This Week in Sporting - July 19, 2021

"This Week in Sporting," presented by The Smile Generation, is a weekly series that highlights the biggest storylines and news updates from Sporting Kansas City.

1. The Boys are Back

Following a two-week break, Sporting Kansas City (8-3-2, 26 points) will return to action this week with two MLS regular season matches as the race for first place in the Western Conference intensifies.

Manager Peter Vermes' side will play for a fourth straight win on Wednesday when the San Jose Earthquakes (3-7-3, 12 points) visit Children's Mercy Park at 7:30 p.m. CT. Tickets for the match are available at SeatGeek.com, including Coca-Cola Family Four Packs that include four general admission tickets in the South Stand, four Coca-Cola products and four Domino's pizzas.

Bally Sports Kansas City, Bally Sports Midwest Plus, BallySports.com and the Bally Sports app will provide three hours of live coverage on Wednesday beginning at 7 p.m. CT. The game will also air locally on Sports Radio 810 WHB and La Grande 1340 AM.

After hosting San Jose, second-place Sporting will venture west for a colossal showdown against first-place and unbeaten Seattle Sounders FC (8-1-5, 29 points) on Sunday night at Lumen Field. The highly anticipated matchup will kick off at 8 p.m. CT with three hours of live programming set to begin at 7:30 p.m. CT on Bally Sports Kansas City, Bally Sports Midwest, BallySports.com and the Bally Sports app. Sports Radio 810 WHB and La Grande 1340 AM will also air radio broadcasts.

2. Red, White and Busio

Sporting Kansas City midfielder Gianluca Busio and the United States Men's National Team sealed first place in Group B of the Concacaf Gold Cup with a hard-earned 1-0 victory over Canada on Sunday at sold-out Children's Mercy Park.

Busio started and played 74 minutes before an electric crowd and defender Shaq Moore bagged the game's lone goal within 20 seconds of kickoff, propelling head coach Gregg Berhalter's side ahead of Canada at the Group B summit.

With Sunday's result in the books, the U.S. MNT will now begin preparations for an all-important quarterfinal clash against either Costa Rica or Jamaica at 8:30 p.m. CT next Sunday in Arlington, Texas. The match will be shown live nationally in English on FS1 and the FOX Sports app and in Spanish on Univision, TUDN and the TUDN app.

The U.S. MNT will learn its group stage opponents Tuesday night when Costa Rica and Jamaica fight for first place in Group C. Should Jamaica lose or draw, it would face the United States in the quarterfinals. If Jamaica wins, the Yanks will face Costa Rica in the quarters.

3. Pulido and Mexico March Onward

Sporting Kansas City striker Alan Pulido made his 18th career appearance for the Mexico Men's National Team on Sunday night, entering in the 74th minute as El Tri prevailed 1-0 over El Salvador to finish atop Group A of the Concacaf Gold Cup.

Playing before a raucous capacity crowd at Cotton Bowl in Dallas, Mexico broke through in the 26th minute on a goal from defender Luis Hernandez and collected their sixth consecutive clean sheet to leapfrog El Salvador for top spot in Group A and book a Gold Cup quarterfinal date at 9 p.m. CT on Saturday at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.

Pulido and Mexico will meet the Group D runners-up in the quarterfinals, a fixture that will be determined Tuesday when Honduras, Qatar and Panama jockey for position in their respective group stage finales. The contest will be shown live in English on FS1 and the FOX Sports app and in Spanish on Univision, TUDN and the TUDN app.

4. Club Leon in Leagues Cup

Sporting Kansas City will host LIGA MX heavyweights Club Leon in the 2021 Leagues Cup quarterfinals on Aug. 10 at Children's Mercy Park. Tickets for the highly anticipated Leagues Cup clash are now available at SeatGeek.com. Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m. CT and the game will be shown live nationally on ESPN2, the ESPN app and TUDN.

Sporting's quarterfinal opponent was confirmed Sunday night when Club Leon fell 2-1 to Cruz Azul in the 2021 Campeon de Campeones at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California.

5. All-Star Voting

Wednesday is the final day that supporters can cast their votes for the 2021 MLS All-Star Game presented by Target. The annual summer showcase will see the MLS All-Stars face the LIGA MX All-Stars on Aug. 25 at Banc of California in Los Angeles. Thirteen Sporting players are available for selection on the fan voting ballot.

6. SKC II in Action

Led by head coach Paulo Nagamura, Sporting Kansas City II (3-7-4, 13 points) will continue their USL Championship campaign on Saturday night with a visit to Central Division rivals OKC Energy FC (4-5-5, 17 points) at Taft Stadium. The contest will kick off at 7:30 p.m. CT and stream live on ESPN Plus.