Who: Sporting Kansas City at FC Dallas
What: 2023 MLS Regular Season | Match 4
When: Saturday, March 18 | 7:30 p.m. CT (7:39 kickoff)
Where: Toyota Stadium | Frisco, Texas
Watch: Apple TV | Free on MLS Season Pass
Listen: English Radio | ESPN 94.5 FM/1510 AM - Spanish Radio | La Grande 1340 AM
Sporting Kansas City travels to Texas to face Western Conference foe FC Dallas. It is the third road match in the first four games of the 2023 season for Sporting KC (0-1-2, 2 points) while FC Dallas (1-1-1, 4 points) will be in front of their home fans for the third time.
After a rough start in the first minutes and giving up an early goal to the Portland Timbers in the season opener, Sporting KC has registered 264 regulation minutes without allowing a goal. In that time SKC has also failed to score themselves.
Sporting KC leads MLS in shots (58), shots on target (26) and key passes (48). They are second in shooting accuracy (70.3%) but 16th in expected goals and are one of three teams still scoreless entering week four.
Dallas has allowed one goal in each of their first three matches, a 0-1 loss to Minnesota, a 3-1 win over the Galaxy and a 1-1 draw at Vancouver.
The stout SKC defense will be challenged by a talented FC Dallas front three consisting of Designated Players Alan Velasco, Jesus Ferreira and Paul Arriola. Jesus Ferreira leads Dallas with a pair of goals, scoring a brace in the win over the Galaxy.
SKC is still waiting for a number of players to come back from injury. Captain Johnny Russell is still out with a hamstring from preseason as well as Logan Ndenbe. Gadi Kinda it getting closer to full practice but is still not ready after missing last season with knee surgery.
Listed as questionable, left back Tim Leibold picked up a hamstring injury in his first start but was in practice early in the week. Mexican international striker Alan Pulido inches closer to the lineup each week and is in full practice but manager Peter Vermes indicated it is unlikely he will be in the game-day roster this week.
Dallas is relatively healthy with only Tarik Scott on the availability report with a season-ending injury.
It will be interesting to see if Vermes starts new midfielder Nemanja Radoja at the six or will he stick with Remi Walter. Will he start veteran Roger Espinoza again? Or move Walter up or give Felipe Hernandez the start? Attacker Marinos Tzionis started on the right in the second match with Khiry Skelton starting in both the first and third games. Will Shelton or Tzionis start (or someone else)? Tzionis heads to join the Cyprus Men’s National Team following the match.
SKC is winless in their last nine road games so no matter the lineup, they will need to put the ball in the net to earn a victory.