"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. RSL Setback
Sporting Kansas City (1-1-1, 4 points) suffered their first setback of the 2021 MLS season on Saturday, surrendering an early lead in a 3-1 road defeat to rivals Real Salt Lake (2-0-0, 6 points) at Rio Tinto Stadium. After striker Alan Pulido fired Sporting ahead within the first 20 minutes, Real Salt Lake responded through Damir Kreilach and secured all three points thanks to Rubio Rubin’s second-half double. The result snapped Sporting’s eight-match regular season unbeaten run and five-game regular season road unbeaten run dating back to 2020—both of which were the longest active streaks in MLS.
2. Austin Up Next
Sporting Kansas City (1-1-1, 4 points) will open the month of May with a marquee battle against expansion club Austin FC (2-1-0, 6 points) on Sunday night at Children's Mercy Park. A limited number of tickets for the 6:30 p.m. CT showdown are available at SeatGeek.com while supplies last. Sunday's Western Conference clash will be shown live nationally on FS1, FOX Deportes and the FOX Sports app. Listeners can also follow the action on Sports Radio 810 WHB and La Grande 1340 AM, with 810 WHB airing The Final Whistle postgame show immediately after the match.
Austin FC enter the weekend high on confidence after recording consecutive road wins over the Colorado Rapids and Minnesota United FC. The expansion club is led on the field by longtime Sporting captain Matt Besler and off the field by two other club legends—head coach Josh Wolff and assistant Davy Arnaud. Austin are looking to become the first expansion side to win their inaugural match at Children’s Mercy Park since Montreal in 2012.
3. The Next Sporting Legend
Sporting Kansas City has opened fan voting for the 2021 Sporting Legends inductee, giving supporters the opportunity to submit their write-in selection through May 10 at 11:59 p.m. CT. The 2021 inductee will be selected via fan vote and will be recognized as the newest Sporting Legend before a Sporting Kansas City match at Children's Mercy Park later this year. Retired players and active or retired coaches are eligible for selection. For more information about the Sporting Legends hall of honor, click here.
4. Matchday Mayhem
Sporting Kansas City and Breakout KC have teamed up to bring an unmatched escape room experience to downtown Kansas City. Located at 114 W. 3rd St. in the historic Kansas City River Market, Breakout KC is excited to premiere Matchday Mayhem, a Sporting-themed escape room adventure inspired by Sporting Kansas City’s locker room. The new escape room is now open to the public, inviting sports fans and escape room enthusiasts alike to experience a thrilling race against the clock. As a fan-friendly extension of Sporting home matches at Children’s Mercy Park, Matchday Mayhem will offer supporters an hour-long adventure like no other. Bookings for the escape room are now available at BreakoutKC.com/book.
5. Sporting Streetcar
The KC Streetcar is dressed and ready for the MLS season. On Friday, Sporting Kansas City and the KC Streetcar unveiled a specially “wrapped” Sporting KC Streetcar featuring the Sporting Blue and Dark Indigo stripes and the “Two States, One City, One Club” mantra. This marks the second time the KC Streetcar has partnered with Sporting KC to uniquely design and wrap a streetcar. This continues the tradition of the KC Streetcar partnering with our community sporting teams with specially designed vinyl wraps which have included the Kansas City Chiefs, the Kansas City Royals, and the Kansas City Monarchs + Negro Leagues Baseball Museum. Track the exact location of the Sporting KC Streetcar, otherwise known as Streetcar 801, using the online KC Streetcar tracker.
6. SKC II Home Opener
Led by head coach Paulo Nagamura, Sporting Kansas City II (0-1-0, 0 points) will host Central Division rivals OKC Energy FC (0-2-0, 0 points) on Friday in the club's USL Championship home opener at Children's Mercy Park. The contest will kick off at 7 p.m. CT and stream live on ESPN Plus. Sporting KC II home matches at Children's Mercy Park will be closed to the public until further notice.
SKC II opened the 2021 USL Championship campaign with a 2-0 loss at FC Tulsa on Saturday as eight Sporting KC Academy products earned starts. The average age of the starting XI was 20.1 years old and featured the professional debuts of Grayson Barber, Ozzie Cisneros, Matt Constant and Jayvin Van Deventer.
7. Blood Drive
Sporting Kansas City, The Victory Project and Community Blood Center will continue their longstanding partnership this spring when Children’s Mercy Park hosts a two-day blood drive on Thursday and Friday, May 13-14.
The blood drive will take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day inside the Budweiser Brew House, located at the northeast corner of Children’s Mercy Park off the intersection of Village West Parkway and France Family Drive in Kansas City, Kansas.