Preview: Sporting KC visits Orlando City SC on Saturday

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Kickoff set for 6 p.m. CT on FOX Sports Kansas City Plus,
FOX Sports Midwest Plus, ESPN 99.3 FM and La Grande 1340 AM
Sporting Kansas City at Orlando City SC
Saturday, May 13 – 6 p.m. CT
Orlando City Stadium | Orlando, Florida

Broadcast Schedule:
English TV | FOX Sports Kansas City Plus
English TV | FOX Sports Midwest Plus
English Radio | ESPN 99.3 FM
Spanish Radio | La Grande 1340 AM
Mobile | FOX Sports GO, Sporting KC Uphoria

A pair of second-place teams in their respective conferences collide Saturday when Sporting Kansas City (5-2-3, 18 points) visits Orlando City SC (6-3-0, 18 points) at the new Orlando City Stadium. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. CT with three hours of live television coverage beginning at 5:30 p.m. CT on FOX Sports Kansas City Plus and FOX Sports Midwest Plus. The match will also stream live on FOX Sports GO, available to all pay-TV subscribers within the Sporting KC TV territory who receive FOX Sports Kansas City or FOX Sports Midwest.

Radio broadcasts of Saturday’s interconference clash will air locally on ESPN 99.3 FM (English) and La Grande 1340 AM (Spanish), while the Sporting KC Uphoria app and the SportingKC.com Matchday page will provide live updates. All supporters are welcome to attend the official #ORLvSKC watch party at No Other Pub in the Kansas City Power & Light District (1370 Grand Blvd.). Beginning at 5:30 p.m. CT, No Other Pub will offer $5 Boulevard drafts and an all-you-can-eat buffet featuring hamburgers, hot dogs, wings, cheese curds, pretzels and queso. Fans can ask servers about additional drink specials.

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Sporting Kansas City had a two-game winning streak snapped Sunday with a 2-0 defeat at expansion side Minnesota United FC. Two first-half goals from the Loons were enough to overcome Sporting KC’s 66-percent possession and 17-7 edge in shot attempts. Sporting KC forward Dom Dwyer – who leads the club with five goals in 2017 – received his fifth yellow card of the year in the second half and will serve a one-game suspension on Saturday. Despite last weekend’s setback, Sporting Kansas City remains level on points with first-place FC Dallas at the Western Conference summit. The side has predicated itself on a stifling defense that boasts an MLS-best six shutouts and a 0.50 goals against average. Goalkeeper Tim Melia is off to the best start in his eight-year MLS career, leading the league in the aforementioned categories while ranking second with an 80.6 save percentage. Orlando City SC enters Week 11 looking to bounce back from consecutive road losses, most recently falling 4-0 at the Houston Dynamo last Saturday. Head coach Jason Kreis’s men will nevertheless carry confidence into the fixture, as the Lions are a perfect 5-0-0 at the new Orlando City SC Stadium. Orlando has posted three shutouts at their home fortress while outscoring opponents 8-2.

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Prolific forward Cyle Larin leads the Lions with six goals this season, including a league-best four of the game-winning variety. Midfield creativity comes in the form of Carlos Rivas – the MLS leader with four big chances created – as well as Brazilian legend and FIFA World Cup winner Kaka, who has scored twice in his last three games after missing nearly two months through injury. A much-improved Orlando defense has been anchored by goalkeeper Joe Bendik, the MLS Player of the Month for April, and offseason addition Jonathan Spector, a former U.S. international defender whose 58 clearances rank fourth across the league. The sides last met almost a year ago to the day when Sporting Kansas City earned a 2-1 comeback victory behind goals from Dwyer and Jacob Peterson at Children’s Mercy Park. The hosts unleashed an assault on Orlando’s goal throughout the humid afternoon, outshooting the Lions 34-7 and holding a 13-0 advantage in shots on target. The 34 shot attempts set a new club record and were the third-most in a regular season match in MLS history. Orlando won the inaugural MLS meeting between the clubs in 2015, running out 3-1 winners at Camping World Stadium.

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History between Sporting Kansas City and Orlando City predates the Lions’ 2015 entry to MLS. The teams met in two straight Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cups at Children’s Mercy Park, as Sporting KC prevailed 3-2 in the 2012 Round of 32 before the Lions claimed a 1-0 upset win in the 2013 Round of 16. Each team will be missing two players on Saturday – one through injury and the other through international duty with the United States U-20 Men’s National Team. Sporting KC forward Diego Rubio (knee) and Orlando City defender Kevin Alston (knee) remain long-term absentees as they work their way back to full fitness. Meanwhile, fellow homegrown defenders Erik Palmer-Brown (Sporting KC) and Tommy Redding (Orlando) have joined the U.S. U-20 MNT for the 2017 FIFA U-20 World Cup, which runs from May 20 – June 11 in Korea Republic.

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