Sporting KC concludes preseason with 3-1 victory over Atlanta United FC


Sporting Kansas City concluded the club’s 2024 preseason presented by Children’s Mercy on Saturday morning with a 3-1 victory over Atlanta United FC at FIU Soccer Stadium in University Park, Florida.

In an evenly-contested first half, Atlanta found the breakthrough in the 20th minute against the run of play as Xande Silva broke away down the left wing and clipped a ball into the area to Nick Firmino who nodded his side in front.

Sporting’s front quartet of Erik Thommy, Daniel Salloi, Alan Pulido and Stephen Afrifa linked up well throughout the opening 45 minutes, with Salloi notably forcing Brad Guzan into a fine stop from close range.

Sporting found their way back into the game in the 73rd minute when 20-year-old newcomer Alenis Vargas burst into the penalty area and was barged over by an Atlanta defender, and Willy Agada stepped up to convert the penalty kick.

The turnaround was complete in the 81st minute when 2024 MLS SuperDraft selection Jonathan Robinson was tugged back in the Atlanta area, leading to another Sporting penalty. Agada once again stepped up and sent the ‘keeper the wrong way to give his side the lead.

Vargas put the bow on an impressive team and individual performance with Sporting's third goal in the 85th minute, towering above the Atlanta backline to head home Felipe Hernandez’s cross.

Full focus now shifts to the MLS season opener next Saturday against Houston Dynamo FC at Shell Energy Stadium in Texas. The 2023 Western Conference Semifinal rematch will kick off at 7:30 p.m. CT on MLS Season Pass on Apple TV, while Sports Radio 810 WHB (English) and La Grande 1340 AM (Spanish) will carry the game locally on the radio.

Sporting Kansas City vs. Atlanta United FC
Feb. 17, 2024 – FIU Soccer Stadium (University Park, Fla.)
Sporting Kansas City 3, Atlanta United 1

Scoring Summary:
ATL – Nick Firmino (Xande Silva) 20’
SKC – Willy Agada (Penalty Kick) 73’
SKC – Willy Agada (Penalty Kick) 81’
SKC – Alenis Vargas (Felipe Hernandez) 85’

Sporting Kansas City: Tim Melia (John Pulskamp 61’); Jake Davis (Kayden Pierre 74’), Dany Rosero (Robert Castellanos 61’), Andreu Fontas (Robert Voloder 74’), Zorhan Bassong (Jonathan Robinson 74’); Nemanja Radoja (Jacob Bartlett 74’), Remi Walter (Felipe Hernandez 74’), Erik Thommy (Memo Rodriguez 71’); Stephen Afrifa (Marinos Tzionis 74’), Alan Pulido (Willy Agada 61’), Daniel Salloi (Alenis Vargas 46’)