WHEN: Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020 | 6:30 p.m. CT
WHERE: Children’s Mercy Park | Kansas City, Kansas
How to Watch/Stream: | Fox Sports Kansas City (regionally) | Fox Sports Midwest (regionally) | ESPN+ (out of market)
How to Listen: Sports Radio 810 WHB | La Grande 1340 AM (Spanish)
The “Friendliest Rivalry in Sports” match is getting a little less friendly each time as the two teams face off for the fourth time in 2020. The two Western Conference foes are both already in the playoffs but home final positions and home field advantages are still at stake. Sporting Kansas City (11-6-3, 36 points, 1.8 PPG) sits in second place after MLS decided that they will use Points Per Game to determine the standing since not all teams will play the same number of matches. Minnesota United FC (8-5-6, 30 points, 1.58 PPG) is currently in fourth, the final spot to get a home field match in the postseason.
In good form….
Both teams are in good form and getting results in the waning portion of the season. Minnesota has two straight wins and three victories and three draws in their last sic matches. Sporting KC has five wins, a draw and a loss in their last seven. Both the loss and the draw were slightly controversial based upon calls made or not made in the games.
“I think our form is decent, there is a good positive vibe in the group as there should be. The guys have gone through quite a bit this year, they’ve adapted and adjusted really well, and they’ve fought. Probably the thing I would emphasize the most is how many changes of lineups, changes of players, how many guys getting an opportunity to contribute and a lot of them coming through and doing well for the group. I think that is the positive out of this. I think all of the guys feel like they contributed, feel like they had a positive impact withing the group in a really inconsistent time,” SKC manager Peter Vermes explained.
What to expect from Minnesota
Peter Vermes told media in the pre-game press conference, “They know how to get results, they are a team that never dies, works hard on the field, they have some real game changers on their team. They know how to win. Always a difficult match. I have a lot of respect for those guys. They find a way. It’s a really, really difficult match every time we play each other.”
“It will be another hard fought match, especially this late in the season,” Vermes added.
Each match this season has been a difference of one goal. In their first meeting at the MLS is Back Tournament, SKC was leading 1-0 going into stoppage time on the back of a Khiry Shelton goal when it fell apart. Tim Melia received a red card and playing a man down SKC gave up an own-goal and game winner after the 90th minute. SKC took the win in Minnesota 2-1 with two own-goals factoring in the game, one from each team. Their most reent meeting was 1-0 with a Johnny Russel goal in the 80th.
Will the game be played?
Minnesota has had multiple positive tests this week and it has not been announced if this game will be played yet.
A #MNUFC player has tested positive for COVID-19 after they played in Wednesday’s game, sources tell The Athletic. Case was confirmed via subsequent test.— Jeff Rueter (@jeffrueter) October 31, 2020
Player Status Report:
Not Medically Cleared: Felipe Gutierrez, Graham Zusi
Suspended after next caution: Ilie Sanchez (M)
International duty: None
OUT: Tyler Miller (GK) - hip injury, Ike Opara (D) - undisclosed injury, Luis Amarilla (F) - undisclosed injury, Hassani Dotson (D) - ankle injury, Ozzie Alonso (M) - undisclosed injury, Jacori Hayes (M) - undisclosed injury
Suspended after next caution: Ozzie Alonso (M)
International duty: None