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Sporting KC Likely to Play for 3rd Place in Preseason

MLS Preseason: Mobile Mini Cup Standings & Projections

MLS: Sporting KC at Portland Timbers Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

The Mobile Mini Sun Cup MLS preseason tournament will come to a close on Saturday. Depending on what games actually count, Sporting Kansas City could find themselves in a couple different games.

First, take a look back at the results during the Mobile Mini Sun Cup for Sporting KC:

And if you haven’t noticed, we’ve been overreacting a bit around here.

Here is where we stand today if we assume every game played in Phoenix or Tucson since the tournament started actually count.

Mobile Mini Sun Cup Standings

Team Wins Losses Draws Points GF GA GD
Team Wins Losses Draws Points GF GA GD
Houston Dynamo 2 0 1 7 7 1 6
New England Revolution 1 0 2 5 7 6 1
Sporting KC 1 1 1 4 4 3 1
FC Dallas 1 0 1 4 4 3 1
Portland Timbers 1 1 1 4 6 4 2
Colorado Rapids 1 0 0 3 2 0 2
New York Red Bulls 0 2 1 1 2 10 -8
San Antonio FC 0 0 1 1 3 3 0
Phoenix Rising FC 0 3 0 0 1 5 -4

If this is accurate, the Houston Dynamo would play the New England Revolution in the Finals for 1st place. That would mean Sporting KC would play the Portland Timbers for 3rd place (FC Dallas have gone home). That would leave the Red Bulls to play Phoenix Rising for 5th place (the Colorado Rapids and San Antonio FC have also left town).

However, because all these teams have left town, it’s likely the standings isn’t counting their games. As of this writing the FC Tucson website doesn’t have all the results updated, but they do leave out all the teams that are gone and then some results from their games, but not all of the results (the FC Dallas game against Portland and the SAFC game against the Revs appear to count). Here are the alternate standings.

Alt Sun Cup Standings

Team Wins Losses Draws Points GF GA GD
Team Wins Losses Draws Points GF GA GD
Houston Dynamo 2 0 1 7 7 1 6
Portland Timbers 1 0 2 5 6 3 3
New England Revolution 1 0 1 4 5 4 1
Sporting KC 1 1 1 4 4 4 0
New York Red Bulls 0 2 1 1 2 10 -8
Phoenix Rising FC 0 2 0 0 1 3 -2

As you can see, these standings cause problems. Because the Revs game against Dallas is inexplicably left out of the standings, they fall to 3rd place because they aren’t getting the point from the draw. That would cause all three games on the final Saturday to be rematches.

In past preseasons, Sporting KC have dropped out of the chance to play for the title to instead play an alternate opponent. This can all be solved by just counting all the games played since the tournament started on February 14th. The only rematch would be the Red Bulls playing Phoenix Rising again. However, the actual New York Red Bulls left town to play in the CONCACAF Champions League and we are left with New York Red Bulls II (which is why they have a -8 goal differential).

Here is to hoping FC Tucson (the tournament hosts) will go with the following matches:

  • 1st Place Game: Houston Dynamo vs New England Revolution
  • 3rd Place Game: Sporting KC vs Portland Timbers
  • 5th Place Game: Phoenix Rising vs New York Red Bulls II

The official word on the match-ups should come very soon.

Update (2/22 1:31 AM): It’s official, Sporting play Portland at 5 PM CT on Saturday. It’s the third place match.