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MLS: Sporting Kansas City at Vancouver Whitecaps FC

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Sporting KC v Vancouver Whitecaps: Preview, Predictions & How to Watch

Sporting faltered in Canadian, can they defend their home turf?

Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

Sporting KC vs. Vancouver Whitecaps

When: Saturday, May 28th, 2022 at 8:00 PM CT (Kickoff 8:11)

Where: Children’s Mercy Park

How to Watch/Stream: 38 the Spot | ESPN+ (out of market) | SportingKC.com & SKC App (in market) | Sporting One App on Roku, Apple TV and Fire TV
How to Listen: La Grande 1340 AM (Spanish)

Another Lamar Hunt US Open Cup game and another win for Sporting Kansas City. They pulled off their second straight come from behind win in the Open Cup, this time over the Houston Dynamo.

They face off with the Vancouver Whitecaps, who snuck by with a 1-0 win at home against Kansas City earlier this season. Vancouver is also coming off a mid-week game, playing against Cavalry FC in a game that went to penalties (but no extra time in the Canadian Championship), that they ultimately won.

Despite that recent bump in performance, this is still the battle to stay out of last place.

Both teams are advancing in their countries cups, but both clubs are still at the bottom of the Western Conference. SKC sit in 13th with 13 points through 14 games. The Caps are in 14th with 11 points through 12 games. That actually still leaves KC in last on points per game. Sporting still have 20 MLS games to go and only five points to make up right now on 7th place Houston. I can’t say it enough... the season is very long!

Vancouver’s Recent Form

Sandwiched in there are two Canadian Championship wins against lower division competition (technically a win and a draw that went to PKs).

What’s new for Vancouver since these teams last met?

With this being the second meeting of the season, we’ve already covered the Whitecaps transactions (check that out here). Since that time, VWFC have added two more players. They signed midfielder Andrés Cubas via transfer from Nimes (Ligue 2 — France). Plus they signed a familiar name to SKC fans, as they brought on left back Luis Martins.

Since Martins joined the team on May 4th, he’s yet to appear in a match.

Injuries/Availability*

Sporting KC

OUT - Alan Pulido (knee surgery), Gadi Kinda (SEI - knee surgery), Ozzie Cisneros (hamstring), Daniel Salloi (Disciplinary Committee punishment)

QUESTIONABLE - Graham Zusi (leg strain), Johnny Russell (knee), Khiry Shelton (hamstring), Nikola Vujnovic (calf), Logan Ndenbe (shoulder), Marinos Tzionis (knee)

*This has been updated based on the official injury report and the below information from @HarJournalist and @SaritaReports on Twitter.

Vancouver

OUT - Tristan Blackmon (right knee sprain), Thomas Hasal (left hand), Brian White (health & safety protocols), Russell Teibert (eye)

QUESTIONABLE - Caio Alexandre (left hand fracture), Isaac Boehmer (health & safety protocols), Ryan Gauld (hamstring) Pedro Vite (health & safety protocols)

Stats

Sporting KC

Goals: Daniel Salloi, Johnny Russell (4), Remi Walter (2), Marinos Tzionis, Roger Espinoza (1)

Assists: Felipe Hernandez, Cam Duke (3), Daniel Salloi, Ben Sweat, Uri Rosell, Roger Espinoza (1)

Vancouver

Goals: Lucas Cavallini (3), Ryan Raposo, Tosaint Ricketts, Brian White (2), four with one (1)

Assists: Deiber Caicedo, Cavallini, Cristian Dajome, Ryan Gauld (2), three with one (1)

Starting XI Predictions

This will get it’s own story. Look for it closer to game day.

Predictions

Sporting historically handle their business with Vancouver. They are 11-5-4 all-time in the regular season against the Whitecaps and they are 6-1-2 at Children’s Mercy Park. In their last home meeting, during the 2021 MLS Cup Playoffs, Sporting KC dealt with Vancouver handily with a tactical switch of giving up possession and countering with long switched balls over the top. That’s fitting, because they’ve been forced to play more defensively with their perpetually banged up lineup.

Midweek, KC got back a few injured players with the return of Khiry Shelton and Nicolas Isimat-Mirin. It’s unclear how healthy Shelton was as he appeared to be struggling physically. Plus Johnny Russell has played an ungodly amount of minutes considering he’s been questionable each week.

It feels like Kansas City are turning the corner. They’ve performed much better at home (5-1-2 including USOC) than on the road (0-6-2). I think they can and should win. But this is 2022. This is MLS. So who freaking knows.

3-1 Sporting KC Win

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