When Sporting Kansas City plays beyond the fourth Thursday of November, you know it's been a successful year on the pitch.

For the fourth year in club history, Sporting Kansas City has reached the heraldedĀ Thanksgiving holiday with its MLS Cup aspirations intact.

Sporting has played past Thanksgiving on three previous occasions, winning MLS Cup in 2013, progressing to the Western Conference Finals in 2018 and advancing to the conference semifinal stage in 2020.

The fourth such instance will take place Sunday when Manager Peter Vermes' side host rivals Real Salt Lake in the Western Conference Semifinals at Children's Mercy Park. Kickoff is slated for 2 p.m. CT with a limited number of tickets available at SeatGeek.com, including standing-room only tickets. The contest will air nationally on ABC, ESPN Deportes and the ESPN app.

LATEST COMPETITIVE MATCHES IN SPORTING KC HISTORY

  1. 12/07/2013 | T 1-1 vs. Real Salt Lake | MLS Cup | Children's Mercy Park
  2. 12/03/2020 | L 0-3 vs. Minnesota United FC | Western Conference Semifinals | Children's Mercy Park
  3. 11/29/2018 | L 2-3 vs. Portland Timbers | Western Conference Finals | Children's Mercy Park
  4. 11/28/2021 | vs. Real Salt Lake | Western Conference Semifinals | Children's Mercy Park
  5. 11/25/2018 | T 0-0 at Portland Timbers | Western Conference Finals | Providence Park

With eight teams still competing in the Audi 2021 MLS Cup Playoffs, third-seeded Sporting now has the clearcut opportunity to grow its list of battles waged in the month of December. If Vermes' men defeat RSL, they will advance to host the No. 4 seed Portland Timbers in the Western Conference Final on Dec. 4 or 5. Only twice previously has the club competed in the final month of the year: the 2013 MLS Cup victory over RSL and a home loss to Minnesota United FC nearly 12 months ago.

Whether Sporting adds a third MLS Cup to the trophy cabinet remains to be seen, but this much is certain: players, coaches and supporters alike will be grateful to be kicking on past Thanksgiving.