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MLS is Back QF: Philadelphia Union Sporting KC

MLS is Back tournament quarterfinal: How and when to watch Philadelphia Union vs Sporting KC

July 30, 2020 By Juan Aguerrevere
The MLS is Back Tournament returns with quarterfinal play on Thursday, July 30, at 8 p.m. ET when the Philadelphia Union and Sporting Kansas City take the field at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.

Major League Soccer is looking mighty competitive as it approaches the MLS is Back Tournament finale. It took teams a warm-up game or two to get their gears rolling, and the level of competition has only increased since. 

The competition has seen its fair share of surprises, but many can agree that the Philadelphia Union and Sporting Kansas City are deserving of their current spot in the quarterfinals stage. However, there is only room for one of these two sides in the semifinals. Let's take a look at how these two teams are shaping up ahead of their clash. 

Philadelphia Union vs Sporting Kansas City: Match preview 

Philadelphia Union 

Collecting seven points in group stage play, the Philadelphia Union lived up to expectations when they defeated the New England Revolution 1-0 in their round of 16 fixture. Nonetheless, the game was not easy by any means. The game was as even as it could get, but a Sergio Santos goal in the 63rd minute marked the difference between the two sides.   

The standout player of the game was 21-year-old Mark McKenzie leading the Union from the backline and helping the team get a clean sheet. It would be unfair to not give goalkeeper Andre Blake a shout given his ability to be key in matches where The U struggle in.  

Philadelphia's attack better be ready for a challenge against the Sporting Kansas City defense. The Wizards have not conceded a goal in their previous two games and will look to continue their sound defensive record. Philly's attacking plays are usually led by 19-year-old attacking midfielder Brenden Aaronson who always looks to facilitate forwards, Kacper Przybylko and Sergio Santos, without hesitation. Given a good midfield backup in captain Alejandro Bedoya, Jamiro Monteiro and Jose Martinez, Aaronson will be free to create havoc in SKC's half. 

Injuries: Warren Creavalle (questionable, upper leg strain) 

Sporting Kansas City  

SKC had a fantastic start of the 2020 MLS season defeating the Vancouver Whitecaps and Houston Dynamo by an added scored of 7-1. But it all came crashing down when the Wizards lost a 1-0 lead after a late Tim Melia red card that helped Minnesota score two goals in added time. Anyhow, Sporting Kansas City was able to pick its form back up by beating the Colorado Rapids and Real Salt Lake to finish first in Group C. 

Kansas City played part in a competitive duel with the Whitecaps in the round of 16. Despite talking down Vancouver 3-1 before the restart, SKC was only able to end the game with a scoreless draw. Sporting ended up being the better team from the spot converting three penalties to Vancouver's one. 

Sporting Kansas City's defense has been superb, allowing just three goals in four matches and none in its last two. The fact that Melia is yet to concede a goal will give SKC a sense of assurance as they go deeper into the competition. In terms of attack, the team does not rely on an individual to bang in the goals given that five different players have scored goals. However, Peter Verme's side might not feature top scorer Khiry Shelton, who listed as questionable ahead of the game after suffering an adductor injury in the round of 16 game. 

Injuries: Felipe Gutierrez (OUT, knee surgery), Andreu Fontas (OUT, quad strain), Khiry Shelton (questionable, adductor) 

Philadelphia Union vs Sporting Kansas City: Broadcast information  


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