KANSAS CITY, KS - Sporting Kansas City forward Alán Pulido (9) talks to members of Austin FC during the first half of the MLS Regular Season matchday 18 match between Sporting Kansas City and Austin FC at Children's Mercy Park on Saturday, June 10, 2023 (Parker Johnson/IONYOU Media)

Sporting KC Gears Up for Celebratory Saturday Clash with Austin FC

Many things are happening this Saturday, June 29, at Children’s Mercy Park alongside the match between Sporting KC and Austin FC. In the early evening around 5:30, fifty new United States citizens will be recognized in the Mazuma Plaza outside Children’s Mercy Park. One of those fifty citizens is star forward for Sporting, Daniel Salloi. Salloi has lived in the United States for ten years and has decided to take steps to complete his US Citizenship. This ceremony will recognize the efforts he has put in to accomplish something spectacular, outside of soccer.

Johnny Russell and Dániel Sallói (Parker Johnson/IONYOU Media)

Roger Espinoza announced his retirement earlier this week. Espinoza played 338 games for SKC and appeared 21 times in the MLS playoffs. Espinoza was a fan favorite, known for his spunky style. He was sometimes even nick-named “Red Card Roger” as he received 13 red cards in his time at SKC. Espinoza will be in attendance on Saturday and will be honored and recognized for his retirement before kickoff.

Parker Johnson/IONYOU Media

Big news for Sporting KC as they have hired a new Sporting Director, Mike Burns. Burns spent many years at the New England Revolution as a general manager and also spent some time playing in Kansas City with Peter Vermes. Sporting hopes this hire will go over a lot better than their previous hire, Gavin Wilkinson, as he was released eight days after his hire due to public backlash. This could be a first step into the staff revamp Sporting KC needs.

Mike Burns (New England Revolution)

Hopefully, SKC can use this excitement to fuel them to a win when the game kicks off at 7:30. They face off against Austin FC who is in poor form. They have only won one game since May 18th when they defeated SKC in Austin. Austin sits in eighth place in the Western Conference. This is a better scenario for SKC as they have played some tough opponents these last few games. This might give SKC some hope to get their fourth win of the season.

Injuries are looking better for SKC as Remi Walter was a full participant this week and it seems Pulido should be back this week as well. Daniel Salloi is not all the way healthy but he is very close. This is setting up to be a good bounce-back game for SKC.

Austin is very healthy, they will be without Julio Cascante and Dani Pereira with International Duty, however. Other than that, there were no injuries reported last week.

Austin and SKC always have great games. Of the eight matchups since Austin’s inaugural season in 2021, Austin has won five games, Sporting has won two, and they have drawn once. Each game is almost always very close and exciting and fans should expect the same this Saturday.

Parker Johnson/IONYOU Media

To finish off what could be an awesome day as a Sporting KC fan or Staff Member, is the post-match fireworks to celebrate Independence Day coming up. Fans will be able to stick around post-match and watch a breathtaking fireworks show.

All this excitement around the game on Saturday should make for a very fun and lively atmosphere. The game will kickoff at 7:30 PM at Children’s Mercy Park, Streaming on Apple TV.

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