For the second time this season Austin FC will be traveling north to play Sporting Kansas City, as they will face Peter Vermes’ team at Children’s Mercy Park on Saturday. The match is the only match on the MLS slate for this weekend as the vast majority of the league will still be off for the international break.
Austin FC Outlook
Austin will be seeking revenge on Saturday, as the first match between the two clubs ended in a 2-1 win for Sporting on May 9. The Verde & Black took a 1-0 lead early on when Jared Stroud fed Jon Gallagher a cross in the seventh minute and the forward was able to score his first goal for ATXFC.
The game changed when midfielder Alex Ring was shown a second yellow card in the 67th minute. From there Sporting were able to take control of the match and ended up scoring two goals to take home all three points.
Josh Wolff’s team enters this match after getting last weekend off, along with the rest of MLS. The time off came after a deserved 0-0 draw at the league-leading Seattle Sounders. Austin will hope to continue that strong defensive form on Saturday, along with providing some more punch in the attack.
One of the questions entering the match is who will start up top for Wolff. Danny Hoesen and Jon Gallagher have mostly split the duties to start the season but Cecilio Dominguez took over the role against the Sounders. He looked sharp in that spot as Gallagher took over his normal role on the left wing. Any of the three could get the nod on Saturday.
This match again comes on the road, as Austin starts the season on an eight-game road trip before opening Q2 Stadium on June 19 vs the San Jose Earthquakes.
Sporting KC Outlook
Sporting KC have again been one of the top teams in MLS this year -- as they are currently No. 2 in the Western Conference behind Seattle. Their strong start comes a year after they finished first in the West in 2020, but were eliminated by Minnesota United FC in the Conference Semifinals.
They come into this match on a three-match winning streak, having defeated Houston Dynamo FC 3-2 in their last match on May 29. Sporting scored three goals in each of those three matches, so Brad Stuver and the rest of the Austin defense will be put to the test. Their 15 goals scored are the most so far in the league.
Mexican international Alan Pulido has led the line most of the season and has produced five goals in eight matches, but may not be back from international duty. In his stead, Sporting will look to have Daniel Salloi continue his strong form (3g, 2a).
Probable Sporting KC Lineup
(4-3-3, R-L) - GK: Tim Melia; Graham Zusi, Ilie Sanchez, Andreu Fontas, Luis Martins; Roger Espinoza, Gianluca Busio, Remi Walter; Johnny Russell, Khiry Shelton, Daniel Salloi
OUT: Kendall McIntosh (Adductor); Gadi Kinda (Health & Safety Protocols); Alan Pulido (International Duty - Mexico)