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Sporting KC v FC Dallas: Preview, Predictions, Stats and Roster Changes

Dallas climbed out of last place, but only barely.

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MLS: Sporting Kansas City at FC Dallas Tim Flores-USA TODAY Sports

Sporting KC v FC Dallas

When: Saturday, July 31, 2021 at 7:30 PM CT (Kickoff 7:38)

Where: Children’s Mercy Park

How to Watch/Stream: Bally Sports KC Plus (regionally) | Bally Sports Midwest Plus (regionally) |
ESPN+ (out of market or over VPN locally)
How to Listen: Sports Radio 810 WHB | La Grande 1340 AM (Spanish)

Sporting Kansas City are riding high as they return home from a road trip where they beat the Seattle Sounders. It was a crucial three points and the first multi-goal loss by Seattle at home since June 25, 2016. Five years!

They look to avoid a classic trap game as they return home to face, what was until recently, the worst team in the Western Conference. FC Dallas climbed out of the basement when they pulled off a stunning win over the LA Galaxy. Dallas are just a point out of last place and in a three way tie with the Vancouver Whitecaps and San Jose Earthquakes. Not great company, but anything can happen in MLS since SJ just came to CMP and pulled off a draw.

Dallas’ Recent Form

Outside of the stunning 4-0 win over the Galaxy, Dallas have been awful. They are just 3-7-5 on the season and an abysmal 0-7-0 on the road. All losses. On the road they’ve actually only managed to score twice (!) in seven games while allowing 15 goals.

  • July 4th vs. Vancouver Whitecaps - 2-2 Draw
  • July 7th @ LA Galaxy - 1-3 Loss
  • July 17th @ Portland Timbers - 0-1 Loss
  • July 21st @ Colorado Rapids - 0-2 Loss
  • July 24th vs. LA Galaxy - 4-0 Win

What’s changed for Dallas since 2020?

Tons! There is a pretty heavy amount of roster turnover in Dallas.

IN: There are a lot of additions, but many of them are the next Homegrown player you don’t know. However, they acquired GK Philepe Megiolaro on loan from Gremio (Brazil) as well as Freddy Vargas on loan from Deportivo Lara (Venezuela). They also made transfers for Jose Antonio Martinez (SD Eibar - Spain), Jader Obrian (Rionegra Aguilas - Columbia), Facundo Quignon (Lanus - Argentina) and Szabolcs Schon (MTK Budapest - Hungary).

Of those signings Obrian has been the biggest contributor as a regular starter with three goals. Vargas also has six starts with most of the others either not playing or barely contributing.

OUT: The big news of both the offseason and more recently is Dallas selling players abroad. They sold fullback Bryan Reynolds to AS Roma (Italy) for a massive fee and then sent Tanner Tessmann to Venezia FC (Italy) more recently (the same place Gianluca Busio is presumed to be going to). Dallas has also parted with veteran wingers Fafa Picault (Houston Dynamo) and thorn in KC’s side Michael Barrios (Colorado Rapids).

The team also loaned out midfielder Brandon Servania to SKN St. Polten (Austria). Another big loss is Thiago Santos, who had been a key midfielder. He left via transfer to Gremio (Brazil).

Injuries/Availability*

Sporting KC

OUT - Alan Pulido (Int. Duty - Mexico), Gianluca Busio (Int. Duty - USA), Felipe Hernandez (personal reasons), Amadou Dia (Health & Safety Protocols), Grayson Barber (Health & Safety Protocols)

QUESTIONABLE - Cam Duke (hamstring)

*This is based on the official reports from each team.

Dallas

OUT - Beni Redzic (ankle sprain), Justin Che (lower leg injury)

QUESTIONABLE - None

Stats

Sporting KC

GOALS: Daniel Salloi (9), Alan Pulido (6), Gadi Kinda (3), Gianluca Busio, Johnny Russell, Jaylin Lindsey (2), Ilie Sanchez, Felipe Hernandez, Khiry Shelton, Cam Duke (1)

ASSISTS: Khiry Shelton, Johnny Russell (4), Daniel Salloi, Gianluca Busio (3), Felipe Hernandez, Gadi Kinda (2), Alan Pulido, Andreu Fontas, Luis Martins, Jaylin Lindsey, Graham Zusi (1)

Dallas

GOALS: Ricardo Pepi (8), Jader Obrian (3), Franco Jara (2), four with one (1)

ASSISTS: Jesus Ferreira, Ryan Hollingshead (3), Bryan Acosta, Paxton Pomykal, Andres Ricaurte (2), five with one (1)

Starting XI Predictions

That will have it’s own story, as always. Look out for it soon.

Score Predictions

Wouldn’t you know it, Dallas are bad all year and then Pepi puts in a hat trick and FCD suddenly look okay just before playing Sporting KC. Even then, they have yet to do anything but lose on the road and SKC are the far superior team.

“It’s a trap!” - Admiral Ackbar

It is of somewhat of a concern that SKC can’t seem to keep their midfielders available. Cameron Duke exploded onto the scene in the last two games but is now questionable. There is no update on what is keeping Felipe Hernandez away. Of course Gianluca Busio is away with the United States preparing for the Gold Cup final (and probably never coming back).

That likely means an older midfield of Espinoza (34), Ilie (30) and Gadi Kinda (27) start with Remi Walter (26) available off the bench. It’s wild that they are “old” compared to the aforementioned teenagers. Not many teams could be missing three quality players and have that much depth still available. It’s kind of wild.

Dallas always plays Sporting tough, so it won’t be easy, but I think they can get it done. They just need to hold Pepi in check.

2-1 Sporting KC Win

What do you think? Predictions in the comments are welcome. Let’s chat about it.

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