This Week in Sporting - Sept. 27, 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. Narrow Defeat

Sporting Kansas City (13-6-7, 46 points) relinquished first place in the Western Conference following a narrow 2-1 loss to Seattle Sounders FC (14-5-6, 48 points) on Sunday night at Children's Mercy Park.

Captain Johnny Russell pulled a goal back for Sporting in the 60th minute after Seattle had struck on either side of halftime through Cristian Roldan and Will Bruin. Although the hosts applied pressure in search of a late equalizer, the Sounders emerged victorious to leapfrog Sporting for the top spot in the West. The result snaps Seattle's six-game winless skid at Children's Mercy Park and gives the Sounders their first win in Kansas City since 2013.

2. Dallas on Wednesday

Sporting Kansas City (13-6-7, 2nd place) will take on a pair of familiar foes from Texas this week, traveling to the Lone Star State to take on FC Dallas (6-12-9, 11th place) on Wednesday before welcoming Houston Dynamo FC (5-11-11, 12th place) to Children's Mercy Park on Sunday. Both matches will be the third and final meetings of the 2021 regular season series against Dallas and Houston, after Sporting split the previous two meetings with each opponent.

Sporting and FC Dallas will face off again at 7 p.m. CT at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas. Sporting KC Live presented by Michelob Ultra will kick off three hours of coverage at 6:30 p.m. CT on Bally Sports KC Plus and Bally Sports Midwest Plus with official watch parties hosted at Chicken N Pickle's locations in North Kansas City and Wichita featuring an enter-to-win raffle for a signed jersey, signed ball and Sporting KC pickle ball paddles . In-game radio coverage will be available on Sports Radio 810 WHB and La Grande 1340 AM as Sporting striker Daniel Salloi and FC Dallas forward Ricardo Pepi, two of the top Homegrown Players in Major League Soccer, go head-to-head.

3. Houston on Sunday

On Sunday, Sporting Kansas City will look to complete the "H Town Takedown" as KC NWSL hosts the Houston Dash on Saturday and Sporting hosts Houston Dynamo FC on Sunday. KC NWSL goalkeeper Adrianna Franch will be in attendance at Children's Mercy Park to lead the "I Believe" chant at kickoff, scheduled for 3 p.m. CT sharp. The match, which kicks off a critical five-game slate for Sporting in October, has been picked up for a national television audience on UniMas and TUDN in addition to local coverage on Bally Sports KC Plus, Bally Sports Midwest Plus, ESPN 94.5 FM and La Grande 1340 AM.

Tickets for Sunday's showdown are available at SeatGeek.com and match sponsor UMKC will distribute Sporting KC tote bags for fans at the conclusion of the match while supplies last. The Sporting KC app will also feature exclusive offers and match content.

4. Salloi Gets the Call

Sporting Kansas City forward Daniel Salloi has been selected to the Hungary Men’s National Team for the continuation of 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying in October.

After making his first three appearances for Hungary's senior team earlier this month, Salloi will join the Magyars once again for a pair of World Cup qualifiers in Group I of the UEFA region. Hungary will host Albania on Oct. 9 at Puskas Arena in Budapest before traveling to London to face England on Oct. 12 at the iconic Wembley Stadium. Both matches will kick off at 1:45 p.m. CT and stream live on ESPN Plus.

Salloi will depart for Europe following Sporting’s home match against Houston Dynamo FC on Sunday afternoon at Children’s Mercy Park.

5. Sinovic Retires

Longtime Sporting Kansas City defender Seth Sinovic has announced his retirement from professional soccer after an excellent 11-year playing career in MLS. The Kansas City native represented his hometown club from 2011-2019, helping Sporting win an MLS Cup and three Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup titles as an integral part of the team’s backline. He was formally honored at halftime of Sunday’s match.

Sinovic, 34, ranks seventh in club history with 257 appearances and places sixth in both starts (245) and minutes played (21,791) across all competitions. The fan-favorite left back was part of a Sporting side that made eight straight playoff appearances from 2011-2018 and started in all four of the club’s cup final victories throughout the decade—the 2013 MLS Cup and the 2012, 2015 and 2017 U.S. Open Cups.

6. Expanded Leagues Cup

In a monumental new chapter for North American soccer, beginning in 2023, all of the clubs from the top two first division leagues in North America, Major League Soccer and LIGA MX, will compete in a completely reimagined Leagues Cup: an annual, month-long, tournament. Both leagues will pause their respective seasons for one month during the summer to play Leagues Cup, showcasing the soccer infrastructure and capabilities in the region in the years leading into the 2026 FIFA World Cup in the U.S., Canada and Mexico, the first World Cup to feature 48 countries. For full details, click here.

7. Victory Lap on Saturday

On Saturday, the Victory Lap 5K Run/Walk presented by Compass Minerals will be held at Children's Mercy Park to raise funds for The Victory Project. Participants of all ages can sign up online through Friday or in-person on Saturday for the family-friendly event, which will feature a commemorative scarf and medal for all registered attendees.