Construct KCI Match Preview: First-place Sporting visits Colorado on Saturday


In an undeniable trend that dates back to early 2020, Sporting has developed a healthy habit of winning away from home. The men of Vermes have five regular season road wins in 2021 and ten in the past two years, both the most in the MLS. Sporting have won their last three away games – the club’s second-longest streak since the beginning of the non-shootout era of Major League Soccer in 2000 – by beating second-place Seattle, third LA Galaxy, and fifth LAFC. Needless to say, they’ll be looking to add the fourth-placed Rapids to this list on Saturday night.

In a year in which several Sporting players have consistently produced outstanding performances, the club’s only MLS All-Star was arguably the best of the group. The 25-year-old winger is in the middle of his biggest MLS season to date, leading the league with 15 combined goals (10) and assists (five). With Salloi’s goal and assist against the LAFC on Wednesday, the Sporting KC Academy’s products have now scored or assisted in a remarkable 12 MLS games in a row, dating back to May 16, the highest-scoring attack in the MLS this season.

Sporting’s offensive received another shot in the arm earlier this week as Pulido, who missed a month due to signings with the Mexican national team during the Gold Cup, underscored his return with the opening goal against the LAFC. The 30-year-old has scored 13 goals and six assists in 20 MLS starts in the last two seasons.

Rapids head coach Robin Fraser has done wonders since taking office in May 2019. Once a perennial basement dweller in the west, Colorado returned to the playoffs in 2020 and has held a 21-12-7 regular season record since Fraser’s appointment. The Rapids are 5-0-2 in their last seven home games at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, scoring 15 goals and conceding five.

Colorado midfielders Jack Price and Michael Barrios are in second place in the MLS with three game-winning assists each, while goalkeeper William Yarbrough is second in the MLS in shutouts (seven) and goalkeeping wins (eight). Defenders Auston Trusty and Keegan Rosenberry were also ubiquitous games for a team six points behind Sporting with two games in hand.