Sporting Kansas City goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen directs his team during the first half against the Colorado Rapids in an MLS soccer playoff game Sunday, Oct. 30, 2011, in Commerce City, Colo.. (AP Photo/Barry Gutierrez)
Sporting KC hosts the Columbus Crew on Saturday
Sporting KC reaches midway point of MLS season with game 17 of 34
(June 28, 2013) - Sporting Kansas City and the Columbus Crew meet for the first of three matches during the 2013 MLS regular season on Saturday at Sporting Park. Three points separate the Eastern Conference foes with kickoff scheduled at 7:30 p.m. CT.
The match, sponsored by U.S. Bank, will be broadcast live on KSMO-TV with coverage beginning at 7 p.m. CT. A limited number of tickets are still available on ticketmaster.com or at the Sporting Park Box Offices.
Sporting Kansas City and the Columbus Crew also met three times in 2012, splitting the season series with a win, loss and draw for each side. Despite Sporting Kansas City's lone loss to Columbus in 2012 coming at Sporting Park, Sporting KC claims the 10-9-2 all-time advantage against the Crew for games played in Kansas City.
Saturday's match features two of the League's top playmakers. The Columbus Crew's Federico Higuain boasts a League-best 44 chances created in the run of play. Sporting Kansas City's Graham Zusi also leads the League with 33 chances created on set pieces.
Sporting Kansas City earned a point on the road with a 2-2 draw against FC Dallas at FC Dallas Stadium last weekend. Over 650 Sporting KC supporters watched as FC Dallas dropped points at home for only the second time this season.
Kei Kamara converted a penalty kick to open the scoring after Andrew Jacobson dragged down Aurelien Collin inside the 18-yard-box. Columbus also earned a penalty kick in their most recent match. Higuain finished from the spot, but Chicago ultimately earned the 2-1 come-from-behind victory at Crew Stadium.
Sporting Kansas City's C.J. Sapong received a red card against FC Dallas last weekend and will miss Saturday's match. Columbus midfielder Matias Sanchez will miss the match for yellow card accumulation.
The Victory Project, Sporting Club's community-driven initiative to benefit local children with cancer, will be collecting donations throughout the game. The goal is to help cover fuel expenses for the Kottman family as they travel between Kansas City and Topeka, Kan. throughout the course of a three-year cancer treatment cycle for their daughter Morgan. Sporting Kansas City players have contributed to the effort and fans are encouraged to donate at any point of sale at Sporting Park on Saturday.
Parking lots open three hours prior to the match and all fans are encouraged to arrive early. The Budweiser Beer Garden is available in the Sprint Plaza on Saturday from 5:30 - 7:15 p.m. CT. A limited number of tickets for the all-you-can-eat and all-you-can-drink tailgate are available at Ticketmaster.com or at the Sporting Park Box Offices.
All ticket holders are welcome to join Andy Edwards and Dave Borchardt as they host The Final Whistle: Sporting KC Postgame Show from the Boulevard Members Club after the conclusion of the match.
Sporting KC supporters can find in-game updates at SportingKC.com/GameOn and by following @SKCGameday on Twitter. Fans outside the local viewing area can watch live on Direct Kick and MLS LIVE.