MLS Playoffs
Sporting KCSKC
3(3)
FINAL - PKs
3
San JoseSJ

Sporting Kansas City vs. San Jose Earthquakes | How to watch and stream

Audi 2020 MLS Cup Playoffs  – Round One
Sporting Kansas City vs. San Jose Earthquakes
Children's Mercy Park – Kansas City
November 22 – 4:00 PM ET

TV: FS1, FOX Deportes, TSN 3/5, TVA Sports

STREAMING: FOX Sports App in US

After missing the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs a year ago, Sporting Kansas City and the San Jose Earthquakes square off at Children's Mercy Park in a Round One matchup Nov. 22

Both teams boast terrific bounce-back credentials with Sporting, under the guidance of longtime head coach Peter Vermes, completing the greatest turnaround in MLS history, finishing atop the Western Conference after missing out on the postseason for the first time since 2011 last year as the 11th-place team in the West. The offseason addition of Alan Pulido, the emergence of Homegrown midfielder Gianluca Busio and under-the-radar signings Khiry Shelton and Gadi Kinda were big reasons why SKC took the top spot in the West, winning six of their last eight games, including their final three. 

And then there's Matias Almeyda's Earthquakes, who are in the postseason for the first time since 2017 and only the second since 2012.  In late September, San Jose looked more likely to finish last than make a playoff run, leaking goals at an alarming rate in an eight-match winless run. But then the Goonies lost just twice in a nine-game span and clinched their spot in their penultimate match of the regular season, a come-from-behind 3-2 win over LAFC. Almeyda's unique system is made for playoff success, so despite their No. 8 seed, they are a dangerous underdog. 

Sporting Kansas City

Sporting entered Decision Day presented by AT&T in pole position to finish atop the West. A win at snowy Rio Tinto Stadium would clinch it and SKC received goals on either side of halftime by Shelton and Erik Hurtado to finish a deserved first in the West, according to Vermes. 

But the coach doesn't put a lot of stock into the big year-to-year turnaround and isn't concerned with not having any players pick up postseason awards yet. 

“It is definitely a team. We say its our number one core value in our club, the team is always first and I love the fact our guys buy into it,” Vermes said in a video conference call with reporters Friday. “In the end, all they want to do is win something together. I think they can care less about the individual awards.”

There is a concern, though, about Almeyda's aggressive, sometimes maligned, man-marking style. 

“They get chastised or criticized for at times playing man-marking, but at times they are incredibly organized and they have an incredible work ethic on the field,” Vermes said. “We have an incredible amount of respect for their game, the way they go about their business and we know it’s going to be a battle.”

Project Starting XI
  • Updated team roster
  • Injury Report:
    • OUT: Felipe Gutierrez (M) - knee injury
    • OUT: Graham Zusi (D) - left midfoot sprain
    • OUT: Matt Besler (D) - undisclosed injury
  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: None
  • International duty:  None

San Jose Earthquakes

After clinching their berth in dramatic come-from-behind fashion, the Quakes ended the regular season with a loss, falling 4-1 to the Seattle Sounders at CenturyLink Field, conceding all four goals after halftime. 

“First and foremost, we are going to give the players two days to rest. Since the beginning of the season, the players have not taken a break," Almeyda said. "It’s about enjoying everything we have achieved up until Wednesday when we made the playoffs. We will focus on recovery for the players and ultimately focus on the upcoming game, which will be like a final.”

Now the Quakes head into the postseason as underdogs against SKC. It's a position that suits them well, according to the head of the Goonies, Chris Wondolowski, who has hinted at playing possibly one additional season. 

“Our style kind of fits the underdog label where we’re very high energy and we want to go and impose our game out there," he told KNBR’s Murph & Mac show on Monday. "And when we’re able to win the ball and be able to press them high up the field and win the ball in good areas, that’s usually a recipe for success for us. I think that’s what we’re going to try to do, I think that we have stay very organized.

"Kansas City is a very talented team. They finished first in the West for a reason. But that being said, I think we can actually match up well against them and in the playoffs three games to a final – it’s something that we’re looking forward to. This is the first step and it’s going to be a tough one but we’re excited for it.”

Project Starting XI
  • Updated team roster
  • Injury Report:
    • OUT: Danny Hoesen (F) - core muscles injury
    • QUESTIONABLE: Andy Rios (M) - hip injury
  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: None
  • International duty:  None

Series Matchup at Sporting KC

  • Sporting KC: 21 wins, 49 goals
  • Earthquakes: 8 wins, 32 goals
  • 1 draw

MLS Cup Playoffs

  • Sporting KC: 1 win, 5 goals
  • Earthquakes: 2 wins, 5 goals
  • 1 draw

Officials

  • Referee: Nima Saghafi
  • Assistant Referees: Andrew Bigelow, Jeremy Kieso
  • 4th Official: Ramy Touchan
  • VAR: Jon Freemon
Read More

Current Form

Sporting KC
W
L
D
W
W
W
San Jose
W
D
L
W
W
L

Season Stats

Sporting Kansas CitySan Jose Earthquakes
21Games Played23
12Wins8
6Losses9
3Draws6
38Goals35
25Goals Conceded51
218Shots231
103Shots on Target116
258Fouls committed275
225Fouls suffered262
30Offside32
130Corners140

Goals Scored

01234+TotalAvg
SKC47712381.8
SJ77621351.5
01234+Avg
SKC243022
SJ234201.5
01234+Avg
SKC234101.6
SJ542011.5

Goals Conceded

01234+TotalAvg
SKC97311251.2
SJ84326512.2
01234+Avg
SKC621111.5
SJ432021.6
01234+Avg
SKC352000.9
SJ411242.8
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