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Sporting KC v Nashville SC: Preview, Predictions & How to Watch

Sporting Kansas City try to stop the bleeding with a tough road trip to Nashville. Hey, they play up to their competition (in the past), right?

Sporting Kansas City defender Andreu Fontas (3) and forward Johnny Russell (7) battle for the ball against Nashville SC defender Dave Romney (4) during the second half at Children’s Mercy Park.
| Peter Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

Sporting KC @ Nashville SC

When: Sunday, June 19th, 2022 at 5:00 PM CT (Kickoff 5:25)

Where: GEODIS Park

How to Watch/Stream: FS1 | Fox Deportes
How to Listen: La Grande 1340 AM (Spanish)

The season drags on as Sporting Kansas City hit the midpoint of 2022. After this match, there will be 17 games remaining. Sporting will be the first team in the league to make it to the midpoint and as of this writing they are last in the Western Conference and second to last overall. To say the season hasn’t gone well is quite an understatement.

SKC have slipped back to six points out of a playoff spot, by no means an insurmountable number. It’s now the Seattle Sounders they are chasing who have come out of their CCL lull just in time to play Sporting (that’s next week though). Sitting just ahead of them are 6th place Nashville, this Saturday’s opponent, which is once again on National TV.

This will mark the third meeting between these clubs, with both teams picking up one win so far. Both of those prior games were in Kansas City but this one will be in newly constructed GEODIS Park, which opened in May. So far, Nashville are undefeated at home, but they just have two wins through five games (2-0-3). They aren’t a team that scores a ton of goals (they only have 18, four ahead of KC and behind six other Western Conference teams including the Portland Timbers and San Jose Earthquakes who are 12th and 13th in the standings respectively).

What Nashville does do is keep the ball out of the net. They have back-to-back Defensive Player of the Year in Walker Zimmerman who is returning from international duty with the USMNT. It’s not going to be easy to put the ball in the net, though Nashville are allowing a tick over one goal a game, which is a step back from prior seasons.

Nashville’s Recent Form

Also, outside of league play, Nashville won 2-1 over Louisville City in the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup, so they have that to contend with mid-week next week, just like SKC do. Overall, Nashville aren’t on fire, but they haven’t lost in four (kind of five) matches. Sporting are coming off back-to-back losses.

What’s new for the Nashville since their last meeting?

Nashville have done absolutely nothing transactionally, besides re-signing Walker Zimmerman (now a Designated Player) and Hany Muhktar to new deals, since these teams last met. Check out our prior preview for a deeper dive into their roster build for 2022.

Injuries/Availability*

Sporting KC

OUT - Alan Pulido (knee surgery), Gadi Kinda (SEI - knee surgery), Ozzie Cisneros (hamstring), Uri Rosell (red card)

QUESTIONABLE - Remi Walter (ankle), Jake Davis (adductor), Nikola Vujnovic (hamstring)

*This has been updated based on the official injury report.

Nashville

OUT - Teal Bunbury (right knee), Robert Castellanos (right ankle surgery), Handwalla Bwana (thigh)

QUESTIONABLE - Walker Zimmerman (foot)

Stats

Sporting KC

Goals: Johnny Russell (5), Daniel Salloi (4), Remi Walter (2), Marinos Tzionis, Roger Espinoza (1)

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

Nashville

Goals: Hany Mukhtar (6), CJ Sapong (5), Alex Muyl, Dave Romney (2), three with one (1)

Assists: Mukhtar (5), Sapong (3), Luke Haakenson, Randall Leal (2), 10 with one (1)

Starting XI Predictions

This will get it’s own story. Look for it closer to game day. Lots to sort out this week, primarily, who plays defensive midfielder? (Update: Here is that story.)

Hope for the Future

Instead of going straight to predictions for this game (it’s bleak), let’s talk about something that could be positive. Several rumors popped up this week about Sporting KC making additions to the squad, all in the attack (let’s hope for a defensive midfielder rumor soon). So, here is to the future. Check out some of those rumors:

Predictions

This is a depressing spot this season. Sporting could beat Nashville. They aren’t prolific scorers and Sporting are getting back Daniel Salloi and Marinos Tzionis, which have both shown themselves to be goal dangerous.

A draw isn’t an impossible result as Nashville are typically at or near the league lead in matches drawn. But Sporting KC need to win. Prove me wrong and start turning this thing around before it’s too late (if it already isn’t).

2-1 Nashville Win

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