Major League Soccer: New York City FC vs Sporting Kansas City
Yankee Stadium – Wednesday, September 6 – 19:30 ET (00:30 )
Match Odds: New York City FC 19/20 – Draw 5/2 – Sporting Kansas City 13/5
New York City FC vs Sporting Kansas City: Preview
New York City FC welcome Sporting Kansas City to Yankee Stadium on Wednesday night in what is a key game for both sides. International absences mean both teams will be without key players but that shouldn’t prevent what should be an intriguing battle.
Both sides are well on course for the playoffs. Sporting Kansas City are third in the West but have games in hand over Portland and Seattle. They are in a strong position to win the conference and just need to continue their form over the final couple of months of the regular season.
New York City are second in the East, nine points behind league leaders Toronto. They are unlikely to catch the Reds but this is their game in hand, so a win would cut the gap to six points.
NYCFC is unbeaten in four matches, winning three and drawing one in that time. They haven’t failed to score at home all season and have only lost once at Yankee Stadium in 2017. In fact, that defeat to Orlando back in April was their only home loss in the last 14 months of regular season play.
This is the first of two games at Yankee Stadium in three days for New York City. They face Portland on Saturday and know that they will have all but guaranteed their postseason berth with back-to-back wins.
But Sporting Kansas City have only lost five times all season – only Toronto have lost fewer – and arrive in good form. Peter Vermes’ men have only lost one of their last 11 MLS games. However, that did come in their latest road trip at Seattle a few weeks ago.
SKC have been consistent all season, without really setting the world alight. They will be looking to frustrate NYCFC on Wednesday ahead of Sunday’s trip to Columbus. A win on Wednesday would send them top of the West. A draw would leave them just one point off the summit.
Sporting KC also have the US Open Cup Final to look ahead to. They take on the New York Red Bulls at Children’s Mercy Park on September 20 with the chance to with the competition for the second time in three seasons.
This will be the only regular season meeting between the two teams. NYCFC claimed a 1-0 win in a preseason friendly back in February. However, SKC have won both previous MLS clashes, winning 1-0 at Yankee Stadium in 2015 before claiming a 3-1 home win last year.
New York City FC vs Sporting Kansas City: Team News
NYCFC will be without Rodney Wallace as the midfielder will serve a one-game suspension as a result of yellow card accumulation. Although Wallace is with the Costa Rican team anyway, and would not have been available for Wednesday’s match. David Villa will miss out as he is away with the Spanish team, who face Liechtenstein on Tuesday. Alex Ring (Finland) and Yangel Herrera (Venezuela) are also unavailable as a result of international duty. On top of that, Ronald Matarrita, Miguel Camargo, Maxime Chanot, Ethan White and Mikey Lopez are injured.
Sporting Kansas City are without key duo Matt Besler and Graham Zusi, who have both been away with the USA. James Musa is with the New Zealand team, while Soony Saad has been away with Lebanon. Cameron Porter remains sidelined for the season with a serious ankle injury.
New York City FC vs Sporting Kansas City: Key Points
NYCFC’s last five: L/W/W/W/D
Sporting KC’s last five: D/W/D/L/W
Key Stat: Sporting KC have the league’s leading defence in 2017, having conceded just 19 goals in 25 games so far.
Key Player: Tim Melia – The SKC goalkeeper has played every minute of MLS action this season and has shone in between the sticks. He has kept 10 clean sheets and has made the sixth-most saves in MLS this term with 74. New York City haven’t failed to score at home all season but if anyone is likely to stop them, it’s Melia given his form.
New York City FC vs Sporting Kansas City: Prediction
New York City FC 1-1 Sporting KC – Both sides have key players missing for Wednesday’s game. Squad depth will be tested and both will fancy their chances of taking all three points. However, NYCFC are a real force at home and Sporting Kansas City are tough to break down. That should lead to a low-scoring draw.