Sporting Kansas City will look to build on a much-needed win and FC Dallas will aim to keep an impressive run going forward when two of the Western Conference's better teams meet in a key matchup on Saturday afternoon in Kansas City, Kan.
Sporting KC (6-3-2, 20 points) were mired in an 0-2-2 stretch before pulling out a 1-0 victory over fellow West power Minnesota United FC last weekend. Johnny Russell's goal in the 80th minute proved to be what it took for SKC to earn those valuable three points and remain in the mix for the top spot in the conference.
"We were pressing a lot harder, defending well as a team and creating chances," said Russell, who's recorded two of his three goals over the past five matches. "It just took us a bit longer than we wanted to take one.
"We're looking to kick on from this. We're not looking back."
When the two teams met on Sept. 2, Khiry Shelton's equalizer late in the first half for Kansas City canceled the ninth-minute Franco Jara goal for Dallas (4-2-4, 16 points) and led to a 1-1 draw. Since that contest, Dallas earned a 2-1 win over rival Houston, rolled to a 4-1 triumph against Colorado on Wednesday and dropped a 3-2 match to Minnesota.
In the Colorado match, Jara scored again, but Santiago Mosquera recorded a hat trick for his 2020 coming-out party. All four of Mosquera's goals this season have come over his past three contests.
"What a night for Santi," said Dallas coach Luchi Gonzalez, whose club finds itself amid a 3-1-3 stretch. "He's been working really well in training and he's earned that opportunity. So, (his performance against Colorado is) a product of him doing those small details."
FC Dallas have yet to win a road match in 2020 (0-1-2 away from home) but are 2-0-1 over the past three visits to Kansas City.
Veteran SKC coach Peter Vermes is one shy of his 150th career MLS regular-season victory.
--Field Level Media