Five Things presented by Children’s Mercy Sports Medicine Center: Sporting back on the road for match at San Jose Earthquakes | May 22, 2022

Five Things

Sporting Kansas City (3-7-3, 12 points), fresh off an electric win at home is back on the road for a match with the San Jose Earthquakes (3-5-4, 13 points) at PayPal Park in San Jose, CA on Sunday evening.

First kick will take place at 6:30 p.m. CT on 38 The Spot with the Sporting KC Pregame show beginning the coverage 30 minutes prior to kickoff.

Sporting and San Jose faced off twice last season, with Sporting taking three points on the road, and clawing back to steal a home point in stoppage time last July. A historical series, Sporting holds a 28-25-9 advantage over the Earthquakes, with just seven of those wins coming away from home.

Here are five things you need to know heading into the Sunday evening matchup between Sporting Kansas City and the San Jose Earthquakes

What went down on Wednesday

Wednesday night, Sporting KC hosted the Colorado Rapids in a midweek Western Conference clash at Children’s Mercy Park. Daniel Salloi scored his third goal of the season in the 24th, which was promptly answered by Lucas Estevez in the 29th. Coming out of the halftime locker room, Salloi fired home his second goal of the contest just five minutes into the second half.

The lead was held very thanks to a pair of clutch saves from Sporting’s goalkeeper Tim Melia. The highly contested match heated up in stoppage time when Auston Trusty was sent off after picking up his second yellow card. Five minutes later, three more players would join in him with early exits. Salloi and Andreu Fontas were shown reds after a scuffle broke out near midfield. Estevez was given a straight red card as well for a two-hand shove of Salloi. All told four red cards were given out in the contest, tied for the most in a single match in MLS history. When the dust settled, Sporting emerged victorious, taking all three points for themselves.

HIGHLIGHTS: Sporting KC 2-1 Colorado Rapids | May 18, 2022

MLS Charter Clubs

Dating back to the original days of the league, Sporting and San Jose have met 62 times in the MLS regular season. Sporting has three more wins over the Earthquakes and has scored three more goals as well. Despite both teams being MLS originals, they have only met in the MLS Cup playoffs for four matches. Most recently, Sporting knocked San Jose out of the 2021 MLS Cup Playoffs in a penalty shootout in front of the Blue Hell. It was perfection from Sporting KC on that November night as Melia saved three attempts while all three Sporting takers sank their penalties with ease. Sunday marks the first matchup between these two in 2022.

This looks familiar

Exactly one year ago to the date on Sunday, Sporting KC will have faced San Jose at PayPal Park. On May 22, 2021, the Peter Vermes-led side marched into the Bay Area and stomped San Jose 3-1. After the Earthquakes jumped out to an early lead in the fourth minute, Sporting drew level in the 15th minute. Neither side found the back of the net until the 60th when Alan Pulido scored a banger off a Salloi assist. Exactly 15-minutes later, Salloi scored a goal of his own to ice the match. One year later, Sporting returns to San Jose, looking to repeat that success.

Highlights: Sporting KC 3-1 San Jose Earthquakes | May 22, 2021

Earthquakes shaky defense

Entering Sunday, San Jose has conceded more goals than any other team in MLS with 28 goals allowed this season. They have conceded one goal or fewer in just two matches this season. They have still been able to pick up results this season thanks to their 22 goals scored. Jeremy Ebobisse leads the Earthquakes with seven goals, tied for second-most in the league behind Jesus Ferreira. Goalkeeper James Marcinkowski has been on the field for all 28 of San Jose’s goal concessions, allowing five more goals than any other keeper in MLS. Sporting comes into the match with multiple goals in four of their last five competitive matches, looking to keep the offense clicking against a shaky San Jose side. 

Availability report

While Sporting’s offense has looked lethal recently, they will be without their leading scorer in Salloi. After being shown a red card in stoppage time of Wednesday’s match the Hungarian international will miss out on Sunday’s match. Joining him will be Fontas who also was given a red card during the late match coming together.

Sporting will still have winger and captain Johnny Russell whose three goals thus far are second on the team. Midfielder Remi Walter has added two goals as well, and has been a machine in the middle for Sporting, covering more ground than any other player in MLS. Homegrown talent Felip Hernandez continues to impress in the middle as well, leading the team with three assists and appearing in every match this season. Coming back from suspension will be fellow midfielder Roger Espinoza and centerback Robert Voloder who has stepped into a key role in his first year in Sporting blue.