Sporting Kansas City at Phoenix Rising FC
2021 Preseason presented by Children’s Mercy
Saturday, March 13 | 12 p.m. CT
Wild Horse Pass | Chandler, Arizona
Live Updates: @SKCMatchday on Twitter


More than three months after seeing their 2020 campaign come to an end, Sporting Kansas City will return to the field Saturday to face Phoenix Rising FC in the first scrimmage of the club’s 2021 preseason, presented by Children’s Mercy.


Saturday’s friendly match, which will unfold in in three 30-minute periods, is set for noon CT at Rising FC’s new training facility at Wild Horse Pass in Chandler, Arizona. For live updates of the action, supporters can follow @SKCMatchday on Twitter.


On the heels of a successful 2020 season that saw Sporting finish atop the Western Conference with a 12-6-3 record and a club-record 1.86 points per game, Manager Peter Vermes’ side will look to lay the foundations for another strong campaign on Saturday against a perennial title contender from the second-division USL Championship. Vermes is likely to distribute playing time evenly among the 34 players on Sporting’s preseason roster, with only defender Graham Zusi and Homegrown goalkeeper Brooks Thompson unavailable due to injury.


Several Sporting players who joined the club this offseason could be in line for their preseason debuts this weekend, including 25-year-old French midfielder Remi Walter, 27-year-old goalkeeper Kendall McIntosh and Sporting KC Academy products Grayson Barber and Ozzie Cisneros. French center back Nicolas Isimat-Mirin was another marquee addition for the club, signing an MLS contract in February, but the 29-year-old isn’t slated to join the team in Arizona until next week.


Other notable players expected to feature include newly appointed captain Johnny Russell, striker Alan Pulido, midfielder Gadi Kinda and defender Roberto Puncec, all of whom received Sporting Club awards last fall for their standout performances in 2020. Russell, Pulido and Kinda finished tied for first on the team’s scoring charts with six goals apiece during the 2020 regular season, while Puncec led the side in successful passes, interceptions, clearances and blocks.



Like Sporting, Rising FC enjoyed an excellent season last year. Guided by head coach Rick Schantz, placed second in the overall USL Championship table and were crowned Western Conference champions after winning three straight playoff matches. Phoenix was scheduled to face the Tampa Bay Rowdies in the 2020 USL Championship Final on Nov. 1, but the game was cancelled the day before due to positive COVID-19 tests among Tampa Bay players and staff.


Sporting and Phoenix have met frequently in preseason play over the last three seasons. Vermes’ men are 2-1-1 in four preseason meetings against Rising FC, who managed a 2-1 win against their MLS counterparts 13 months ago.


Sporting KC 2021 Preseason Schedule
(subject to change)

<strong>Date</strong>
<strong>Time (CT)</strong>
<strong>Opponent</strong>
<strong>Location</strong>
<div>Saturday, March 13</div>
<div>12 p.m.</div>
<div>Phoenix Rising FC</div>
<div>Wild Horse Pass</div><div>(Chandler, Ariz.)</div>
<div>Saturday, March 20</div>
<div>5 p.m.</div>
<div>Colorado Rapids</div>
<div>Kino North Complex (Tucson, Ariz.)</div>
<div>Wednesday, March 24</div>
<div>1 p.m.</div>
<div>Portland Timbers</div>
<div>Kino North Complex (Tucson, Ariz.)</div>
<div>Saturday, April 3</div>
<div>2 p.m.</div>
<div>LA Galaxy</div>
<div>Kino North Complex (Tucson, Ariz.)</div>

Sporting KC 2021 Preseason Roster

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<strong>#</strong>
<strong>Player</strong>
<strong>Position</strong>
<strong>Age</strong>
<div>2</div>
<div>Jaylin Lindsey</div>
<div>Defender</div>
<div>20</div>
<div>3</div>
<div>Andreu Fontas</div>
<div>Defender</div>
<div>31</div>
<div>4</div>
<div>Roberto Puncec</div>
<div>Defender</div>
<div>29</div>
<div>5</div>
<div>Nicolas Isimat-Mirin</div>
<div>Defender</div>
<div>29</div>
<div>6</div>
<div>Ilie Sanchez</div>
<div>Midfielder</div>
<div>30</div>
<div>7</div>
<div>Johnny Russell</div>
<div>Forward</div>
<div>30</div>
<div>8</div>
<div>Graham Zusi</div>
<div>Defender</div>
<div>34</div>
<div>9</div>
<div>Alan Pulido</div>
<div>Forward</div>
<div>30</div>
<div>10</div>
<div>Gianluca Busio</div>
<div>Midfielder</div>
<div>18</div>
<div>11</div>
<div>Khiry Shelton</div>
<div>Forward</div>
<div>27</div>
<div>13</div>
<div>Amadou Dia</div>
<div>Defender</div>
<div>27</div>
<div>15</div>
<div>Roger Espinoza</div>
<div>Midfielder</div>
<div>34</div>
<div>16</div>
<div>Graham Smith</div>
<div>Defender</div>
<div>25</div>
<div>17</div>
<div>Gadi Kinda</div>
<div>Midfielder</div>
<div>26</div>
<div>19</div>
<div>Grayson Barber</div>
<div>Midfielder</div>
<div>20</div>
<div>20</div>
<div>Daniel Salloi</div>
<div>Forward</div>
<div>24</div>
<div>21</div>
<div>Felipe Hernandez</div>
<div>Midfielder</div>
<div>22</div>
<div>22</div>
<div>Kendall McIntosh</div>
<div>Goalkeeper</div>
<div>27</div>
<div>23</div>
<div>Tyler Freeman</div>
<div>Forward</div>
<div>18</div>
<div>24</div>
<div>John Pulskamp</div>
<div>Goalkeeper</div>
<div>19</div>
<div>25</div>
<div>Ozzie Cisneros</div>
<div>Forward</div>
<div>16</div>
<div>28</div>
<div>Cam Duke</div>
<div>Midfielder</div>
<div>20</div>
<div>29</div>
<div>Tim Melia</div>
<div>Goalkeeper</div>
<div>34</div>
<div>33</div>
<div>Danny Barbir *</div>
<div>Defender</div>
<div>23</div>
<div>34</div>
<div>Dominik Resetar *</div>
<div>Forward</div>
<div>20</div>
<div>36</div>
<div>Luis Martins</div>
<div>Defender</div>
<div>28</div>
<div>46</div>
<div>Jake Davis *</div>
<div>Midfielder</div>
<div>19</div>
<div>48</div>
<div>Kaveh Rad *</div>
<div>Defender</div>
<div>19</div>
<div>54</div>
<div>Remi Walter</div>
<div>Midfielder</div>
<div>25</div>
<div>55</div>
<div>Gavin Krenecki **</div>
<div>Goalkeeper</div>
<div>18</div>
<div>57</div>
<div>Kayden Pierre **</div>
<div>Defender</div>
<div>18</div>
<div>96</div>
<div>Wilson Harris</div>
<div>Forward</div>
<div>21</div>
<div>Matt Constant ***</div>
<div>Defender</div>
<div>22</div>
<div>Travian Sousa *</div>
<div>Defender</div>
<div>19</div>



* Sporting KC II player
* Sporting KC Academy player
** Unsigned MLS Super Draft pick

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