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Downstream Game 7: Home vs Sporting Kansas City

John A. Babiak - @Photog_JohnB

Sporting Kansas City Stats

2020 Record: 5-2-0 W-L-T, 1st place in the Western Conference

Goals For: 17

Goals Against: 11

MLS is Back Tournament: Made it to the semifinals, lost against Philadelphia Union

Last Result: 2-5 loss against Houston Dynamo

Another week, another protest over blatant injustices and systemic racism. The shooting of Jacob Blake feels like the same story being told again and again and again. I’m woefully out of my league trying to discuss anything with the current state of the country, especially on a platform such as this. I have so much that I could (and probably should) say, but I would never be able to put into words exactly how I feel. At best, I can try and talk a little about our opponents for the next game, as we play against Sporting Kansas City for the second time this year.

SKC hasn’t fundamentally changed at all since we played them during the MLS is Back Tournament group stage. Sporting beat the Rapids 3-2 and RSL 2-0, but lost to Minnesota 1-2. They played to a scoreless draw against Vancouver and made it through on penalty kicks, then lost to Philadelphia 1-3. Once the season restarted, they got revenge on Minnesota with a 2-1 win, but then got a beatdown handed to them by an unlikely source—the Houston Dynamo. A stunning 2-5 loss at home was, to say the least, a surprise. It was Houston’s first win of the season.

Despite the last result, they are still a fantastic team. They currently sit at the top of the Western Conference, are tied with Toronto, and are just behind the Columbus Crew in the Supporters’ Shield race. There have been no roster changes since the tournament and no changes to their injury report. DP Alan Pulido is making a strong case for MLS Newcomer of the Year. They’ve got a lot going for them.

But, I think all things considered, the Burgundy Boys didn’t do too bad against them in Orlando. We had two red cards, thanks to Danny Wilson and some choice words from Jack Price. Despite playing two men down, we still held them to a 2-2 draw (including a goal from Jonathan Lewis after going down to nine men) until stoppage time when Graham Zusi scored the game-winning goal. That is no mean feat.

This game really will be a rematch from earlier. The same players should be available. Three points are on the line for us. I was hoping that I would have had more to say about how the team looked against Dallas, but nope. I don’t think that this game is an automatic result either way, but the team needs to prove that it belongs in the playoffs, and beating SKC will go a long way to proving that.