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MLS: Sporting Kansas City at Austin FC

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Sporting KC v Austin FC: Preview, Predictions & How to Watch

Sporting Kansas City look to bounce back on short rest.

Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Sporting KC vs Austin FC

When: Saturday, July 30th, 2022 at 7:30 PM CT (Kickoff 7:38)

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)

How does Sporting Kansas City bounce back? How do they recover from the disappointment of being knocked out of the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup by a second division side? The first MLS team to be beaten by a lower-division side in a semifinal since the Charleston Battery advanced to the finals (where they lost) in 2008.

My guess is they don’t. Austin FC didn’t have to play 120 minutes midweek (or at all) and are the far superior team. Sporting KC have lost four straight home games, something that hasn’t happened to KC since they were the Wizards way back in 1999. Add to that the fact that Austin have a league’s best (tied with the New York Red Bulls) 23 points on the road.

Add to that the Verde are a very good team. Austin FC have gone from almost worst (next to last in 2021) to almost first (second place in the West as of this writing).

The only positive for SKC entering this match is they are 1-0-1 against Austin in Children’s Mercy Park (but that was a good 2021 team getting those results), with their only loss coming on the road to the Texas side. Whatever the result, they’ll meet again at Q2 Stadium two weeks later.

Austin’s Recent Form

Before Austin lost last weekend in a wild game against RBNY, you have to go all the way back to May 29th where they were crushed 4-1 by the LA Galaxy to find another loss.

What’s new for Austin FC for 2022?

Austin really started to build this roster in 2021 as an expansion team. A lot of the moves they made last year just took time to hit and wow have they hit this season.

IN: Austin picked up some key free agent contributors adding veterans Maxi Urruti, Ethan Finlay and Felipe Martins. They hit the international market for a slew of moves as well. They added defender Zan Kolmanic, who joins from MK Maribor, the same club SKC got Robi Voloder from.

They also added midfielder Jhojan Valencia from Deportivo Cali (Columbia), defender Ruben Gabrielsen from Toulouse FC (France), GK Damian Las via transfer from Fulham (England) and they just added forward Washington Corozo on loan from Sporting Cristal (Peru).

In addition they built from the SuperDraft signing two defenders — Kipp Keller and Charlie Asensio.

OUT: The most Sporting KC-centric name is the retirement of Matt Besler. They moved on from two Designated Players by loaning out midfielder Tomas Pochettino (to River Plate) and mutually terminating the contract of Cecilio Dominguez. They lost forward McKinze Gaines in the Expansion Draft to Charlotte FC and had loans for Sebastian Berhalter and Manny Perez expire.

They also declined contract options on (almost SKC II player) Aedan Stanley, GK Brad Scott as well as forward Aaron Schoenfeld and Kekuta Manneh.

Injuries/Availability*

Sporting KC

OUT - Alan Pulido (knee surgery), Gadi Kinda (SEI - knee surgery), Ozzie Cisneros (hamstring), Kortne Ford (suspension), Tim Melia (hamstring)

QUESTIONABLE - Basically Everyone (fatigue)

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

Austin

OUT - Frederik Kleemann (left knee), Hector Jimenez (left groin)

QUESTIONABLE - None

Discipline Watch for Sporting KC

Suspended Next Yellow Card: Kortne Ford

Stats

Sporting KC

Goals: Johnny Russell (6), Daniel Salloi (4), Remi Walter (3), Roger Espinoza (2), Marinos Tzionis, Felipe Hernandez, Graham Zusi (1)

Assists: Felipe Hernandez, Cam Duke (3), Daniel Salloi, Ben Sweat, Uri Rosell, Roger Espinoza, Remi Walter, Khiry Shelton, Kayden Pierre (1)

Austin

Goals: Sebastian Driussi (13), Maxi Urruti (7), Diego Fagundez, Ethan Finlay (5), Alex Ring (3), Cecillio Dominguez, Ruben Gabrielsen, Danny Hoesen, Daniel Pereira (2), three with one (1)

Assists: Fagundez (8), Driussi (7), Finlay (5), Nick Lima, Ring (4), Jon Gallagher, Hector Jimenez, Pereira (3), Zan Kolmanic, Urruti (2), seven with one (1)

Starting XI Predictions

This will get it’s own story. Look for it closer to game day. (Update: Here is that story!)

Predictions

After Wednesday’s inexplicable use of substitutions and with Sporting Kansas City playing for the third time in eight days, it’s hard to imagine anyone who put in 120 minutes (or close to it — Ben Sweat had to be carried off) having anything left. It’s all rest and recovery to even get enough healthy bodies to put a roster together.

My hope is the kids come out and shock the world, as they are mostly all that’s available to play again. And then let’s hope it’s a lot of more of them for the remaining 11 games of the year as SKC start to build towards 2023.

But the odds are against them.

2-0 Austin FC Win

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