New on Sports Illustrated: Minnesota United-Sporting Kansas City Preview

September 13, 2020 at 08:59AM

While Minnesota United FC appears to be back on track following a rough stretch, Sporting Kansas City is going through a significant rut of its own at the moment.

Visiting Minnesota aims for a third straight victory while trying to extend Kansas City's winless stretch to five matches on Sunday night.

There was a time not too long ago that Sporting Kansas City (5-3-2) sat atop the Western Conference standings. However, SKC is mired in an 0-2-2 stretch and dropped from the top spot in the West following last weekend's 2-1 loss at Houston.

Kansas City is currently tied on 17 points with Minnesota (5-3-2), which has won back-to-back contests following a three-game slide coming out of the "MLS is Back Tournament." The two clubs are one point back of current conference-leading Seattle heading into a busy weekend of MLS action.

"From front to back, (Minnesota is) a very solid team," Kansas City coach Peter Vermes told his club's official website.

"We have to be good at the things that make us who we are. We're working towards that. I wouldn't say that we're good at the things that make up who we are (at the moment). We have to be better."

This will be the third time already in 2020 that these sides will meet. Two goals in second-half stoppage time sent Minnesota to a 2-1 at the "MIBT." Upon return from the tournament, Sporting won by the same scoreline. The difference in the latter being a Michael Boxall own goal that benefited Kansas City.

United managed just two goals during its three-game losing streak upon resumption of the MLS regular season. In the last two matches, though, it's totaled seven. Robin Lod and Kevin Molino have scored four of those goals, with Molino recording a brace in this week's 3-2 win over FC Dallas.

"We'll, we spoke about it one or two games, if we could take four points, we'd be happy," coach Adrian Heath told Minnesota's official website.

"So, to come out with six … that's a nice little feeling.

"Really please with some aspects. Realized there's one or two areas we've got to get a little bit better at. But, you know, the signs are promising."

One of Molino's five goals this season came against Sporting Kansas City. Meanwhile, Gadi Kinda and Khiry Shelton each have four goals for SKC. Kinda and Shelton each recorded a goal versus Minnesota this season.

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