Real Salt Lake at Sporting Kansas City
WHEN/WHERE: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, at Children’s Mercy Park
TV/RADIO: Fox Sports KC Plus; KCTE (99.3 FM)
ABOUT SPORTING KC (3-1-3, 12 points): In its first loss of the season last week, coach Peter Vermes said Sporting KC didn’t display the aggression it did in its initial six matches. Perhaps a home crowd will cure the blip. Sporting KC is unbeaten over its past 12 regular season games inside Children’s Mercy Park. Sporting KC has allowed the fewest goals and shots per game in MLS this year, and goalkeeper Tim Melia is tied for the league lead with four shutouts.
ABOUT REAL SALT LAKE (2-4-2, 8 points): Less than a month into the season, Real Salt Lake fired coach Jeff Cassar and replaced him with Mike Petke. Since the change, RSL is 2-2. The club has kept its physical edge, leading MLS with 18 yellow cards, and it’s pressed higher up the field, which could open up the game Saturday.
BOTTOM LINE: Sporting KC is searching for its first MLS win against Real Salt Lake since it won the 2013 MLS Cup, the most significant chapter of the rivalry.
PREDICTION: Sporting KC 2, Real Salt Lake 0