Sporting KC To Host Houston In 2020 Home Opener

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(Dec. 5, 2019) — Sporting Kansas City will host rivals Houston Dynamo on Saturday, March 7, in the club’s 2020 home opener at Children’s Mercy Park. The match will come one week after Sporting kicks off its MLS campaign at Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Saturday, Feb. 29-the earliest start to an MLS regular season in league history.

Sporting’s first two matches of 2020 season

  • Saturday, Feb. 29: at Vancouver Whitecaps FC (9:30 p.m. CT)
  • Saturday, March 7: vs. Houston Dynamo (7:30 p.m. CT)

The best way to guarantee tickets for the 2020 home opener at Children’s Mercy Park is to join the Sporting Kansas City family and become a Season Ticket Member. Several multi-game ticket packages for the 2020 season are also on sale now at , including the “Mess with Texas” package that pairs the home opener versus Houston with Sporting’s home game against FC Dallas. Single-game tickets for the first half of Sporting’s home schedule will go on sale to the general public in early 2020.

MLS on Thursday unveiled the 2020 home openers for all 26 MLS clubs. The full regular season schedule, as well as kickoff times and national television lineups for the United States and Canada, will be announced in the near term. The 2020 campaign will serve as Major League Soccer’s 25th Season Celebration and the 20-year anniversary of Sporting’s historic 2000 season that culminated in Supporters’ Shield and MLS Cup titles.

Sporting is unbeaten in its last five home games against the Dynamo, most recently claiming a 1-0 win at Children’s Mercy Park last August. The rivals have squared off in several high-stakes matchups this decade, including four editions of the MLS Cup Playoffs (2011-2013, 2017) and four straight Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup tournaments from 2015-2018. Sporting has battled Houston 32 times in all competitions since 2011, more than any other opponent.

A visit to BBC Place on Feb. 29 will see Sporting open its MLS season in Canada for the first time ever. Manager Peter Vermes’ side has won its last two road games against the Whitecaps in convincing fashion, prevailing 4-1 in October 2018 and winning 3-0 last July. Sporting owns a 9-3-4 regular season record in the series and has outscored Vancouver 14-2 across the last four meetings.

Sporting has won 13 season openers as an original member of MLS, tied for the most in the league. In addition to going 13-7-4 in annual curtain raisers, Sporting boasts a 14-3-7 record in home openers, including a 3-1-5 mark at Children’s Mercy Park.

The 2020 MLS regular season will see each club play 17 home games and 17 away games for a total of 34 matches. Sporting will play their 12 fellow Western Conference opponents twice, once home and once away for a total of 24 matches. The other 10 regular season fixtures will come against Eastern Conference sides. Three teams from the East will not appear on Sporting’s MLS schedule, marking the first time ever that the club will not face every other team in the regular season.

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Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2021 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.