MX23RW : Thursday, September 23 20:35:34| >> :600:786065:786065:
May 16, 2021 at 7pm UK at Children's Mercy Park
KansasSporting Kansas City
3-0
VancouverVancouver Whitecaps
Salloi (28'), Pulido (32' pen., 58')
Sanchez (9'), Kinda (36'), Espinoza (72')
FT(HT: 2-0)

Cornelius (55')

Preview: Sporting Kansas City vs. Vancouver Whitecaps - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Sunday's Major League Soccer clash between Sporting Kansas City and Vancouver Whitecaps, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Sporting Kansas City will look to remain unbeaten at home when they host the Vancouver Whitecaps in Major League Soccer action at Children's Mercy Park on Sunday.

Both clubs will consider themselves unlucky to lose their midweek matches, as KC fell 1-0 to Houston, and the Whitecaps dropped a 1-0 decision to Minnesota.


Match preview

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

Sporting KC seemingly did everything except score on Wednesday when they lost to the Dynamo despite having 16 shots, 56% possession, while creating 10 scoring opportunities.

It was only the second time this year they had more possession than their opponents, but with a very different result, as last Sunday they scored twice in the final 10 minutes to beat Austin 2-1.

When you face a team coached by Peter Vermes, you better make the most of your opportunities because, as many MLS teams can tell you, they do not give you many chances to score.

If you include their match on Wednesday, Sporting have held their opponents to one shot on goal or fewer on 55 occasions in the regular season, with Houston becoming only the second team in that span to defeat KC despite being held in check for most of the match.

Seeing KC lose this many games (two) to start a season is extremely rare for a side that have shown plenty of consistency in the past and who are usually fast starters.

The last time they lost two games or more in the opening five weeks of a season was way back in 2011 when they dropped three of their first five fixtures but recovered to finish first in the Western Conference.

The Whitecaps have started the season brightly with seven points from their opening five games as they sit in fifth place in the Western Conference standings.

They were unfortunate to come away with nothing in their midweek encounter versus Minnesota, where they failed to solve Tyler Miller, who made several brilliant saves.

Despite that disappointing result, manager Marc Dos Santos will be happy to see his team hanging around and keeping their matches close so far in 2021, as all but one of their games to this point of the season have been decided by a goal or fewer.

That is already a vast improvement from 2020, when the Whitecaps let several games get out of hand, losing four of their regular-season fixtures by three goals or more and missing the playoffs for a third consecutive season.

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

Vancouver Whitecaps Major League Soccer form:
  • W
  • D
  • L
  • W
  • L



Team News

Vancouver Whitecaps head coach Marc Dos Santos directs his team against the Real Salt Lake at Rio Tinto Stadium in September 2020© Reuters

Goalkeeper Tim Melia continues to be hampered by a chest injury, while reserve keeper Brooks Thompson has back issues, which means John Pulskamp will start his sixth match of this season.

Graham Zusi, who sat out on Wednesday, will be eager to draw back into the lineup and contribute as he needs just one more goal to move into seventh place on the club's all-time goals list, alongside Benny Feilhaber and Mo Johnston.

Whitecaps centre-back Erik Godoy has a calf strain while the club continues to sort out the visa situation for full-back Ali Adnan, the player of the year for the 'Caps in 2020.

Goalkeeper Maxime Crepeau has been a big part of the early success for Vancouver, with two clean sheets already, which is one more than he had during the entire 2020 campaign.

Sporting Kansas City possible starting lineup:
Pulskamp; Martins, Fontas, llie, Lindsey; Walter; Shelton, Kinda, Busio; Salloi, Pulido

Vancouver Whitecaps possible starting lineup:
Crepeau; Gutierrez, Cornelius, Veselinovic, Gaspar; Owusu, Alexandre, Raposo, Caicedo; Cavallini, Dajome


SM words green background

We say: Sporting Kansas City 0-0 Vancouver Whitecaps

Both teams have done an excellent job thus far when it comes to limiting their opponents' scoring opportunities, with neither side conceding more than six shots on target in a single match this season.

However, the 'Caps and Wizards have also failed to consistently cash in on their scoring chances, as both sides have notched a goal or fewer in three of their five encounters which means we could be in for a defensive showcase on Sunday.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a home win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Home Win:data


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Tables

Eastern Conference

TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1New England RevolutionNew England27185451321959
2Nashville SCNashville251111344242044
3New York City FCNY City25116844291539
4Orlando City2510873636038
5CF MontrealMontreal2510783630637
6Atlanta UnitedAtlanta259973530536
7Philadelphia UnionPhiladelphia249873125635
8DC United25104114136534
9Inter MiamiInter Miami2595112540-1532
10Columbus Crew2687113035-531
11New York Red BullsNY Red Bulls2476113029127
12Chicago Fire2665152643-1723
13FC CincinnatiCincinnati2448122444-2020
14Toronto2546152851-2318

Western Conference

TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1New England RevolutionNew England27185451321959
2Nashville SCNashville251111344242044
3New York City FCNY City25116844291539
4Orlando City2510873636038
5CF MontrealMontreal2510783630637
6Atlanta UnitedAtlanta259973530536
7Philadelphia UnionPhiladelphia249873125635
8DC United25104114136534
9Inter MiamiInter Miami2595112540-1532
10Columbus Crew2687113035-531
11New York Red BullsNY Red Bulls2476113029127
12Chicago Fire2665152643-1723
13FC CincinnatiCincinnati2448122444-2020
14Toronto2546152851-2318

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