Match Preview

Match Preview: Sporting KC hosts annual Kick Childhood Cancer match against Minnesota United FC on Saturday


Sporting Kansas City vs. Minnesota United FC
2022 MLS Regular Season | Match 32
Saturday, Sept. 17 | 7:30 p.m. CT (7:38 kickoff)
Children's Mercy Park | Kansas City, Kansas

Local TV | 38 The Spot
Streaming |, SKC App, ESPN+
English Radio | Sports Radio 810 WHB
Spanish Radio | La Grande 1340 AM

Riding a five-match unbeaten run and four-game home winning streak, Sporting Kansas City will host Minnesota United FC at 7:30 p.m. CT on Saturday at Children's Mercy Park. Tickets for the match are available online at and the first 3,500 fans in attendance will receive a Sporting KC rally towel courtesy of match sponsor Compass Minerals.

Saturday's showdown will coincide with Sporting's annual Kick Childhood Cancer Night, featuring an Honoree Homecoming with a VIP experience for previous Victory Project Honorees and their families. Fans will have the opportunity to shop from a variety of Kick Childhood Cancer merchandise at SportingStyle locations, including a limited-edition pre-match top, t-shirt and scarf. To further support Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, Sporting is raising funds for The Victory Project through an online Kick Childhood Cancer auction featuring exclusive experiences with Sporting KC players and autographed memorabilia.

The Western Conference clash will be locally televised on 38 The Spot with three hours of coverage beginning at 7 p.m. CT. The broadcast will also stream live on and in the Sporting KC app for viewers in Kansas and Missouri (excluding the St. Louis area per MLS policy), as well as ESPN+ for out-of-market subscribers. Radio coverage will air live on Sports Radio 810 WHB and La Grande 1340 AM.

Sporting Kansas City has faced Minnesota 18 times in all competitions -- more than any other opponent -- since the Loons joined MLS in 2017 and lead the series with an 8-6-4 record, including a perfect 6-0-0 regular season record at Children's Mercy Park in which Sporting has outscored Minnesota 15-1. The sides last met on July 13 in a 1-1 draw at Allianz Field as Sporting KC captain Johnny Russell came off the bench to score a second-half equalizer.

Russell has 11 goal contributions - three goals and eight assists - in 11 regular season appearances against Minnesota. Only Colorado Rapids winger Michael Barrios, with three goals and nine assists, has more regular season goal contributions all-time against Minnesota. Russell leads Sporting this season with eight regular season goals and 10 goals in all competitions. His 79 combined goals (48) and assists (31) in the regular season are fourth most in club history and third most in Major League Soccer since he joined the club in 2018.

On the opposite wing, Sporting Kansas City forward Daniel Salloi has scored in back-to-back home matches, giving the Hungarian seven regular season goals and nine goals in all competitions in 2022. An MLS All-Star and MVP finalist a year ago, Salloi's 48 career goals for Sporting in all competitions are fifth most in club history.

Since the start of August, Sporting leads the Western Conference in points per match (2) and winning percentage (.714) - going 4-1-2 to stave off playoff elimination. Defensively, Sporting's three clean sheets in the past three weeks are most in MLS as the club now has three goalkeepers with a regular season shutout in a single season for the first time in club history.

Both clubs will be playing their third game in eight days on Saturday ahead of the upcoming international break. Sporting cruised to a 3-0 win over D.C. United on Tuesday behind a shutout from MLS debutant goalkeeper Kendall McIntosh and goals from Khiry Shelton, Robert Voloder and Salloi.

Minnesota snapped a three-game losing streak on Tuesday with a 1-1 draw at home against first place LAFC and occupy fifth place in the Western Conference. The Loons sit five points above the playoff line with three matches remaining to clinch a playoff berth for a fourth straight year.

Minnesota's attack has been held to a single goal in the team's current four-game winless streak and on Saturday will be without Designated Player Emanuel Reynoso - who leads the Loons with 10 goals and 10 assists this season -- due to caution accumulation. In the absence of the two-time MLS All-Star, Minnesota will look to Designated Player Luis Amarilla to lead the front line amidst a campaign in which the Paraguayan has provided nine goals and five assists.

Minnesota Manager Adrian Heath's roster has been bolstered by three summer signings -- Paraguayan international Alan Benitez on the backline, 23-year-old Mexican international Jonathan Gonzalez in the midfield and Designated Player Mender Garcia up front -- while 2022 MLS All-Star Game MVP Dayne St. Clair has enjoyed a strong season in goal ahead of his participation in the 2022 FIFA World Cup with the Canada Men's National Team.

Sporting Kansas City and Minnesota United FC each have four players out due to injury with an additional two players per squad listed as questionable. Manager Peter Vermes remains without Designated Players Alan Pulido (knee) and Gadi Kinda (knee) as well as former MLS Goalkeeper of the Year Tim Melia (hamstring). Right back Graham Zusi has missed SKC's last three matches with a quad injury and left back Logan Ndenbe was in health and safety protocols for the club's last two games.

Minnesota has lost centerback Bakaye Dibassy (thigh) as well as midfielders Hassani Dotson (knee) and Jacori Hayes (lower leg) to season-ending injuries. In addition, Finnish international Robin Lod exited the Loons' last match with an ankle injury and South African U-22 signing Bongokuhle Hlongwane has been sidelined for two straight games with a knee ailment.

​Following Saturday's match, The Final Whistle postgame show will air on Sports Radio 810 WHB with hosts Chad Reynolds and Dave Borchardt. Listeners can tune in via the Sporting KC mobile app or online at