"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. Ready for Primetime
Sporting Kansas City will open the 2021 MLS regular season with a visit to the New York Red Bulls at 7 p.m. CT on Saturday, April 17. The inter-conference clash at Red Bull Arena was originally slated to kick off at 12 p.m. CT before moving to primetime.
Following their Week 1 meeting against New York, Sporting will host Orlando City SC in the club’s highly anticipated Children’s Mercy Park home opener on Friday, April 23. The 6:30 p.m. CT matchup will be televised nationally on FS1 and FOX Deportes.
FOX Sports Kansas City, soon to be Bally Sports Kansas City, will serve as the television home of Sporting KC in 2021. The local television schedule, the full MLS regular season schedule and Sporting KC ticket information for home matches at Children’s Mercy Park will be announced soon.
2. Pulido Joins Mexico
Sporting Kansas City striker Alan Pulido has been selected to the Mexico Men’s National Team for two upcoming friendly matches in Europe. Pulido has joined a 26-player squad assembled by head coach Gerardo “Tata” Martino for games at Wales on Saturday in Cardiff and against Concacaf rival Costa Rica on March 30 in Wiener Neustadt, Austria.
Mexico MNT Match Schedule
|Saturday, March 27||Wales||3 p.m.||Cardiff City Stadium;
|Tuesday, March 30||Costa Rica||2 p.m.||
Stadion Wiener Neustadt;
Wiener Neustadt, Austria
Following the friendly matches, Pulido will adhere to mandated health and safety protocols in accordance with international travel before rejoining Sporting Kansas City in April for the start of the 2021 MLS regular season.
3. Preseason Countdown
As Sporting Kansas City prepares for its 26th season as a charter member of Major League Soccer, SportingKC.com is rolling out a 26-day countdown to the start of the 2021 campaign. A mouthwatering opening weekend of MLS action will see Sporting Kansas City visit the New York Red Bulls at 7 p.m. CT on April 17, giving supporters their first look at Manager Peter Vermes’ side since last December.
The 2021 Preseason Countdown, presented by Children’s Mercy, will serve as the comprehensive, go-to preview of everything that awaits Sporting Kansas City in the weeks and months to come. From key storylines and bold predictions to statistical breakdowns and players to watch, the 2021 Preseason Countdown will highlight the many reasons to be excited for what’s ahead. To visit the series homepage as it expands, visit SportingKC.com/2021countdown.
4. Munthali Leads the Way
MLS NEXT announced last week a series of initiatives aimed at combating racism, hate and discrimination while advocating for social justice in the sport of soccer. With a mission of ensuring an inclusive player development environment, MLS NEXT has established the Equity Action Committee, adding this new diversity, equity, and inclusion arm of the player development platform to the overall MLS NEXT governance structure.
Sporting KC Academy coach Rumba Munthali is one of nine members of the 2021-22 MLS NEXT Equity Action Committee, which will guide MLS NEXT to facilitate positive change for an aware, equitable, just and responsible soccer community.
5. Preseason Update
Sporting Kansas City continued their 2021 preseason with a 1-0 loss to the Colorado Rapids at Kino Sports Complex in Tucson, Arizona, on Saturday afternoon. Sporting trotted out two separate lineups in each half, with Rapids defender Drew Moor heading home the decisive goal in the 75th minute.
Sporting is back in preseason action on Wednesday when the side returns to Tucson to take on the Portland Timbers. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. CT with live updates available via @SKCmatchday on Twitter.
6. New SKC II Kits
Sporting Kansas City II unveiled today the club’s new primary and secondary jerseys for the 2021 USL Championship season.
For the second straight year, Sporting KC II will take the field in the same colors as Sporting Kansas City. The primary kit features a classic Sporting Blue base with Dark Indigo elements, including the adidas logo, adidas three stripes and a thin diagonal stripe running down both sides. The secondary kit shares the iconic hoops look of Sporting Kansas City’s new primary jersey, with horizontal stripes of Sporting Blue and Dark Indigo complemented by Dark Indigo sleeves.
Both jerseys will include the Sporting KC II crest as well as the USL Championship patch on the left sleeve.
The full USL Championship regular season schedule will be released in the near term. League play will begin on or around May 1, with Sporting KC II playing 32 league matches over the course of 27 weeks.