This Week in Sporting - Feb. 28, 2020

This Week in Sporting presented by The Smile Generation: Nov. 2, 2020

"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. Called Off

Major League Soccer announced Saturday the cancellation of Sporting Kansas City’s regular season home match against Minnesota United FC on Sunday at Children’s Mercy Park. The cancellation follows confirmed positive COVID-19 tests to two Minnesota United FC players this week. Due to the limited number of match dates available prior to Decision Day presented by AT&T on Sunday, the match will not be rescheduled.

Sporting Kansas City Season Ticket Members who used credit for tickets to Sunday’s match will have that credit refunded into their accounts for future use. Additionally, all single-game buyers who purchased tickets to the game via SeatGeek will be refunded in full.

2. Decision Day

Sporting Kansas City (11-6-3, 36 points) will conclude the 2020 regular season campaign on Sunday, visiting rivals Real Salt Lake (5-9-7, 22 points) in a 5:30 p.m. CT kickoff at Rio Tinto Stadium. Fans can catch the action live on FOX Sports Kansas City, FOX Sports Midwest, FOX Sports GO, ESPN 94.5 FM and La Grande 1340 AM.

Sporting has clinched a berth in the Audi 2020 MLS Cup Playoffs and currently occupies second place in the Western Conference with 1.8 points per game. The top four finishers in the West will have homefield advantage in the first round of the Audi 2020 MLS Cup Playoffs, which will unfold in a single-elimination, bracket-style format through MLS Cup on Dec. 12.

3. Playoff Math

As our newest edition of playoff math highlights, Sporting Kansas City can finish atop the Western Conference if they beat Real Salt Lake on Sunday and if the Portland Timbers and Seattle Sounders FC both drop points in either of their last two matches. Click here for the latest details as clubs across the leagues jockey for position in the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs.

Major League Soccer confirmed earlier last week that multiple clubs will finish the season without playing the full 23 scheduled matches due to disruptions from Covid-19. As a result, qualification for the Audi 2020 MLS Cup Playoffs will be determined by points earned on a per match basis, or points per game.More information about playoff dates and tickets for potential playoff matches at Children’s Mercy Park will be released in the near term.

4. The 25 Greatest

In continued celebration of its 25th season, Major League Soccer last week announced The 25 Greatest presented by AT&T, a platform that will determine and honor the 25 brightest stars in league history. A special panel of more than 200 MLS experts from across North America will select the 25 players who achieved the most on the field, drove the narrative off the field, and lay the foundation for MLS’s next 25 years.

The 25 Greatest presented by AT&T will be revealed on Dec. 9, three days prior to the 2020 MLS Cup. A total of 18 past and present Sporting players are among the players nominated, including active club legends Matt Besler and Graham Zusi.

5. Award Nominees

Major League Soccer announced last week the nominees for several 2020 year-end awards, which included the following Sporting Kansas City players:

  • Landon Donovan MLS MVP: Alan Pulido and Johnny Russell
  • AT&T MLS Young Player of the Year: Gianluca Busio and Jaylin Lindsey
  • Allstate MLS Goalkeeper of the Year: Tim Melia
  • MLS Defender of the Year: Roberto Puncec and Graham Zusi
  • MLS Comeback Player of the Year: Jaylin Lindsey and Winston Reid
  • MLS Newcomer of the Year: Gadi Kinda and Alan Pulido
  • MLS WORKS Humanitarian of the Year: Khiry Shelton
  • Sigi Schmid MLS Coach of the Year: Peter Vermes

6. Holiday Shopping Experience

Sporting Kansas City fans are welcome to attend the club's premier shopping event of the year on Thursday, Nov. 12, when SportingStyle hosts the Holiday Shopping Experience at Children's Mercy Park.

Taking place from 5-8 p.m. CT inside the UMB Field Club, the Holiday Shopping Experience will give supporters the opportunity to shop from a wide variety of holiday items including jerseys, jackets, sweatshirts and much more. Additionally, guests can get $50 off their purchase by spending $200 or more at the event. Drinks and light hors d'oeuvres will also be served.

Fans planning to attend are asked to RSVP before Friday, Nov. 6, by clicking here.

7. Wonderful Wilson

Sporting Kansas City forward Wilson Harris has been named a finalist for the 2020 USL Championship Young Player of the Year award, the league announced last week. Harris, 20, is the third consecutive Sporting Kansas City Academy product to be tabbed a finalist for the USL Championship Young Player of the Year, following in the footsteps of Sporting midfielders Wan Kuzain (2018) and Felipe Hernandez (2019).

8. The Academy: Episode 3

Audi and Bleacher Report released Episode 3 of "THE ACADEMY" on Friday, shining a spotlight on the Sporting Kansas City Academy and its youth talent development system. "THE ACADEMY" provides an all-access look at the commitments and sacrifices that young athletes make within the Sporting KC Academy. The five-part series gives fans a first-hand account of how Sporting Kansas City and Audi are working to ensure the next generation of athletes is ready to compete at an elite level.

In Episode 3, Sporting kick off the MLS Next fall campaign under the guidance of head coach Rumba Munthali and navigates the various challenges presented by the pandemic. To watch each episode as the series unfolds, click here.