Preview: Sporting Kansas City versus Orlando City


Sports Mole previews Friday’s Major League Soccer clash between Sporting Kansas City and Orlando City, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Two of the best-developed teams in Major League Soccer in 2020 will face each other on Friday as Sporting Kansas City host Orlando City from Children’s Mercy Park.

Kansas City started its regular season with a 2-1 win over the New York Red Bulls, while Orlando opened with a 0-0 draw with Atlanta United.

Game preview

© Reuters

In a shortened 2020 regular season, Sporting KC showed tremendous strides, taking first place in the Western Conference, which was 10 places better than their 2019 campaign.

A major reason for the quick turnaround was the defensive game, which conceded just 25 goals last year after giving up 67 goals in the previous season.

Manager Peter Vermes is the longest-serving coach in the MLS and one of the most successful 156 games since 2009, with which he only shies away from two wins Dominic Kinnear for the fourth time in the history of the league.

The longtime manager wants his team to improve their consistency at home, where they lost half of their regular season games in 2020.

Recently, however, they have had no problems in their opening games at Children’s Mercy Park, winning each of their last two games with a combined result of 6-0.

Orlando rose from eleventh place in 2019 to fourth place last year in a highly competitive Eastern Conference.

Under manager Oscar couple The Lions have reached new heights, reaching the final of the MLS is Back tournament, and entering the postseason for the first time in the club’s history in 2020.

Playing outside of the Exploria Stadium has proven extremely difficult for this franchise, as it has never won more than five games on the road in a single season campaign.

However, they did well against a strong team from Sporting KC, beating the Wizards in their last two regular meetings of the season.

Sporting Kansas City Major League Football Form:

Orlando City Major League Football Form:

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Team news

Orlando City head coach Oscar Pareja in the second half against Nashville SC at Nissan Stadium in September 2020© Reuters

KC Keeper Melia team is still recovering from a chest injury while Kendall McIntosh has an eye injury and Brooks Thompson has a lower back problem, which means John Pulskamp will start again in the gate.

defender Amadou Dia has a hamstring injury and is a veteran Graham Zusi still cares for a foot injury so we can expect to see Nicolas Isimat-Mirin Next Andreu Fontas start in their place.

Orlando striker Alexandre Pato suffered a lower body injury in the Lions’ opening game, but the club say he won’t need surgery, meaning he could be available on Friday.

The news isn’t that good for left-backs Joao Moutinhowho fails with a groin injury while midfielder Uri Rosell and defense attorney Robin Jansson are both questionable in lower body injuries.

The Lions’ leading goalscorer last season Chris Mueller only needs three more appearances to reach 100 in all competitions; Müller and Tesho Akindele should reinforce the offensive of a team that scored the third most goals in the Eastern Conference last season.

Sporting Kansas City possible starting line-up:
Pulse bearing; Martins, Fontas, Isimat-Mirin, Lindsey; Espinoza, Walter, Kinda; Salloi, Busio, Shelton

Orlando City possible starting grid:
Gallese; Teixeira, Carlos, Schlegel, Smith; Müller, Urso, Mendez, Nani; Akindele; duck

SM words green background

We say: Sporting Kansas City 0-1 Orlando City

There is very little to choose between these sites; Both conceded the same number of goals (25) last year, and Orlando was only two points better in the regular season. Injuries have affected the wizards defensively. So watch out for the Lions’ even attack to win the third game in a row against KC.

Top tip

Our experienced betting partners at predict a bet with a double chance of a draw or an away win in this game. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more proven soccer tips.Draw / Away: data

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Janet Smith