Match Preview

Match Preview: Sporting KC hosts Rivalry Week match-up with Minnesota United on Saturday

Sporting Kansas City vs. Minnesota United FC
2023 MLS Regular Season | Match 12
Saturday, May 13 | 7:30 p.m. CT (7:39 kickoff)
Children's Mercy Park | Kansas City, Kan.

Broadcast Schedule:
Apple TV | MLS Season Pass
English Radio | Sports Radio 810 WHB
Spanish Radio | La Grande 1340 AM

Sporting Kansas City will host Minnesota United FC at 7:30 p.m. CT on Saturday at Children's Mercy Park as the club kicks off a highly-anticipated MLS Rivalry Week.

Tickets for the Western Conference clash are available via SeatGeek, including the Mother's Day Ticket Pack and the Sporting U Pass . In conjunction with Mother's Day weekend, all women's apparel at SportingStyle will be 20% off at Saturday's match and fans in attendance can visit the Mazuma Plaza prior to kickoff to make greeting cards, participate in a photo opportunity and receive a flower to give their mothers.

Tito's Handmade Vodka is the official match sponsor and all fans can enjoy $2 off Tito's cocktails with $1 donated to Great Plains SPCA from every Tito's cocktail purchased. In addition, Children's Mercy Park concessions will also be offering $2 off Guy's Hometown Pretzels throughout Saturday's match.

MLS Season Pass subscribers will be able to watch SKCvMIN  live on Apple TV in English and Spanish with pre-match programming starting at 7:10 p.m. CT.   All of the action will also be shown at each of the club's pub partners in the Sporting Pub Network  and radio coverage will air locally in English on Sports Radio 810 WHB and in Spanish on La Grande 1340 AM with streams available in the Sporting KC app.

On Saturday, Sporting will play the club's lone home fixture in a stretch of five matches in 14 days and it comes against a Minnesota United FC side that SKC is a perfect 7-0-0 against at home in the regular season. The last time the teams met at Children's Mercy Park resulted in a 4-1 victory for Sporting on Sept. 17, 2022 as Erik Thommy scored the game-winning goal.

Coincidentally, the strike was Thommy's last goal until the 28-year-old German playmaker opened the scoring, and later provided the game-winning assist, in Sporting's stunning 2-1 win over the first-place Seattle Sounders last Sunday. Thommy earned MLS Team of the Matchday honors for his performance and enters Matchday 12 among the top five MLS players in both shots (36) and shots on target (15).

Fellow Designated Player Alan Pulido was also on the scoresheet last Sunday, scoring his first regular season goal since Aug. 14, 2021 after missing all of 2022 due to injury. The World Cup veteran now has 23 goals contributions (15 goals, eight assists) in 31 regular season starts since joining the club in 2020.

Alongside Pulido and Thommy in the team's attack is club captain Johnny Russell, who has 12 goal contributions (three goals, nine assists) in 12 career regular season appearances against Minnesota. On the opposite wing, Daniel Salloi has scored or assisted on five of Sporting's eight goals this season in all competitions.

Led by head coach Adrian Heath, Minnesota started the season unbeaten in the team's first five matches however are now winless in their past five MLS matches with four losses and a scoreless draw. The Loons most recently fell 3-2 in Vancouver last weekend but bounced back in the U.S. Open Cup on Tuesday, prevailing in penalties after a 3-3 draw with the Philadelphia Union to advance to play the Houston Dynamo - who eliminated SKC with a 1-0 result on Wednesday - in the Round of 16.

All 11 of Minnesota's matches in 2023 have been decided by a goal or fewer with South African striker Bongokuhle Hlongwane leading the team with four goals across all competition and 2022 MLS All-Star Game MVP Dayne St. Clair anchoring the defense. The Loons' three road wins are most in MLS in 2023, however Minnesota United FC have suffered losses in each of their last three road trips.

Sporting Kansas City has faced Minnesota 19 times in all competitions -- more than any other opponent -- since the Loons joined MLS in 2017 and Saturday will be the first of three meetings in 2023 as the clubs will meet again on Sept. 16 in Minnesota before a Decision Day rematch on Oct. 21 at Children’s Mercy Park.