Sporting Kansas City vs. LAFC
2021 MLS Regular Season | Match 12
Saturday, June 26, 2021 | 4:30 p.m. CT
Children's Mercy Park | Kansas City, Kansas
English TV | ESPN
Spanish TV | ESPN Deportes
Streaming | ESPN app
English Radio | Sports Radio 810 WHB
Spanish Radio | La Grande 1340 AM
A colossal Western Conference clash will take place Saturday at Children’s Mercy Park when second-place Sporting Kansas City (6-3-2, 20 points) hosts star-studded LAFC (3-3-3, 12 points) at 4:30 p.m. CT. A limited number of tickets for the match are available at SeatGeek.com while supplies last as two perennial title contenders square off before a nationwide audience on ESPN, ESPN Deportes and the ESPN app.
The nationally televised showdown will air locally on Sports Radio 810 WHB (English) and La Grande 1340 AM (Spanish), with The Final Whistle postgame show immediately following on 810 WHB. The Sporting KC app will provide additional in-game updates and exclusive offers, including a digital coupon for free Ben & Jerry’s ice cream at Price Chopper locations in the Kansas City area.
By most metrics, Sporting wields the best attack in MLS this season. Manager Peter Vermes’ side leads the league in goals (20), expected goals (23.4), goals per match (1.82), shots per game (17.7) and chances created per game (12.4). Sporting have bagged three goals in four of their last six matches, all of which have resulted in victories. On the opposite sideline, LAFC wields one of the greatest attacking duos in league history. Carlos Vela and Diego Rossi have amassed 97 goals and 52 assists in regular season play since LAFC joined MLS as an expansion club in 2018.
Sporting winger Daniel Salloi was at his unplayable best in Wednesday’s 3-1 home win over the Colorado Rapids. Delivering a man of the match performance, the 24-year-old bagged a first-half brace with goals in the 14th and 38th minutes before setting up Sporting's third to midfielder Felipe Hernandez, who opened his MLS scoring account near the hour mark. Salloi now ranks third in MLS with six goals and is tied for second with nine combined goals and assists. He also leads the league with 66 touches in the opponent’s box.
Upon entering the league in 2018, LAFC wasted no time vaulting into the elite tier of MLS clubs. Head coach Bob Bradley’s men posted a 16-9-9 record in 2018, set a league record with 72 points during their 2019 Supporters’ Shield campaign and last year went agonizingly close to becoming the first MLS team to win the modern iteration of the Concacaf Champions League. LAFC have yet to catch fire in 2021, partially because their nine dropped points from winning positions are the most in MLS. The club is also winless in its last seven MLS road matches dating back to last fall, taking five losses and two draws during that time. LAFC will hope that Wednesday’s 2-0 shutout win over FC Dallas, sparked by a goal and an assist from Vela, will be a turning point.
Sporting and LAFC have met on four previous occasions but not since July 3, 2019. The first two meetings in 2018 belonged to Sporting, who handed LAFC their first ever home loss at Banc of California Stadium before prevailing 2-1 in a thrilling regular season finale at Children’s Mercy Park. LAFC swept the 2019 set with a season-opening 2-1 home victory and a resounding 5-1 triumph in Kansas City.
Sporting has unveiled the club's new Americana pre-match training top in the lead-up to Saturday’s contest. Inspired by the jerseys worn by the U.S. Men's National Team at the 1994 FIFA World Cup in the United States, the Americana top is now available for home delivery at MLSstore.com or for matchday pickup at Children's Mercy Park via SportingStyle.com. The jersey will also be on sale at Sporting Style locations on Saturday while supplies last.
Additionally, supporters in attendance are encouraged to stick around after the game for the annual Special Olympics match, featuring two teams of players from Special Olympics Kansas and Missouri. Sixteen athletes will compete for two 20-minute halves as part of an immersive matchday experience at Children’s Mercy Park, which will include player introductions and a postgame medal presentation.