"The Week in Review,” is a weekly series that highlights the biggest storylines and news updates from Sporting Kansas City.
1. Sporting wraps up road trip
Sporting Kansas City partook in three straight MLS road matches in the span of eight days. Sporting KC would go on to win the first, draw the second and lose the third. In the opener on Saturday, July 9, Sporting traveled north of the border to take on CF Montreal. After conceding first, Roger Espinoza sank the AT&T goal of the week from 45 yards out to draw Sporting even with Montreal before the end of the first half. Remi Walter scored the eventual match-winner in the 63rd with Tim Melia making a handful of saves down the stretch to secure the win.
This past Wednesday, Sporting faced Minnesota United at Allianz Field as a part of MLS’s Heineken Rivalry week. Again, the visitor’s conceded first, this time in the form of an own goal right before halftime. Johnny Russell came on as a second half substitute and leveled the match off Kayden Pierre’s first MLS assist. Goalkeeper John Pulskamp, in his first MLS start of 2022, followed in Melia’s footsteps making multiple clutch saves to earn Sporting a valuable road point. Sunday, Sporting suffered a 3-0 defeat at Salt Lake despite Pulskamp making a career-high seven saves.
2. LAFC at CMP on Saturday
Finally, Sporting returns to Children’s Mercy Park for the first time since July 3, on Saturday, July 23 for a match with LAFC. The current leaders in the Supporters’ Shield standings bolstered their lineup with international additions, Gareth Bale and Giorgio Chiellini making their MLS debuts Sunday night at Nashville.
Sporting has fared well against LAFC at home, posting a 2-1-0 record in three meetings at Children’s Mercy Park. The most recent battle in front of the Blue Hell came last June with Sporting scoring two second half goals to erase a one-goal deficit and win 2-1. Forward Daniel Salloi netted the match winner in the 87th minute off an assist from midfielder Felipe Hernandez.
Tickets are on sale for the Saturday showdown at SeatGeek.com with kickoff set for 7:30 p.m. CT.
3. US Women’s National Team returns to Kansas City
While Sporting returns to Kansas City on Saturday, The United States Women’s National Team returns to the heartland on Saturday, Sept. 3 for a match with Nigeria at Children’s Mercy Park. Kickoff will be at 12:30 p.m. CT and will air nationally on FOX with coverage beginning 30-minutes prior to kick.
Tickets for the match will go on sale on Monday, Aug. 1 at 9 a.m. CT at USsoccer.com. Sporting KC Season Ticket Members will have access to a presale at 9 a.m. CT on Friday, July 29. The USWNT is 5-0-4 in Kansas City and 3-0-2 at Children’s Mercy Park as they look to keep that unbeaten streak alive this September.
4. MLS weekly honors
After two solid road results, three Sporting KC players received weekly honors from Major League Soccer. For his performance in Montreal, Roger Espinoza was selected to the Team of the Week bench presented by Audi and was named AT&T Goal of the Week by a fan-voted Twitter poll.
After picking up a draw in Minnesota Johnny Russell earned a spot on the Team of the Week bench and Nicolas Isimat-Mirin was one of three defenders selected to the Team of the Week starting lineup. Russell came on as a second half sub and scored the equaling goal against the Loons. Isimat-Mirin played the whole 90 and recorded an MLS career-high 10 duels won. He also made three interceptions and had five clearances.
5. Ten-man SKC II side suffers 1-0 road loss to Real Monarchs
Saturday night, SKC II took on Real Monarchs at Zions Bank Stadium and suffered their first road loss since April 24. First-team goalkeeper Kendall McIntosh made six saves on the night as SKC II defended the goal with 10 men following a 65th minute red card. Real Monarchs found the match winner in the third minute of second half stoppage time on a rebound off the post. SKC II will return to Kansas City and to Swope Soccer Village for a Friday night matchup with Tacoma Defiance. Kickoff will be at 7 p.m. CT and tickets are on sale at SeatGeek.com for SKC II’s four remaining home matches.