Sporting Kansas City will have to wait an extra day to play their Western Conference semifinal against Minnesota United as the league announced today that the game had been moved from this Wednesday, December 2nd to Thursday, December 3rd and will now kick off at 7:31pm. The reason for the move is because the game can now be played in front of a bigger audience on Fox as their Thursday Night Football game between the Baltimore Ravens and Dallas Cowboys was moved to Monday, December 7th as the league continues to try to reschedule the Ravens game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Along with moving the semifinal between Kansas City and Minnesota, MLS also announced today that the Western Conference Final between the winner of KC vs MN and Seattle vs Dallas would be moved back one day from Sunday, December 6th to Monday, December 7th and will be carried on FS1.
In good news for Sporting it gives the team one more day to allow Alan Pulido to work on his fitness and hopefully be able to play a big part for the club after suffering a knee injury in training ahead of the club’s regular season finale against Real Salt Lake.
In bad news it puts whoever wins the game on Thursday night in a tough situation heading into the conference finals. The winner between the Seattle Sounders and FC Dallas will have two more days of rest than the Kansas City/Minnesota winner. For the winner of Thursday night’s game it will be like a midweek game turnaround while the Seattle/Dallas winner will have pretty close to a regular training week to prepare for the Western Conference final. While teams on short rest have had some success in the playoffs this year (New England Revolution and Nashville SC knocking off the Philadelphia Union and Toronto FC respectively), that was done with the higher seeds coming off much longer rest. With almost a week turnaround, Seattle or Dallas would in theory be able to keep more of a regular rhythm to their training to be prepared for the game on Monday the 7th.