Preview: Sporting to host New York Red Bulls in Sunday showdown at Children's Mercy Park

Sporting Kansas City vs. New York Red Bulls
Sunday, April 14, 2019 | 6 p.m. CT
Children's Mercy Park | Kansas City, Kansas
2019 MLS Regular Season | Match 6 of 34

Broadcast Schedule:
English TV | FS1
Spanish TV | FOX Deportes
English Radio | Sports Radio 810 WHB, SiriusXM FC
Spanish Radio | ESPN Deportes KC 1480 AM
Mobile | Sporting KC App, FOX Sports GO

Sporting KC App | By The Numbers | Five Things to Know | Videos
Match Notes | Media Guide | MatchCenter | FOX Sports GO Link

Two perennial playoff contenders and founding members of Major League Soccer will square off Sunday at world-class Children's Mercy Park when Sporting Kansas City (2-1-2, 8 points) duels the reigning Supporters' Shield champion New York Red Bulls (1-3-1, 4 points). Kickoff is slated for 6 p.m. CT and tickets remain available at SeatGeek.com. The contest will be televised nationally on FS1 and FOX Deportes, while Sports Radio 810 WHB, SiriusXM FC (English) and ESPN Deportes KC 1480 AM (Spanish) will air radio broadcasts with The Final Whistle postgame show immediately following on 810 WHB.

Supporters in attendance will be treated to a special matchday experience as the club hosts its inaugural Sporting Sustainability match, featuring a variety of unique offers and opportunities for fans. At the forefront, Sporting's new Parley jersey will be available for purchase at all SportingStyle locations inside the stadium. Fans are also encouraged to stay in their seats afterwards for a Special Olympics Unified Soccer exchange game between Special Olympics Sporting Kansas City and Special Olympics New York Red Bulls.

Sporting's run in the 2019 Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League came to a halt Thursday night in a semifinal home defeat to CF Monterrey. Having navigated a crowded fixture list through the first month and a half of the campaign, Sporting can now direct their full attention on the MLS regular season. Sunday marks the start of a six-week stretch that will see Manager Peter Vermes' side play six of eight league matches on home soil.

Sunday's primetime battle features two teams who have made a habit of reaching the postseason over the last decade. New York's nine-year playoff run is the second-longest active streak in MLS, while Sporting's eight-year run ranks third. Both teams are also coming off historic 2018 regular season campaigns. The Red Bulls set an MLS record for most wins (22) and points (71) in a 34-game regular season, while Sporting set a slew of scoring records en route to a first-place finish in the West.

Led by head coach Chris Armas, the Red Bulls will hope to exorcise the demons of their last trip to Children's Mercy Park in September 2017. Sporting defeated New York by a 2-1 scoreline in the 2017 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Final, receiving the game-winning goal from forward Daniel Salloi, to win the tournament for the third time in six years and deny the Red Bulls their first major cup trophy.

Despite their consistently stellar performances over the course of 2018, the Red Bulls fell short of reaching MLS Cup last winter and have started the new season slowly. The reigning Supporters' Shield winners have lost three straight league games for the first time in two years and have lost five of six in all competitions, including a quarterfinal defeat to Santos Laguna in the Concacaf Champions League.

New York's recent slide doesn't detract from the fact that Bradley Wright-Phillips, Kaku and Daniel Royer spearhead a formidable attack. Wright-Phillips has scored 106 regular-season goals since 2014, 40 more than any other player, while Kaku amassed six goals and 14 assists in his debut MLS season last year. Royer has led the way thus far in 2019 with a team-best four goals and two assists in all competitions.

Facing a Red Bulls outfit that has failed to keep a clean sheet in seven straight matches, Sporting will look to cash in and extend their regular-season home unbeaten run to nine. Krisztian Nemeth (eight goals), Gerso Fernandes (four goals, four assists) and Johnny Russell (three goals, four assists) have all shown solid productivity in front of goal, and on an even brighter note, Salloi returned Thursday after missing almost a month with an ankle injury.

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