Sporting Kansas City concludes their 2022 campaign with a road match against FC Dallas in Frisco, TX on Sunday at 4 p.m. CT. All seven Western Conference matches will kick at 4 as a part of MLS Decision Day. Coverage will be provided by 38 The Spot, beginning 30 minutes prior to kickoff with the final Sporting KC pregame show of the season.
Sunday marks the third matchup between Sporting and FC Dallas in 2022. Sporting has a win and a draw against the Texas side, both coming at home earlier in the year. Dallas holds a slight advantage in the all-time series as Sporting will look to even the series at 28 wins a piece. The clubs have fought to 14 draws in their 69 previous meetings.
Here are five things to keep an eye on as Sporting Kansas City takes on FC Dallas on MLS Decision Day 2022.
What's on the line?
Both Sporting and Dallas' postseasons are all but set. Sporting will miss out on the 2022 playoffs while Dallas has already punched their ticket to the MLS Cup Playoffs after failing to qualify last season. FC Dallas does have an incentive Sunday as they can secure a home playoff match with any result. If Sporting knocks off FC Dallas, they will need either Nashville SC or the LA Galaxy to drop points elsewhere to guarantee a home playoff match.
While Sporting's postseason aspirations were dashed following a win against Minnesota United, the club has been on an absolute tear to close out the 2022 season. Last Sunday, Sporting stomped Seattle's postseason dreams with a 1-0 victory at Children's Mercy Park. The club's wins over Minnesota United and Portland could prove detrimental to those clubs as well.
Ending on a high note
Sporting's defeat of the Seattle Sounders gave them six straight wins at home, tied for the club high at Children's Mercy Park. Sporting has been blazing hot to close out the season, earning seven straight results, the longest active streak in MLS. At home, Sporting outscored their opponents 17-4 in their final six matches, keeping three clean sheets in the process. With all three lines meshing at the right time, the club has some momentum to ride into the 2023 season.
Looking to the future
The current hot streak Sporting is on has come as a result of a team effort. The scoring has come from all parts of the field as defender Andreu Fontas has picked up two goals during the seven match unbeaten run. Midfielder Erik Thommy has found the back of the net three times as well. Sportng's three pronged attack of Willy Agada, Johnny Russell and Daniel Salloi has also been cooking. Agada has tallied eight goals in just nine starts. He is currently tied for the team lead with Russell on eight goals while Salloi's seven rank second. The Hungarian international paces the club in assists having accumulated five this season.
On the defensive side, goalkeeper John Pulskamp has played a key role in Sporting's run of success. Pulskamp has made 11 starts this season, keeping three clean sheets and earning eight results. Defender Ben Sweat has also proven himself a winner, starting in nine of Sporting's 11 wins. All three lines are clicking as Sporting looks to next season. Designated Players Gadi Kinda and Alan Pulido are both recovering from knee injuries and will look to rejoin an already lethal Sporting KC attack.
Third time against Dallas
Sunday will be the 70th regular season matchup between Sporting Kansas City and FC Dallas. It will be the second of two regular season meetings and the third time these two sides play each other in 2022. In the first meeting, on April 30, 2022, Russell had Sporting out in front 1-0 at Children's Mercy Park with a 22nd-minute penalty kick conversion. Dallas struck twice towards the end of the first half before Salloi's late leveler snatched a point for the home side.
Just 10 days later, the clubs met in the Round of 32 of the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup. Dallas took a 2-0 lead into the break and appeared to be in cruise control heading into the next round of the completion. Nikola Vujnovic pulled one back for Sporting setting the table for some late heroics from Marinos Tzionis. The Cypriot forward headed home the equalizer in the seventh minute of second half stoppage time, the latest regulation goal in club history. Forward Khiry Shelton forced an own goal and then capped the night off with his very own finish propel Sporting into the Round of 16.
Dallas prepares for playoffs
FC Dallas has clinched a playoff birth and will look to capture their first-ever Audi MLS Cup title. Leading the way for FC Dallas is US Men's National Team forward Jesus Ferriera and his goal-scoring abilities. The Dallas Academy product's 18 goals are the fourth most in MLS, and the most on FC Dallas by nine. Newcomer Paul Arriola ranks second on the club at nine goals and has added six assists, tied for the most on the team. Dallas has a formidable defense that has conceded just 36 goals, second-fewest in MLS.
Sunday's Decision Day duel pits a flaming hot Sporting KC offense against a stout FC Dallas defense. The 2023 season concludes as Sporting looks to keep their momentum going into next season, while Dallas tries to earn a home playoff match and get a positive result before the postseason.