▪ WHEN/WHERE: 6:30 p.m. Saturday; at MAPFRE Stadium, Columbus, Ohio
▪ TV/RADIO: KMCI-TV (Ch. 38); WHB (810 AM), KDTD (1340 AM)
▪ ABOUT SPORTING KC (11-5-7, 40 points): The club will play without its best offensive weapon, midfielder Benny Feilhaber, who is serving a one-game suspension after receiving a red card in Wednesday’s 5-0 loss to San Jose. Despite that loss, Sporting KC remains in third place in the Western Conference and still leads the league in points per match. But it has allowed eight goals over the past two games. It has the second best road goal differential (negative-1) in the West.
▪ ABOUT COLUMBUS (9-8-8, 35 points): Former Sporting KC forward Kei Kamara leads the league with 18 goals in his first year back in MLS. The third-place team in the Eastern Conference, Columbus has scored a conference-best 40 goals, but it’s also allowed the most (41).
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▪ BOTTOM LINE: If Sporting KC is going to climb up the Western Conference standings, it will have to do so while away from home. It will play its next four games on the road and doesn’t return to Sporting Park until Sept. 18. Sporting KC had the best road record in MLS from 2013-14, and it has won two of its past three road matches this season.
▪ PREDICTION: Columbus 2, Sporting KC 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.