Preseason Preview: Sporting KC to meet Red Bulls in Mobile Mini Sun Cup on Wednesday

Sporting Kansas City vs. New York Red Bulls
2018 Preseason presented by Children's Mercy
Wednesday, Feb. 14 | 6 p.m. CT
Mobile Mini Sun Cup | Kino Sports Complex | Tucson, Arizona
Live Updates: @SportingKC and @SKCMatchday on Twitter

Sporting Kansas City returns to the pitch on Wednesday to face the New York Red Bulls in the Mobile Mini Sun Cup at Kino Sports Complex in Tucson, Arizona. Kickoff is slated for 6 p.m. CT, streaming live online with additional in-game updates available via Twitter at @SportingKC and @SKCMatchday.

Wednesday’s contest — a rematch of the 2017 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Final played at Children’s Mercy Park — is the first of four games that highlight the second leg of Sporting KC’s 2018 preseason, presented by Children’s Mercy. The Mobile Mini Sun Cup features 11 MLS clubs as well as hosts Phoenix Rising FC and USL side San Antonio FC.

Sporting KC secured three straight victories during the first phase of preseason training in Scottsdale, Arizona, as Manager Peter Vermes gave runouts to 35 different players over the course of three exhibition wins. A balanced attack saw seven goal scorers find the back of the net and six players provide assists. Gerso was the lone contributor to strike twice, having led the team in 2017 with 10 goals in all competitions, while Cristian Lobato was the only player to provide a goal and an assist.

With a highly anticipated MLS season opener against New York City FC beckoning on March 4, the next two weeks will likely see Vermes increase playing time for prospective starters. Preseason debuts also await for defender Emiliano Amor, midfielder Felipe Gutierrez and winger Johnny Russell, a trio of newcomers who have signed MLS contracts over the last month.

Sporting KC will meet Rising FC on Saturday and the New England Revolution on Feb. 21 before closing out the Mobile Mini Sun Cup with a placement match on Feb. 24.

Sporting KC 2018 Preseason Schedule

Saturday, Jan. 27 Phoenix Rising FC trialists W 2-1 Phoenix Rising Soccer Complex
Scottsdale, AZ
Wednesday, Jan. 31 Sporting Arizona W 4-0 Phoenix Rising Soccer Complex
Scottsdale, AZ
Saturday, Feb. 3 Colorado Rapids W 2-0 Phoenix Rising Soccer Complex
Scottsdale, AZ
Wednesday, Feb. 14 New York Red Bulls 6pm Kino Sports Complex
Tucson, AZ
Saturday, Feb. 17 Phoenix Rising FC (tickets) 4pm Phoenix Rising Soccer Complex
Scottsdale, AZ
Wednesday, Feb. 21 New England Revolution 12pm Kino Sports Complex
Tucson, AZ
Saturday, Feb. 24 TBD (tickets) TBD Kino Sports Complex
Tucson, AZ

Led by fourth-year head coach Jesse Marsch, the Red Bulls enter Wednesday with wins in four of their first five preseason fixtures. New York has bagged 20 goals across the five games, including three from midfielder Alex Muyl and two from prolific forward Bradley Wright-Phillips, whose 85 regular-season goals since 2014 lead MLS. Marsch’s men are coming off a 3-2 victory over Phoenix Rising FC in which Vincent Bezecourt and Fidel Escobar scored after the 90th minute to complete an unlikely comeback.

As charter members of MLS, Sporting KC and New York last met on the championship stage at Children’s Mercy Park as the hosts prevailed 2-1 to lift their third Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup title in six seasons. Vermes’ side has won each of the previous two regular season meetings by a 2-0 scoreline.