"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. To visit the series archive, click here.
1. Back Home Saturday
Winners of three straight matches, Sporting Kansas City (5-2-1, 16 points) will return to Children's Mercy Park on Saturday afternoon to host MLS expansion side Austin FC (2-4-1, 7 points). Tickets for the Western Conference clash are available at SeatGeek.com as Sporting looks to take first place in the Supporters' Shield standings with a victory.
Saturday's contest will kick off at 2 p.m. CT with three hours of live coverage beginning at 1:30 p.m. CT on Bally Sports Kansas City Plus, Bally Sports Midwest Plus, BallySports.com and the Bally Sports app. Listeners can follow the action live locally on Sports Radio 810 WHB (English) and La Grande 1340 AM (Spanish), while the Sporting KC app will provide additional in-game updates. The Final Whistle postgame show will also air immediately afterward on 810 WHB.
2. Kinda with Israel
After scoring a sensational goal on his Israel debut in a 3-1 win at Montenegro on Saturday, Sporting midfielder Gadi Kinda has traveled with Israel for a match against European powerhouse Portugal at 1:45 p.m. CT on Wednesday at Estadio Jose Alvalade in Lisbon. Fans can stream the match live on ESPN Plus.
3. Pulido with Mexico
Sporting striker Alan Pulido, who featured for Mexico in a dramatic Concacaf Nations League semifinal shootout victory over Costa Rica last Thursday, will conclude his stint with El Tri on Saturday in a friendly against Honduras at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. The match is slated for 6:30 p.m. CT with live coverage in Spanish on Univision and TUDN. Pulido was an unused substitute in Mexico's 3-2 extra-time loss to the United States on Sunday in the Concacaf Nations League Final in Denver.
4. Brilliant Busio
The awards keep coming in for Sporting midfielder Gianluca Busio. Already named to the MLS Team of the Week presented by Audi after scoring a world-class free kick and providing the game-winning assist in a 3-2 victory over Houston Dynamo FC last weekend, MLS on Friday added AT&T Goal of the Week honors to Busio's list of accolades for Week 7 of the 2021 season.
5. Tune in Tuesday
A new episode of the Sporting KC Show Podcast will debut at 6:30 p.m. CT Tuesday on Sports Radio 810 WHB. Hosts Nate Bukaty, Aly Trost and Conall McCourt will hear from a Sporting guest, preview Saturday's match against Austin FC and recap a thrilling Concacaf Nations League Final between the United States and Mexico. The Sporting KC Show Podcast is available on Spotify, iTunes and SportingKC.com, giving supporters a weekly destination to catch up on club storylines, player achievements, guest interviews and more.
6. SKC II Sizzles
Four Sporting Kansas City II players opened their professional scoring accounts last Wednesday as the rampant hosts defeated FC Tulsa 4-1 at Children’s Mercy Park for their first victory of the 2021 USL Championship campaign. Cam Duke, Grayson Barber, Kaveh Rad and Rojay Smith all found the back of the net for a Sporting KC II side (1-3-3, 6 points) that erased an early deficit and improved their all-time record against FC Tulsa (3-2-0, 9 points) to 8-1-1 in 10 meetings. Wednesday’s brilliant performance also marked the second match in SKC II history that three Sporting KC Academy products—Duke, Barber and Rad—scored goals.
Led by head coach Paulo Nagamura, Sporting KC II will battle for another win on Wednesday when they visit Atlanta United 2 (3-2-2, 11 points) at Fifth Third Bank Stadium in Kennesaw, Georgia. The USL Championship showdown will kick off at 6:30 p.m. CT and stream live on ESPN Plus.
7. Central Bank Sporting Complex
Sporting Kansas City will host a groundbreaking ceremony on June 18 for the Central Bank Sporting Complex, a $36 million multisport facility located at the northwest corner of Highway 152 and North Platte Purchase Drive in Kansas City, Missouri. The 76-acre, tournament-quality complex is the focal point of an anticipated $375-million, multi-phase development on 492 acres within Twin Creeks Village. Major components of the mixed-use project include a campus for the Platte County R-3 School District, single and multi-family housing units, and commercial space for retail, office, restaurant, hotel and entertainment destinations.