When: Sunday, November 8, 2020 at 5:30 PM CT
Where: Rio Tinto Stadium
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)
Sporting Kansas City enter Decision Day off an unexpected bout of rest. Their game last weekend against Minnesota United was cancelled late in the week due to a COVID-19 case for Minnesota. The rest could be a good recipe to be fresh entering the playoffs.
Salt Lake on the other hand have dipped into a slump and it cost them their playoff lives. Back-to-back losses have seen them eliminated with nothing to play for outside of the chance to play spoilers against SKC.
The other storyline is the battle for first place in the Western Conference standings. The Seattle Sounders were kind enough to lose on the road to the Colorado Rapids (3-1) and then to barely scrape out a 1-1 draw late against LA Galaxy on Wednesday. Those results moved Seattle down to third and leave SKC in first place. Second place Portland also lost on Wednesday bringing their PPG to 1.73. That was also to the Rapids. Thanks Colorado!
If Sporting add no more points their point per game average can finish as low as 1.71 (where Seattle currently is). A draw moves SKC to 1.76 and a win on the road puts them at 1.86 which would clinch a first place finish. That’s homefield advantage until at least MLS Cup.
Salt Lake’s Recent Results
- October 10th - Away at Vancouver Whitecaps - 2-1 Loss
- October 14th - Home vs Portland Timbers - 2-1 Win
- October 24th - Home vs FC Dallas - 0-0 Draw
- October 28th - Away at San Jose Earthquakes - 2-0 Loss
- November 1st - Away at LA Galaxy - 2-1 Loss
What’s Changed for Real Salt Lake Since the Last Meeting?
There is just a single change since the summer match-up during MLS is Back. RSL agreed to mutually terminate the contract of forward Sam Johnson just days ago on Halloween. This comes on the heels of him being suspended for throwing large house parties during the pandemic. Intelligent.
For all the other changes since the 2019 season, check out our prior preview.
QUESTIONABLE - Gianluca Busio (unknown), Winston Reid (groin)
*This will be updated as more information becomes available. Questionable are a guess based on Busio and Reid missing action last week against FC Cincinnati.
OUT - Giuseppe Rossi, Chris Garcia
QUESTIONABLE - Unknown
Sporting KC - None
Salt Lake - None
GOALS: Johnny Russell, Alan Pulido, Gadi Kinda (6), Khiry Shelton, Erik Hurtado (4), Gerso Fernandes (3), Roger Espinoza (2), Graham Zusi, Gianluca Busio, Andreu Fontas, Winston Reid (1)
ASSISTS: Pulido (5), Russell, Kinda (4), Gerso, Busio (3), Luis Martins, Espinoza (2), Roberto Puncec, Shelton, Jaylin Lindsey, Felipe Hernandez, Zusi, Ilie Sanchez, Amadou Dia (1)
GOALS: Damir Kreilach (8), Justin Meram, Albert Rusnak (3), Corey Baird, Douglas Martinez (2), five with one (1)
ASSISTS: Maikal Chang (6), Baird (4), Meram (3), Rusnak (2), four with one (1)
Sporting KC - W / L / D / W / W (10 points)
Salt Lake - L / W / D / L / L (4 points)
Starting XI Predictions
Time permitting, this will come closer to the game. There is a press conference on Friday which should shed some light on the injury situation.
Salt Lake have absolutely nothing but pride to play for. A wounded animal can be dangerous, or they can just roll over and die. In the last game of 2019 for SKC they played a lot of kids and were blown out on Decision Day. It feels like it’s time to blow out RSL as a bit of redemption.
The problem is this is somewhat of a rivalry game, though less so without Benny Feilhaber on the roster. Add to that the fact that KC struggle in the altitude of Sandy, Utah and it should be a competitive game.
If Pulido can’t go, that can be a game changer too. Add to it that SKC are just 2-8-5 in the last 15 regular season meetings against RSL all the way back to 2014. Injuries, elevation, travel and a tough match leaves me lacking confidence. Prove me wrong KC! There is everything to play for.
What do you think? Predictions in the comments are welcome. Let’s chat about it.
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