"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. Stalemate in Chicago
Sporting Kansas City (9-6-3, 30 points) kept hold of third place in the Western Conference following a tense 2-2 draw with Chicago Fire FC (5-8-5, 20 points) on Saturday afternoon at Soldier Field.
After Erik Hurtado’s 35th-minute opener was canceled out by a Robert Beric strike on the brink of halftime, Sporting took their second lead of the day thanks to a Gadi Kinda header in the 83rd minute. However, Manager Peter Vermes’ men were denied the full three points as Chicago substitute Djordje Mihailovic equalized on one of the final kicks of the match.
The result leaves Sporting on 30 points, one behind Seattle Sounders FC and the Portland Timbers at the summit of the West. Chicago, meanwhile, has taken hold of the 10th and final playoff position in the East and snapped a four-game losing streak against Sporting that dated back to 2017.
2. Clash with Colorado
Manager Peter Vermes' men side will now prepare for a pivotal home encounter with the Colorado Rapids (5-4-4, 19 points) on Saturday night at world-class Children's Mercy Park. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. CT and tickets are available at SeatGeek.com with stadium capacity reduced to 18%.
Saturday's showdown will feature three hours of live coverage beginning at 7 p.m. CT on FOX Sports Kansas City, FOX Sports Midwest and FOX Sports GO. The contest will also air locally on ESPN 94.5 FM and La Grande 1340 AM, while fans can access the Sporting KC app for additional in-game updates and exclusive offers.
3. Pulido Capped by Mexico
Sporting Kansas City striker Alan Pulido helped the Mexico Men’s National Team to a 2-2 comeback draw against Algeria in an international friendly last Tuesday at Cars Jeans Stadion in The Hague, Netherlands.
Making his first appearance for Mexico since November 2018, Pulido entered as a 73rd-minute substitute with El Tri trailing by a 2-1 scoreline. Mexico dominated most of the second half after Algeria’s Adlene Guedioura was sent off in the 55th minute and ultimately drew level on 86 minutes when Diego Lainez slotted home off the post.
Pulido’s 14th career cap for El Tri marked the first time an active Sporting Kansas City player has represented Mexico at the senior international level. Head coach Gerardo “Tata” Martino fielded three MLS players over the course of the game, including starts for LA Galaxy midfielder Jonathan dos Santos and Inter Miami CF playmaker Rodolfo Pizarro.
With his trip to Europe in the rearview mirror, Pulido is now adhering to mandated health and safety protocols in accordance with international travel and will rejoin Sporting Kansas City in the coming days for the final stretch of the MLS regular season.
4. U-17s sink FC Dallas
Four Sporting Kansas City Academy teams took the field Saturday afternoon to battle perennial powerhouse FC Dallas at the Titan Sports and Performance Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma. While the U-19s, U-15s and U-14s all took narrow defeats, the U-17s sprung a dramatic victory of their own in a competitive day of MLS NEXT action.
5. No Shield in 2020
The Supporters' Shield, awarded to the team that finishes with the best record during the MLS regular season, will not be awarded in 2020. The decision was made and officially announced by the Supporters' Shield Foundation, the group appointed by the Independent Supporters Council to oversee the awarding of the trophy every year. The Shield was created by club supporters in the early years of the league and it has recognized the best MLS team in every regular season since 1998.