WHEN/WHERE: 8 p.m. Saturday at Sporting Park
TV/RADIO: KMCI-TV (Ch. 38); 99.3 FM, KDTD (1340 AM)
ABOUT VANCOUVER (13-8-3, 42 points): The Whitecaps have the best road record in the league (7-4-2), a primary explanation for their first-place standing in the Western Conference. That’s three more road wins than any other team in MLS. ... Defender Kendall Waston will miss the match because of yellow card accumulation.
ABOUT SPORTING KC (10-4-7, 37 points): While the club is in fourth place in the Western Conference, it leads MLS with 1.76 points per match. It trails first-place Vancouver by five points, but it has played three fewer matches. ... Midfielder Graham Zusi’s calf strain has shown improvement this week, but he still is unlikely to be available.
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BOTTOM LINE: The matchup features the best two defensive teams in MLS. They have each allowed only 22 goals this season, and Vancouver has been particularly stout defensively on the road, allowing nine goals in 13 games.
PREDICTION: Sporting KC 1, Vancouver 1
To reach Sam McDowell, call 816-234-4869 or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @SamMcDowell11. Tap here to download The Star’s free Extra Time KC soccer app for iOS and Android devices.