Sporting KC hosts struggling Columbus Crew tonight at 8:30 pm ET

Sporting Kansas City vs. Columbus Crew
2022 MLS Regular Season | Match 9
Saturday, April 23 | 7:30 p.m. CT (7:38 kickoff)
Children’s Mercy Park | Kansas City, KS

Local TV | 38 The Spot
Streaming | SportingKC.com, SKC App, ESPN+
English Radio | Sports Radio 810 WHB
Spanish Radio | La Grande 1340 AM

Sporting Kansas City (2-6-0, 6 points) will host 2020 MLS Cup champions and 2021 Campeones Cup winners Columbus Crew (2-3-2, 8 points) at 7:30 p.m. CT on Saturday at Children’s Mercy Park. 

Both teams enter Saturday looking to snap three-game losing streaks in the regular season. Columbus’ recent slide was compounded this week with a 2-1 loss at USL Championship newcomers Detroit City FC on Tuesday in the U.S. Open Cup Third Round and an injury to midfielder Lucas Zelarayan that has kept the reigning MLS Player of the Month out of training. The 2020 MLS Newcomer of the Year, Zelarayan leads Columbus with four goals and two assists, and leads all MLS players in chances created and expected assists this season.

The Crew, already missing Luis Diaz (back) and Kevin Molino (knee) due to injuries.

Columbus has been held scoreless in the club’s last three MLS matches as the offense has stagnated after kicking off the campaign with a 4-0 win. Since the season-opening victory, Columbus has conceded the first goal in each of the team’s last six matches and has struggled to overcome the deficit despite leading the league in shots while also conceding the fewest in MLS.

Saturday’s match will be the first meeting between the two MLS charter clubs since 2019 when Sporting prevailed 1-0 in Columbus to improve to 7-1-2 in the team’s past 10 matches in the series.

The match-up will feature two of the league’s longest-tenured players as Graham Zusi and Darlington Nagbe are among eight active MLS players with 325 or more regular season appearances. Nagbe is the most accurate passer in MLS this year with an accuracy rate of nearly 95% while Zusi is on the cusp of tying Matt Besler for the most regular season games started in club history.

Sporting captain Johnny Russell is also on the verge of a major milestone as his next appearance will be his 500th senior team game played for club and country in his career. Russell is one of two players questionable on Sporting’s player availability report along with midfielder Uri Rosell while Designated Players Gadi Kinda and Alan Pulido remain sidelined with long-term knee injuries.

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