Match Preview

Match Preview: Sporting KC set for showdown with San Jose on Saturday


Sporting Kansas City at San Jose Earthquakes
2023 MLS Regular Season | Match 8
Saturday, April 15 | 9:30 p.m. CT (9:39 kickoff)
PayPal Park | San Jose, California

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

Sporting Kansas City returns to the road this weekend as the team travels to California to take on the San Jose Earthquakes at 9:30 p.m. CT on Saturday at PayPal Park.

The Western Conference clash will kick off at 9:39 p.m. CT and will stream free on  MLS Season Pass on the Apple TV app in both English and Spanish with pre-match programming starting at 9:10 p.m. CT.  Saturday's showdown will be shown at each of the club's  pub partners in the Sporting Pub Network  and radio coverage will also 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.

Saturday's match-up will feature a Sporting Kansas City (0-4-3, 13th in West) side looking for the team's first victory of the season against a San Jose (3-2-2, 4th in West) squad unbeaten at home in 2023 (3-0-1) and off to the club's best seven-game start to a regular since since 2016.

Coincidentally, Sporting has gone 8-1-5 in the last 14 matches against San Jose across all competitions since 2016, including a 3-1-2 record at PayPal Park and an active six-game unbeaten run in the series.

Sporting claimed the season series against the ‘Quakes in 2022, going 1-0-1 across two meetings last year. The first encounter was Sporting’s last visit to PayPal Park on 
May 22, 2022, with the team picking up a point following a hard-fought 1-1 draw. Johnny Russell, playing in an unfamiliar center forward position, gave the visitors the lead late in the first half before Jackson Yeuill equalized just seconds into the second half. Sporting KC then hosted the Earthquakes at Children’s Mercy Park on August 27, 2022 and claimed a narrow 1-0 victory in the rematch courtesy of Daniel Salloi's opportunistic early goal.

Salloi, who leads MLS in successful crosses from open play (8) in 2023, has historically found success in the series with three goals and two assists in six career regular season appearances against San Jose. Salloi has led the club in goal contributions in each of the past two seasons and will be aiming to spark a Sporting KC attack which is off to the worst offensive start in MLS history with two goals in seven matches.

Sporting Kansas City, winless in 10 straight on the road, enters Saturday with a 265-minute scoreless streak on the heels of a 1-0 loss to the Colorado Rapids last weekend that stretched the team's winless streak to eight games, the club's longest in the regular season since 2011. Looking to snap all three streaks, Sporting will be up against an Earthquakes roster led by one of the top playmakers in Major League Soccer in Cristian Espinoza.

The 28-year-old has four goals, including goals in back-to-back games, and a team-best two assists this season, after recording seven goals and 14 assists in 2022. He ranks second in MLS in chances created behind fellow Argentine Thiago Almada and second in MLS in progressive carries (29) behind Salloi.

The Earthquakes roster is also highlighted by 19-year-old forward Cade Cowell and 26-year-old midfielder Jackson Yueill, who were both named to the United States Men's National Team roster ahead of the USMNT match-up with Mexico on Wednesday. Both players will be available for San Jose on Saturday, however the Earthquakes will be without Brazilian goalkeeper Daniel (knee) while Brazilian midfielder Judson (knee) is questionable to participate.

Sporting Kansas City's player availability report is unchanged from a week ago with four players sidelined due to injury: Kortne Ford (Achilles), Tim Leibold (hamstring), Kayden Pierre (hamstring) and Nemanja Radoja (hamstring). Two additional players remain questionable as Logan Ndenbe (hamstring) and Gadi Kinda (knee) continue to near their returns to the field.