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Sporting KC v Minnesota United: Preview, Predictions, Stats and Roster Changes

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Will this game move closer to establishing this as a real “rivalry?”

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MLS: Sporting Kansas City at Minnesota United FC
“Stop flopping Patrick,” Melia probably said.
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Sporting KC v Minnesota United

When: Wednesday, September 15, 2021 at 7:00 PM CT (Kickoff 7:08)

Where: Children’s Mercy Park

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

Sporting Kansas City pulled out a win, that was at times unconvincing, against the Chicago Fire last Saturday. They scored twice early (the fastest two goals ever), but then took their foot off the pedal. The Fire were inches away from adding a few goals, but a win is a win.

Minnesota went on the road and played the Western Conference leading Seattle Sounders and lost 1-0 on a Joao Paulo goal. That result left the Sounders in first place (Sporting KC are back up to second) and Minnesota teetering on the edge of the playoffs in sixth place, just one point ahead of 8th place LAFC. SKC have a 12 point advantage over Minnesota, but if they hope to catch Seattle, they’ll need to keep picking up all three points, especially at home. Just 10 days to go.

With these clubs meeting again, MLS and the pundits will no doubt talk about the ‘nicest rivalry in sports,’ and while it isn’t a rivalry yet (and it’s definitely no longer nice), another tight game could help it take steps in that direction.

Minnesota’s Recent Form

Minnesota have only won one of their last five and two of their last eight. That’s a big disappointment after winning six of 10 in the games before that.

  • August 14th vs. LA Galaxy - 0-1 Loss
  • August 17th @ San Jose Earthquakes - 1-1 Draw (up a man)
  • August 21st vs Sporting KC - 0-0 Draw (up a man)
  • August 28th @ Houston Dynamo - 2-1 Win
  • September 11th @ Seattle Sounders - 1-0 Win

It’s just not been good enough from Minnesota as of late. Wednesday isn’t a time to get right.

What’s changed for Minnesota since these teams last met?

These teams met just three weeks ago, so not much time has passed but Minnesota have made one move. For all their moves that are from before the last game, we’ve got you covered in our previous preview.

IN: MLS veteran and former Portland Timbers, Columbus Crew SC and FC Cincinnati striker, Fanendo Adi has signed as a free agent with Minnesota. MNUFC can’t seem to find a stable center forward, so it’s worth a shot as he’s been prolific in the past with 55 career MLS goals. He joined a week after the last meeting between SKC and United and he’s subbed on in the last two games and already has an assist in just 55 minutes.

OUT: None, but Reynoso is hurt, so that’s a subtraction, right?

Injuries/Availability*

Sporting KC

OUT - Felipe Hernandez (personal reasons), Jaylin Lindsey (hamstring)

QUESTIONABLE - Alan Pulido (knee)

*This has been updated by the official injury report.

Minnesota

OUT - Niko Hansen (hamstring), Justin McMaster (thigh), Juan Agudelo (thigh), Ozzie Alonso (suspension), Chase Gasper (suspension), Hassani Dotson (injury)

QUESTIONABLE - Robin Lod (calf)

Stats

Sporting KC

GOALS: Daniel Salloi (12), Alan Pulido (8), Gadi Kinda, Johnny Russell (5), Gianluca Busio, Jaylin Lindsey (2), Ilie Sanchez, Felipe Hernandez, Khiry Shelton, Cam Duke, Luis Martins, Jose Mauri (1)

ASSISTS: Daniel Salloi (6), Johnny Russell, Khiry Shelton (5), Graham Zusi (4), Gianluca Busio, Gadi Kinda, Alan Pulido (3), Felipe Hernandez (2), Andreu Fontas, Luis Martins, Jaylin Lindsey, Remi Walter (1)

Minnesota

GOALS: Robin Lod (6), Adrien Hunou (4), Ramon Abila, Hassani Dotson, Franco Fragapane, Brent Kallman, Emanuel Reynoso (2), four with one (1)

ASSISTS: Reynoso (6), Lod (4), Finlay, Fragapane (3), Dotson (2), eight with one (1)

Starting XI Predictions

This will have it’s own story, as always.

Score Predictions

SKC were in control of the game against Minnesota three weeks back before the (questionable) Remi Walter red card. From there, the mission changed (though arguably if Khiry Shelton puts home that shot right in front of the net, they could have pulled it off) and Sporting were happy with a draw. With the team nearly back to full health and a 10 day break before they play again after Wednesday, they should be going all-out for all three points at home. We know Peter won’t use his subs since they’ll have 10 days to recover.

Neither team is particularly on fire with just one win in their last five but Minnesota have only two wins away from home (2-4-5). However, Kansas City have settled for five draws at home, so a draw feels like the statistically highest probability. But hell, Sporting KC need to and will find a way to get all three points again. They are going to be upset about that last Minnesota game, so they’ll get it done. If they fall behind early though, it could be ugly.

2-1 Sporting KC Win

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

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