Two Western Conference clubs with identical records square off Sunday afternoon in an impactful early season match as Sporting Kansas City host the Vancouver Whitecaps.
Both sides are 2-2-1 (seven points) with Sporting playing its third match at home, where it is 1-0-1, while Vancouver continues to play far from home. It's actually the Whitecaps' third road contest, as they continue to use Salt Lake City as a temporary home due to Canada's coronavirus-related travel restrictions. They are 0-1-1 in away games.
Both teams experienced 1-0 losses on the road Wednesday despite creating multiple scoring chances.
Vancouver coach Marc Dos Santos said he was pleased with his team's play in the loss to the Minnesota United and looks for his team to bring the same intensity in its second straight road match.
"We lose the game that probably is the game that we have our best moments this season," Dos Santos said. "I told the guys they have to have their head up because there was so many good things. We played a good away game."
Sporting lost in Houston despite outshooting the Dynamo 16-5 in the game, including 15-2 in the second half.
Both sides will be testing stamina and depth in their third match in short order. Vancouver's three-game stretch covers nine days, while Sporting KC's is over eight days.
"We're trying to make use of (the facilities) to help the guys get re-energized for the game on Sunday," Sporting manager Peter Vermes said Friday. "I still believe we have a long way to go as a team. We'll keep working at it, but when you're creating chances like that, that's a very good sign."
Sporting owns a 10-3-4 record in 17 meetings against Vancouver, including a 5-1-2 mark in Kansas City. Since falling to the Whitecaps on Sept. 30, 2017, Sporting is 4-0-1 with 17 goals scored and only three conceded.
Vancouver is one of just five MLS teams to average less than a goal conceded per game, boasting a 0.8 goals-against average through five matches.
--Field Level Media