MX23RW : Friday, June 18 01:43:41| >> :120:17500:17500:
Jun 12, 2021 at 8pm UK at Livestrong Sporting Park
KansasSporting Kansas City
1-1
AustinAustin FC
Salloi (71')
Walter (32')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Dominguez (26')
Besler (79'), Lima (90')

Preview: Sporting Kansas City vs. Austin FC - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Major League Soccer clash between Sporting Kansas City and Austin FC, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Sporting Kansas City can move into first place in the Supporters' Shield standings with a victory on Saturday against Austin FC as their Major League Soccer campaign resumes from Children's Mercy Park.

The Wizards have won three in a row heading into this contest, while Austin held the Western Conference-leading Seattle Sounders to a scoreless draw in their last outing.


Match preview

Sporting Kansas City head coach Peter Vermes pictured in August 2020© Reuters

For their standards, Kansas City started slowly, with only two wins in their opening five matches, but since then, they have been lights out, winning three consecutive games and scoring three times in each of those victories.

Another three points on Saturday would mark the longest winning streak in the regular season for Peter Vermes's side since 2018.

The longtime KC manager will hope that the two-week international break does not affect the rhythm of his team, who appeared to be hitting their stride before the time off.

In their last outing against Los Verdes, Kansas City were eight minutes away from being upset by the MLS expansion team before llie and Gadi Kinda both scored as KC won the match 2-1.

They have not only been good in front of goal, but they have also not allowed other teams much time on the ball lately, limiting two of their last three opponents to just over 30% of the possession throughout a full match.

Through their first seven games, the newest MLS franchise have had a mixture of good and bad results in their inaugural campaign.

In their last match before the break, manager Josh Wolff saw his squad perform exceptionally well defensively against the best team in the league so far, the Seattle Sounders.

Even though they are winless in their last four encounters, that result could serve as a huge confidence boost for this young group who are learning what it takes to compete in Major League Soccer.

Wolff has started a different front three in each of their last three matches without much success as Austin have gone scoreless in three consecutive games and have not registered more than three shots on target in any one of those encounters.

The offense may have dried up in recent weeks, but this side have been able to compete and have had an opportunity to earn points in every one of their fixtures thus far.

Sporting Kansas City Major League Soccer form:
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • W

Austin FC Major League Soccer form:
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • D



Team News

Austin FC head coach Josh Wolff shouts at players during the match against Sporting Kansas City on May 9, 2021© Reuters

Backup keeper Brooks Thompson is still suffering from back problems and will likely miss out on the game on Saturday as first-choice keeper Tim Melia is expected to start for a fourth consecutive time.

Striker Alan Pulido has been lighting up the scoreboard lately with four goals in his last three games, but he is on international duty with Mexico on Saturday and will not be available for the Wizards.

His teammate Daniel Salloi has made some contributions of his own, with a goal in two of his previous three matches and he might be counted upon to contribute more in the absence of Pulido.

For Austin, defender Hector Jimenez has a medial collateral ligament injury, and Ben Sweat has a cruciate ligament rupture.

Attacking midfielder Ulises Segura and Aaron Schoenfeld are both nursing knee injuries.

Goalkeeper Bradley Stuver had to make only two saves for his second clean sheet of the season in their last match.

Sporting Kansas City possible starting lineup:
Melia; Zusi, llie, Fontas, Martins; Espinoza, Busio, Kinda; Russell, Shelton, Salloi

Austin FC possible starting lineup:
Stuver; Kolmanic, Besler, Cascante, Lima; Fagundez, Ring, Pochettino; Redes, Dominguez, Stroud


SM words green background

We say: Sporting Kansas City 1-0 Austin FC

Sporting KC are on a roll right now, with three straight wins, scoring three goals each time while five different players have scored their last six goals, which shows the depth of this team.

Austin have shown the ability to limit their opponents' time and space, but they have barely mustered any quality scoring chances over their last three games.






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How you voted: Kansas vs Austin

Sporting Kansas City
81.8%
Draw
18.2%
Austin FC
0.0%
22
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Tables

Eastern Conference

TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1New England RevolutionNew England8521117417
2Philadelphia UnionPhiladelphia842295414
3Orlando City733184412
4New York City FCNY City7322137611
5Nashville SCNashville725096311
6CF MontrealMontreal8323109111
7Columbus Crew732276111
8Atlanta UnitedAtlanta724197210
9New York Red BullsNY Red Bulls7304101009
10DC United8305811-39
11Inter MiamiInter Miami8224813-58
12Toronto7124812-45
13Chicago Fire7115411-74
14FC CincinnatiCincinnati6114615-94

Western Conference

TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1New England RevolutionNew England8521117417
2Philadelphia UnionPhiladelphia842295414
3Orlando City733184412
4New York City FCNY City7322137611
5Nashville SCNashville725096311
6CF MontrealMontreal8323109111
7Columbus Crew732276111
8Atlanta UnitedAtlanta724197210
9New York Red BullsNY Red Bulls7304101009
10DC United8305811-39
11Inter MiamiInter Miami8224813-58
12Toronto7124812-45
13Chicago Fire7115411-74
14FC CincinnatiCincinnati6114615-94

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