, 73-point, record-setting 2021 regular season. The reigning Supporters’ Shield Champions lost MLS Best XI forward Tajon Buchanan in the preseason, said goodbye to leading goal scorer Adam Buksa earlier this week and will be sending Matt Turner to Arsenal at the end of the month after he wraps up a stint with the USMNT. The Revs reloaded with MLS veterans Jozy Altidore and Sebastian Lletget but have not been able to round into the same form as last season.

Sunday, two historic MLS clubs clash at Children’s Mercy Park on ABC. Tickets for the 2 p.m. CT matchup are on sale at SeatGeek.com as the MLS regular season gets back underway.