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SOCCER: APR 28 MLS - Sporting Kansas City at New England Revolution

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Sporting KC v New England Revolution: Preview, Predictions & How to Watch

The defending Supporters Shield winners come to Kansas City.

Photo by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Sporting KC vs. New England Revolution

When: Sunday, June 12th, 2022 at 2:00 PM CT (Kickoff 2:08)

Where: Children’s Mercy Park

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

Going into the season, putting Sporting Kansas City and the New England Revolution on national television probably sounded like a great idea. Sporting were a blown handball call away from winning the Western Conference and the Revs absolutely ran away with the Supporters Shield race (and by extension the Eastern Conference race).

Oh my how things have changed.

Sporting KC are currently dead last in the Western Conference and only two points ahead of last place Chicago Fire in the whole league. The Revolution aren’t faring quite as bad, but they sit in 11th in the East, but just two points behind 7th place Inter Miami CF.

Despite that, this matchup still marks the meeting of two iconic MLS coaches. Bruce Arena is possibly the most successful coach in league history and Peter Vermes is no slouch. It will be interesting to see if the time off have done either team any good as Sporting KC were without nearly all their forwards off and on for the last month and New England’s only wins in the month of May came against FC Cincinnati.

New England’s Recent Form

Also packed into those last five league games are a home win over Cincy in the US Open Cup (5-1) and a road loss to New York City FC (1-0). Overall, not terrible results compared to earlier in the season when the Revs were dealing with schedule congestion due to the CONCACAF Champions League.

What’s new for the Revs in 2022?

The Revs seemingly didn’t need to do much to build on a Supporters Shield winning season, but, as mentioned above, they are struggling despite not a ton of change.

IN: The Revs traded for LA Galaxy midfielder Sebastian Lletget, but he’s only had moderate success (2G,3A) despite playing the 5th most minutes on the team. They also added fellow former-USMNT player Jozy Altidore, but he’s basically been a flop and hasn’t played much (318 minutes, two starts). Bruce Arena loves his former USMNT guys and he also signed center back Omar Gonzalez, who has been in and out of the lineup.

They also signed midfielder Dylan Borrero via transfer from Atletico Mineiro (Brazil), but he’s got just 53 minutes while new GK signing Djordje Petrović from FK Čukarički (Serbia) has yet to appear. All other moves are Homegrown signings, SuperDraft picks or Revolution II players moving up.

OUT: The most recent subtraction is the $10 million transfer of Adam Buksa to RC Lens (Ligue 1, France). That move just happened officially yesterday. Before the season, Tajon Buchanon, who had agreed to a transfer last year, left for Club Brugge (Belgium). His fee was reported at $7 million. And while it hasn’t happened yet, Matt Turner is set for a move to Arsenal (though he’s with the USMNT so he’ll miss Sunday).

In a low-key big move, the team let the contract of long time midfielder Scott Caldwell expire and he signed with Real Salt Lake. The team also traded away former Sporting KC forward Teal Bunbury to Nashville SC.

Injuries/Availability*

Sporting KC

OUT - Alan Pulido (knee surgery), Gadi Kinda (SEI - knee surgery), Ozzie Cisneros (hamstring), Daniel Salloi (Int. Duty — Hungary), Marinos Tzionis (Int. Duty — Cyprus)

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

*This will be updated based on the official injury report. At this point, it’s mostly last weeks report, though early practice reports are promising.

New England

OUT - Adam Buksa (Int. Duty — Poland), Matt Turner (Int. Duty — United States)

QUESTIONABLE - Henry Kessler (leg)

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)

New England

Goals: Adam Buksa (7), Carles Gil (3), Brandon Bye, Sebastian Lletget (2), either with one (1)

Assists: Gil (7), Bye (4), Dejuan Jones, Lletget (3), Emmanuel Boateng, Buksa, Matt Polster (2), three with one (1)

Starting XI Predictions

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

Predictions

I made the mistake in this space last time of saying Sporting KC would beat the Vancouver Whitecaps. It turns out, even at home, their luck just wouldn’t allow it as a penalty kick was the deciding moment in that loss.

The Revolution come to town in an interesting spot. They have just sold their best goal scorer in Buksa (who is away with Poland regardless). Their other two strikers, Gustavo Bou and Jozy Altidore, have massively under-performed this season.

Despite that, they still have Carles Gil, who is a game breaking midfielder and possibly one of, if not the best player in the league. They are in better form than KC (who isn’t?) but they are also pretty abysmal on the road (1-3-2).

If KC have improved their health, they should stand a chance in this game. However, anecdotally, it seems like SKC struggle after a long break. They are a team that plays well when they get in a rhythm and they won’t have that for two reasons: the break and all the players who have been hurt (though having them back should help).

Add to that the fact that Sporting will be missing Daniel Salloi and Marinos Tzionis (plus potentially some injured players) and I’m back to where I’ve been the last couple months: show me something before I pick you to win.

3-2 New England Win

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