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Sporting Kansas City vs. New York City FC | 2018 MLS Match Preview

Sporting Kansas City vs. New York City FC
2018 MLS Regular Season – Week 1
Sporting Park - Kansas City
7:30 pm ET – March 4, 2018
WATCH: FS1 in US, TSN in Canada

Week 1 of the MLS season starts off with the classic matchup — one of the greatest strikers in league history in David Villa and the attack-minded NYCFC against a Sporting Kansas City team that is a defensive juggernaut.

Sporting’s biggest headline during the offseason was trading DP Benny Feilhaber to LAFC and adding Yohan Croizet as the new No. 10. Khiry Shelton comes from NYCFC and surely he’ll be amped to score against his former team.

There’s no question who the top scorer at NYCFC is with the ageless Villa, who has scored 63 goals with 21 assists in his three MLS seasons. NYCFC in Patrick Vieira’s third year look vastly different than they did in Year 1, with the club getting younger and faster.

Sporting Kansas City

Defense wins championships? It’s certainly a key component and under Peter Vermes, Sporting defend better than most with arguably the best central defending pair in Matt Besler and Ike Opara in front of the reigning MLS Goalkeeper of the Year in Tim Melia.

The scoring is another story. Croizet is tasked with being the creative force Feilhaber was and Shelton should do well with additional minutes after failing to find quality time at NYCFC.

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: None
  • Injury Report: None

Projected Starting XI
(4-3-2-1, right to left)
GK: Tim Melia — Graham Zusi, Ike Opara, Matt Besler, Cristian Lobato — Ilie, Roger Espinoza, Felipe Gutierrez — Yohan Croizet, Johnny Russell — Diego Rubio

NYCFC

The spotlight is on NYCFC this season, with many pegging the fourth-year squad as an MLS Cup favorite. Yes, fan-favorite Jack Harrison is gone, currently at Middlesbrough via Manchester City. But Jesus Medina is the Young DP and he’s joined by the talented Ticos (Rodney Wallace and Ronald Matarrita) up the wing and Maxi Moralez and Yangel Herrera in the midfield.

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: None
  • Injury Report: OUT: F Jo Inge Berget (right quad strain)

Projected Starting XI
(4-3-2-1, right to left)

GK: Sean Johnson — Anton Tinnerholm, Maxime Chanot, Alexander Callens, Ronald Matarrita — Yangel Herrera, Alex Ring, Maxi Moralez — Jesus Medina, Rodney Wallace — David Villa

All-Time Series

  • Overall: Sporting 2 wins, 4 goals … NYCFC 1 win, 2 goals … Ties 0
  • At Kansas City: Sporting 1 win, 3 goals … NYCFC 0 wins, 1 goal … Ties 0
  • Last meeting at Kansas City: Sporting Kansas City 3, NYCFC 1 (July 10, 2016)

Officials

Referee: Mark Geiger
Assistant Referees: Frank Anderson, Kyle Atkins
4th Official: Nima Saghafi
VAR: Jon Freemon
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Current Form

Sporting KC
NYCFC

Season Stats

Sporting Kansas CityNew York City FC
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