Sporting Kansas City II will host Charlotte Independence in the club’s 2020 USL Championship season opener on Sunday, March 8 at 4 p.m. CT, the club announced today.
For the second straight year, Sporting II is set to play every USL Championship home match at world-class Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas City, Kansas. Tickets for all home games will be available at SeatGeek.com at a later date. Additionally, Sporting Kansas City Season Ticket Members will once again have access to complimentary Sporting II tickets and can contact their Membership Services Executive for more information.
The USL Championship today unveiled 2020 home openers for all 35 clubs, with the league’s 10th anniversary season featuring 17 Eastern conference teams and 18 Western Conference sides.
Led by third-year head coach and former Sporting Kansas City midfielder Paulo Nagamura, Sporting II will compete in the East for the second straight season. The club’s full 34-game regular season slate, including kickoff times and viewing details, will be released in the near term.
Sporting II are 3-0-1 in their previous four home openers, including wins over Portland Timbers 2 (2016), OKC Energy FC (2017) and Tacoma Defiance (2018) plus a 2-2 tie last season versus Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC. Nagamura’s side went unbeaten against Charlotte in 2019, drawing 0-0 on June 8 at Children’s Mercy Park before posting a 3-0 road victory on Sept. 21 behind forward Wilson Harris’ brace and goalkeeper John Pulskamp’s clean sheet.
The 2020 USL Championship regular season will span 33 weeks, running from early March to mid-October. The top 10 finishers in each conference will advance to the USL Championship Playoffs, unfolding in single-elimination fashion through the USL Championship Final in November.
Sporting II is set to return seven players from the 2019 squad, including 22-year-old Portuguese winger Ze Pedro and Sporting Kansas City Academy products Harris, Will Little and Brooks Thompson. Ze Pedro joined the club midway through last season and tallied five goals and three assists in just 12 appearances. Harris, meanwhile, led the side with a team-best 12 goals as one of the top-scoring teenagers in American soccer. Sporting II is also likely to field multiple MLS players on loan from Sporting Kansas City and several rising talents from the club’s Academy.
Preparing for their fifth season in 2020, Sporting II advanced to the USL Championship Final in their first two years of existence as 2016 and 2017 Western Conference champions. The club returned to the playoffs in 2018 before missing out in 2019, their first season in the Eastern Conference.