MINNESOTA UNITED FC vs. SPORTING KANSAS CITY
Allianz Field | Saint Paul, Minnesota
08.21.2021 | MLS Week No. 21 | MLS Game No. 20
2:30 p.m. CT (ESPN, SKOR North)
2021 Regular Season Records (W-L-D):
SKC: 11-4-5 (6-1-2 on the road)
MIN: 7-6-6 (6-3-1 at home)
Despite going up a man in the 21st minute, Minnesota United could not come all the way back from an early own goal to claim victory against the San Jose Earthquakes on Tuesday night. Wil Trapp scored his first goal as a Loon to pull them level in the 22nd minute, but MNUFC had to settle for splitting the points. Now Minnesota prepares to welcome Western Conference leaders Sporting KC to Allianz Field for the next chapter of the Nicest Rivalry in Sports. When last they met, it was in the Western Conference Semifinals of 2020, and the Loons hung three goals on SKC at Children’s Mercy Park to give them their first away win of the all-time series. Minnesota’s sizable injury list is unlikely to see much improvement before the weekend, so once again it will be up to whoever’s ambulatory to get out there and give it their all.
In 2019, Sporting Kansas City looked a shell of their former selves, missing the playoffs for the first time since 2010. But since then, they’ve missed nary a step, grabbing the top seed in the Western Conference last season and vying for it this season. After a breakout season in 2018 with 11 goals and seven assists, Daniel Salloi’s production dipped severely the past two years, in which he only scored a goal and an assist. But now he’s firing on all cylinders, having already put in 12 and assisted on six. And frustratingly for MNUFC, SKC have been nearly as good on the road as at home, posting six wins away from Children’s Mercy Park so far. The Loons will have to find a way to limit the three-headed monster of Salloi, Alan Pulido and Johnny Russell if they hope to come away with a result on Saturday.
ADRIAN HEATH ON FACING AN IN-FORM SPORTING KC
“Incredibly well-organized. Got good players. Really good coach who’s got them really well-drilled. They’ve not changed an awful lot, they tweak it little bits each year. The likes of Johnny Russell, [Daniel] Salloi is having, probably, his best year of his career and then [Alan] Pulido, you know, is a top-drawer player. Attacking wise, they’ve got different threats. Midfield, well organized and they try to stretch you out. We’ve done well against them at home but we’re going to need another big performance to try and get a result this weekend, for sure.” MORE
TYLER MILLER ON GETTING BACK TO ALLIANZ FIELD
“[The fans] are massive. They bring a lot of energy and a lot of spirit to the games that we have there. For us. It’s going to be important the first 15 minutes of this game. KC is a team that likes to come out and likes to put teams under pressure in the first 15 minutes so for us it’s about managing that and feeding off the crowd’s energy throughout the entire game and really fighting to the end. We’re in a difficult moment right now but I think this is where the true teams, the greatest teams, are able to rise to the occasion and not really focus on all of the excuses and just putting them aside and saying, ‘We know what we have to do and we’ll go out there and do it.’” MORE
- No player on either team has had a multi-goal game in the regular season. Kevin Molino had a brace in Minnesota’s playoff win last year. MORE