Date: Thursday, July 6th
Time: 8:30 p.m. Eastern, 7:30 p.m. Central, 5:30 p.m. Pacific, 12:30 a.m. UTC
Venue: Children’s Mercy Park (Kansas City, Kan.)
Referees: REF: RICARDO SALAZAR AR1: Ian Anderson AR2: Kathryn Nesbitt 4TH: Nima Saghafi
Television: The Comcast Network, FOX Sports KC
Streaming: MLS Live
In MLS play, each team has five wins, five losses, and four draws. The last time the clubs met, the Union came away with a 2-0 win at Talen Energy Stadium. The next time the club would win a game would be May 6 of this year.
What Sporting Kansas City will look like
Thanks to the the Gold Cup, Sporting Kansas City will be without Matt Besler, Graham Zusi, and Dominic Dwyer. SKC could also miss Benny Feilhaber, who is listed as questionable with a shin contusion/ankle sprain suffered in their last match against the Portland Timbers, and leading scorer Gersho Fernandes, who has a labral tear and joint sprain in his right shoulder.
SKC will still have a solid defense, anchored by goalkeeper Tim Melia and with left back Seth Sinovic and center back Ike Opara to make life difficult for the Union attack.
What Philadelphia will look like
Not nearly as depleted.
The Union will be without both Andre Blake and Alejandro Bedoya, who will be with the Jamaica and United States National Teams respectively. They’re still missing Maurice Edu, Fabian Herbers, and Warren Creavalle, who are out injured, although Brian Carroll and Richie Marquez are listed as questionable.
Expect John McCarthy to get the start in goal. McCarthy looked decent in the U.S. Open Cup match against the New York Red Bulls last week, only allowing one goal in the 120 minutes of play. Bedoya will be replaced by Derrick Jones, who is back from his red card suspension he picked up against the Red Bulls in the last time they met in MLS play.
What to expect
It’s hard to understate just how much talent Sporting Kansas City will be missing. The Union will be missing pieces as well, however not nearly as many as SKC. The Union need to go for the jugular against SKC immediately. An early goal would help neutralize the crowd and as we saw against the New England Revolution, the Union are a much better team with a lead. If they’re having to chase the game, it could be a bad beginning to the Gold Cup break for the Union.