After opening the season for the seventh consecutive year with a result at home, Orlando City (0-0-1) heads on the road for the first time in 2021 to battle Sporting Kansas City (1-0-0) in a Friday night showdown. The game will be televised nationally at 7:30 p.m. ET on FS1, with local radio coverage on FM 96.9 the Game and AM 740 in English and Acción 97.9 FM and 810 AM in Spanish.
Here’s everything you need to know about SKC:
Key Transactions and Player News
Key Additions - DM Remi Walter (Yeni Malatyaspor), CB Nicolas Isimat-Mirin (Besiktas)
Key Departures - CM Felipe Gutierrez (Universidad Católica), LW Gerso Fernandes (Jeju United FC), CF Erik Hurtado (CF Montréal), CB Matt Besler (Austin FC), CB Winston Reid (Brentford)
Player news - Daniel Salloi was named to the MLS Team of the Week bench for his game-winning goal against New York Red Bulls last week. Salloi had not scored for Sporting since September 2019. Gadi Kinda also scored a penalty in the match.
Take a look at Sporting KC’s full roster here.
Sporting Kansas City began its 2021 season with a 2-1 away win at Red Bull Arena, picking up right where they left off in 2020 when they finished top of the West. Head Coach Peter Vermes has taken his team to the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs in nine of the past 10 seasons, winning MLS Cup in 2013 (with Orlando City midfielder Uri Rosell as a key contributor). Vermes has also lifted three Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cups with SKC, most recently in 2017.
Orlando City have been largely successful against Sporting Kansas City in their history, holding a 3-2-1 record against the Kansas side. The Lions have beaten Sporting KC in each of the past two seasons, winning 1-0 at Exploria Stadium in 2019 and 2-1 at Children’s Mercy Park in 2020. Tesho Akindele scored in both games and has three total goals in his career against SKC.
Rasmussen University Fact
Did you know Peter Vermes spent (a very brief) time in Florida? A defender in his playing days, Vermes returned from Europe to play three games for the Tampa Bay Rowdies in 1991 before heading back across the pond for five more seasons. He would join MLS at its founding in 1996.