Sporting Kansas City II has chosen to take on fourth seed Austin FC II in the Western Conference Quarterfinals of the 2023 MLS NEXT Pro Playoffs. The match will be played on Friday, September 29 at Rock Chalk Park in Lawrence, KS. Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m. CT and tickets are on sale now at SeatGeek.com for just $10 with children under 12 receiving free admission. Sporting Kansas City season ticket members will receive free tickets as well.
Second-year head coach Benny Feilhaber and Sporting KC II earned the right to select their opponent after taking two points from St. Louis CITY2 in a thrilling, Decision Day duel at Children's Mercy Victory Field. SKC II faced Austin FC II twice in the regular season, winning in kicks from the spot at Rock Chalk Park on April 2 and then picking up all three points in Texas on August 25.
Rock Chalk Park, the sight of Friday's opening round playoff fixture has been an SKC II stronghold in 2023. In their second season playing at the top-notch facility, Sporting holds a 7-2-3 record, with three shootout wins. Sporting KC II has earned seven straight results including five straight wins in Lawrence and over the course of the season scored 29 goals while conceding just 14.
Sporting KC II and Austin FC II present an interesting matchup with conflicting play styles. SKC II has one of the more high-powered offenses in MLS NEXT Pro which scored 60 goals in 28 regular season matches, tied for the second most in the league. ATX II scored just 40 goals, which ranks 20th. The Black and Verde's second team played a tough brand of defensive soccer, conceding just 23 goals all season, the fewest in the league by 11 goals.
The SKC II attack finished the season with the highest expected goals (55.72), shots (451) and key passes (314) in MLS NEXT Pro. Austin's defense and goalkeepers topped the charts in clean sheets (12) and save percentage (76.8%).
An electrifying opening match of the 2023 MLS NEXT Pro Playoffs is coming up on Friday when Sporting Kansas City II hosts Austin FC II at Rock Chalk Park. Tickets are on sale now at SeatGeek.com for Sporting KC II’s first playoff match since 2018 and Sporting Kansas City season ticket members will receive free tickets. Fans can also watch the match on MLS Season Pass on Apple TV or follow @SportingKCII on X.