On Tuesday, Sporting Kansas City released their full 2019 preseason schedule. There are seven (but really kind of eight) games total over the next few weeks. It comes after weeks of slow leaks come out from the team and other sources. The first game is a week from Friday, January 18th. They will take on UPSL side Sporting AZ. They are the 2018 UPSL Southwest Conference Champs, but they are a fourth division team that the team lists as a “tune up.”
Five days later, Sporting KC play again on Wednesday the 23rd. This time it’s against the Phoenix Rising FC trialists. Phoenix Rising are the 2018 USL Championship Western Conference Champions and they came up just short in the USL Cup Finals against Louisville City FC. They are in the second division, but these players likely aren’t yet under contract since they are trialists.
From there the competition possibly gets worse as SKC play the FC Tucson trialists a week later on the 30th. FC Tucson play in the newly formed third division, USL League One, but again, these players aren’t on that roster.
The other three* games were previously known. They play Phoenix Rising twice in a single night on the 7th of February, their only MLS foe in the Houston Dynamo on the 13th and a simultaneous game against the full FC Tucson squad that same day.
Will Sporting KC be Ready for CCL?
There has to be some real concern about Sporting Kansas City being prepared for their first leg match-up in the CONCACAF Champions League. They played Liga MX club Toluca FC on the 21st of February, just eight days after their final preseason game. The only MLS level competition they will have played up to that point are fellow CCL competitors and 2018 US Open Cup Champions, the Houston Dynamo.
Within days of SKC playing Phoenix Rising, there are games with fellow MLS clubs Minnesota United, the Dynamo and Seattle Sounders going on. It appears SKC preferred to get in two games against PRFC instead of potentially playing one of their MLS counterparts.
The level of competition will rise severely after preseason. They’ll play two Champions League games before promptly starting the Major League Soccer regular season.
As for fans wanting to attend the games, there are tickets on sale for the games on February 7th and 13th. In the past, the games in Tucson at the larger field (where they’ll play the Dynamo) have been streamed. Phoenix Rising also have a robust camera setup, so that’s a possibility as well.
As for the other games, even the ability to attend them is unknown but they almost assuredly won’t be streamed. In 2018 the games involving trialists were closed to both the public and the media. We’ll bring you as much coverage as possible over the coming weeks. Here is the full schedule.
2019 Full SKC Preseason Schedule
|Friday, Jan. 18||Sporting AZ||11:30am||Phoenix Rising Soccer Complex (Scottsdale)|
|Wednesday, Jan. 23||Phoenix Rising FC Trialists||11:30am||Scottsdale Community College (Scottsdale)|
|Wednesday, Jan. 30||FC Tucson Trialists||12pm||Phoenix Rising Soccer Complex (Scottsdale)|
|Thursday, Feb. 7||Phoenix Rising FC**||7pm||Phoenix Rising Soccer Complex (Scottsdale)|
|Wednesday, Feb. 13||Houston Dynamo*||5pm||Kino Sports Complex (Tucson)|
|Wednesday, Feb. 13||FC Tucson*||5pm||Kino Sports Complex (Tucson)|
**Two back-to-back 75 minute games.
*Both games are played at the exact same time.
The last four* games on the schedule (assumingly counting “both” Phoenix Rising games on the 7th) will count towards the standings in the Mobile Mini Sun Cup. Not that preseason tournaments matter at all, but there is a trophy, and SKC should be the favorites to win it based on their competition mostly coming from the lower tiers of American Soccer.