When Sporting Kansas City plays beyond the fourth Thursday of November, you know it's been a pretty good season.
For the third year in club history, Sporting Kansas City has reached the heralded Thanksgiving holiday with its season very much in tact.
Sporting previously played past Thanksgiving during their 2013 MLS Cup championship campaign before doing so again five years later, when they advanced to the 2018 Western Conference Finals. The third such occasion will take place next Thursday, Dec. 3, when Manager Peter Vermes' men host rivals Minnesota United FC in the Western Conference Semifinals at Children's Mercy Park.
Kickoff is slated for 7:31 p.m. CT with live coverage on FOX, FOX Deportes, the FOX Sports app, ESPN 94.5 FM and La Grande 1340 AM.
LATEST COMPETITIVE MATCHES IN SPORTING KC HISTORY
|1||12/07/2013||Real Salt Lake||Children's Mercy Park||MLS Cup||T 1-1 (7-6)|
|2||12/03/2020||Minnesota||Children's Mercy Park||Conference Semifinals||?|
|3||11/29/2018||Portland||Children's Mercy Park||Conference Finals (Leg 2)||L 2-3|
|4||11/25/2018||at Portland||Providence Park||Conference Finals (Leg 1)||T 0-0|
|5||11/23/2013||Houston||Children's Mercy Park||Conference Finals (Leg 2)||W 2-1|
|6||11/22/2020||San Jose||Children's Mercy Park||Conference Quarterfinals||T 3-3 (3-0)|
|7||11/21/2001||Santos Laguna||Arrowhead Stadium||Copa Merconorte||L 0-1|
|8||11/15/2003||at San Jose||Spartan Stadium||Conference Finals||L 2-3|
|9||11/14/2004||vs. D.C.||Dignity Health Sports Park||MLS Cup||L 2-3|
|10||11/11/2018||Real Salt Lake||Children's Mercy Park||Conference Semifinals||W 4-2|
As the table above indicates, next Thursday will mark just the second December match in Sporting's 25-year history. The first, of course, was an all-time classic as Vermes' side edged Real Salt Lake to hoist the 2013 MLS Cup title at a freezing but electric Children's Mercy Park.
With eight teams still competing in the Audi 2020 MLS Cup Playoffs, Sporting Kansas City has the clearcut opportunity to grow its list of battles waged in the month of December. The club has homefield advantage through MLS Cup, which is scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 12.
Regardless of how Sporting fares next week against Minnesota, an unprecedented 2020 MLS campaign will feature both the earliest start date and latest end date in league history. As you may recall, Sporting kicked off the 2020 season at Vancouver Whitecaps FC way back on Feb. 29, claiming a 3-1 victory that saw newcomers Gadi Kinda and Alan Pulido open their MLS scoring accounts.
The 2020 MLS season will end 287 days after it began. Whether Sporting progresses to the final stage of the campaign remains to be seen, but this much is certain: players, coaches and supporters alike will be grateful to be kicking on past Thanksgiving.