Playoff schedule coming into focus
Sporting Kansas City will play its first home playoff game Nov. 7 in the second leg of the conference semifinals at Livestrong Sporting Park.
The first leg of that series will be on the road Nov. 3 or 4, depending on the opponent.
Kickoff time and broadcast information also will be announced after the completion of the MLS regular season Sunday, but may not be finalized until the Eastern Conference wild card game Wednesday between the fourth- and fifth-place finishers.
Tickets for the home playoff game start at $30. A limited number are available online at ticketmaster.com or at the Livestrong box offices.
Sporting KC, 18-7-9, could face any of four playoff qualifiers from the Eastern Conference depending on the results of three key games Saturday — New York at Philadelphia at 12:30 p.m., D.C. United at Chicago at 3 p.m. and Houston at Colorado at 8 p.m.
• With midfielder Roger Espinoza still recovering from a sprained ankle, Peterson Joseph got his fourth career MLS start.
He’d played only five minutes in two games since a picking up a red card in the closing minutes before halftime of a 2-1 loss July 18 at Houston.
Eight minutes after picking up a yellow card Wednesday against the Philadelphia Union, Joseph was subbed off in the 66th minute for Oriol Rosell.
Espinoza, who injured his right ankle sprain in second-half stoppage time Oct. 7 at Columbus, turns 26 today.
• With Espinoza still on the mend, the sight of Paulo Nagamura writhing in pain at midfield in the 27th minute was far from welcome.
Nagamura tried to remain in the game after trainer Chet North taped his left ankle, but he eventually gave way to Jacob Peterson in the 33rd minute.
“I’m glad he came off, because at the end of the day he has time to rest for the next season, if you will, in the playoffs,” coach Peter Vermes said.
• It was 15 years ago today (Oct. 25, 1997) that Sporting KC’s Preki was announced as MLS MVP, the first such honor for the then-Wizards. Preki scored 12 goals with 17 assists in 27 games with the club that season. He finished with team records for goal (71) and assists (98) during parts of nine seasons with Sporting KC.
| Tod Palmer, email@example.com