When: Sunday, May 12, 2021 at 1:00 PM CT (Kickoff 1:08)
Where: Children’s Mercy Park
How to Watch/Stream: | Bally Sports KC Plus (regionally) | Bally Sports Midwest Plus (regionally) |
ESPN+ (out of market)
How to Listen: Sports Radio 810 WHB | La Grande 1340 AM (Spanish)
The 2021 MLS season has been filled with ebbs and flows for Sporting Kansas City. In their five games played they won, drew, lost, won and lost again. Only two of those games were at home where they are 1-0-1 on the year. Next weekend they’ll hit the road again (against the currently 2nd place San Jose Earthquakes) before a mini-stretch of home games. That’s why it’s very important to start earning points at home.
Vancouver seems like a team that is ripe for the picking. SKC are 10-3-4 lifetime against Vancouver in the regular season and last met in Canada to open the 2020 season (these teams also met during MLS is Back with SKC getting the win). Sporting won 3-1, but the game was much closer than that before a 95th minute wonder goal by Erik Hurtado put the game on ice.
A lot has changed in a year for these teams. Sporting are without the aforementioned Hurtado and Gerso (who sent the delightful pass to him to setup this goal). And Vancouver appear to be a much improved side.
Vancouver’s 2020 & 2021 Results
2020: Vancouver showed signs of improvement in 2020. They climbed out of the gutter to finish 9th, just three points and one position out of the playoff chase. Stunningly, the team went 9-14-0 and didn’t get a single draw. All or nothing I suppose.
2021: This marks the third year of the Marc dos Santos regime in Vancouver. dos Santos was the former coach of the Swope Park Rangers before bouncing around a bit and getting this MLS job. They are currently 5th, tied with 7th place Sporting KC. They are also coming off a midweek loss on the road, like KC.
What’s Changed for Vancouver Since 2020?
OUT: The most noticeable changes are the loss of Freddy Montero and David Milinkovic in the attack. They also moved on from Evan Bush, who had been their starting goalkeeper for about half the year, when they traded him to the Columbus Crew.
IN: Vancouver continue to try and add pieces to help their team as well. They signed forward Deiber Caicedo via transfer from Deportivo Cali (Columbia). Perhaps their biggest addition is 22-year-old Brazilian midfielder Caio Alexandre from Botafogo (Brazil). He looks to be a deeper lying playmaker that the ball should move through. Their final “big” addition is Bruno Gaspar, defender, on loan from Sporting CP (Portugal). They also added two Homegrowns and two SuperDraft picks to their roster.
OUT - None
QUESTIONABLE - Nicolas Isimat-Mirin (hamstring), Roberto Puncec (hamstring), Johnny Russell (groin), Tim Melia (chest)
*This has been updated to reflect Hernandez coming off the report.
PV: Isi, Puncec, Melia, Russell are all still questionable but they are not training today so will know more later #SportingKC— Thad (@TheBackpost) May 14, 2021
OUT - Ali Adnan (visa), Andy Rose (abductor strain)
QUESTIONABLE - Erik Godoy (right calf strain)
GOALS: Gadi Kinda (2), Daniel Salloi, Gianluca Busio, Alan Pulido, Ilie Sanchez (1)
ASSISTS: Khiry Shelton (2), Daniel Salloi, Johnny Russell, Luis Martins (1)
GOALS: Cristian Dajome (3), Andy Rose, Lucas Cavallini (1)
ASSISTS: Cristian Gutierrez (2), Deiber Caicedo (1)
Starting XI Predictions
It’s hard to tell what this Sporting KC team is made of this year. They’ve been dealing with injury issues since before the season started. They have lost two of the five CBs on their roster (six if you count Ilie I guess).
But this is a home game. Usually that means something. And as the crowd returns to Children’s Mercy Park, that will hopefully continue to push the boys to play harder and harder.
Then again, the team is playing their third game in eight days and they’ve looked anything but solid this year. They’ve gotten both of their wins as comebacks and the only game they scored first in was against Orlando. Let’s predict some disappointment and hope for better results.
What do you think? Predictions in the comments are welcome. Let’s chat about it.
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