"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. Dynamo Defeat
Western Conference leaders Sporting Kansas City (5-3-2, 17 points) suffered their first road loss of the season on Saturday, falling 2-1 to the Houston Dynamo (3-2-4, 13 points) at BBVA Stadium. Forward Erik Hurtado punctuated his first start of the season by firing the visitors ahead on the half-hour mark, but a pair of second-half Houston substitutes provided game-changing impacts as Alberth Elis equalized and Mauro Manotas headed home a late match-winner to give the Dynamo their third straight victory.
Despite Saturday’s loss, Sporting won’t be discouraged by the early returns on their travels this season. The club’s 3-1-1 road record in 2020—which, by the MLS record books, includes an MLS is Back Tournament game against Real Salt Lake on July 22—is tied for the second-best through five away fixtures in Sporting history. The 2000 MLS Cup champions began 3-0-2 away from home, while the 2007 and 2018 Kansas City outfits started 3-1-1.
2. Loons on Sunday
Manager Peter Vermes' men will return to Children's Mercy Park on Sunday to host regional rival Minnesota United FC (4-3-2, 14 points) at 7:30 p.m. CT. FOX Sports Kansas City, FOX Sports Midwest and FOX Sports GO will provide three hours of live coverage starting at 7 p.m. CT, while listeners can catch the action live on ESPN 94.5 FM.
Sporting and Minnesota have already met twice this season, with each side claiming a 2-1 win. The Loons struck twice in second-half stoppage time to emerge victorious in the MLS is Back Tournament group stage on July 12 in Walt Disney World, over a month before Sporting exacted revenge by posting a road triumph at Allianz Field.
Following detailed safety protocols developed in conjunction with the Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kansas, Sunday's match will be held at a reduced capacity of approximately 14% with extensive safety protocols in place. Tickets for the game will be available exclusively to Sporting Kansas City Season Ticket Members via lottery and no single-game tickets will be sold by the club on SeatGeek.com or at the stadium box office.
3. Kick Childhood Cancer
Sporting Kansas City and The Victory Project, the club’s philanthropic foundation dedicated to impacting the lives of children with cancer, have forces with MLS WORKS and Continental Tire in September to raise awareness and funds during Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.
The seventh annual Kick Childhood Cancer campaign will see Sporting Kansas City and The Victory Project participate in several initiatives as part of a league-wide aim to strengthen research efforts to find cures for all types of childhood cancer and provide support to one of the most vulnerable populations affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. For more details, click here.
4. 50/50 Raffle
As Sporting Kansas City and The Victory Project join MLS WORKS to raise awareness and funds during Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, fans now have the opportunity to participate in the Kick Childhood Cancer 50/50 raffle at victorykc.org/5050. One winning contestant will receive half of the net proceeds generated by the raffle, while the other half will go to The Victory Project, the philanthropic arm of Sporting Kansas City dedicated to impacting the lives of children with cancer. The raffle will be open through Sept. 30.
5. Tune In Tuesday
A new episode of the Sporting Kansas City Show will debut Tuesday at 9 p.m. CT on Sports Radio 810 WHB with hosts Nate Bukaty, Carter Augustine and Aly Trost, serving as a comprehensive recap of Major League Soccer's busy Labor Day Weekend and a preview of Sunday's home tilt with Minnesota. Previous episodes of the podcast are available at SportingKC.com/SportingKCShow.
6. Team of the Week for Gerso
Sporting winger Gerso Fernandes was named to the MLS Team of the Week on Thursday following his comprehensive performance on both sides of the ball in last Wednesday's 1-1 draw against FC Dallas. Gerso celebrated his 100th MLS appearance by becoming the first player in MLS this season, and only the second Sporting player in the Opta era (2010-present), to record three shots, three chances created from open play, three fouls suffered, three tackles won and three recoveries in a regular season match.
7. Sunk in St. Louis
Sporting Kansas City II (4-6-1, 13 points) saw its two-game winning streak come to an end Friday night in a heart-breaking 3-2 loss to Saint Louis FC (5-3-3, 18 points) at West Community Stadium in Fenton, Missouri. Red-hot Sporting KC II striker Wilson Harris struck twice and goalkeeper John Pulskamp made seven saves in a superb performance between the posts, but Saint Louis vaulted into the second and final playoff position in Group E of the USL Championship with second half goals from Kyle Greig, Tyler Blackwood and substitute Kadeem Dacres to emerge victorious in a five-goal thriller.
Sporting KC II will look to bounce back by visiting Indy Eleven (6-4-1, 19 points) on Wednesday at 6 p.m. CT inside Lucas Oil Stadium. The contest will stream live on ESPN Plus with additional in-game updates on ESPN Plus.