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Sunday, July 12, 2020

Sporting KC Releases 2020 MLS Regular Season Schedule

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Derek Nester
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids, and graduated from Valley Heights High School in May of 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications.After stops at KFRM and KCLY radio in Clay Center, he joined KNDY in 2002 as a board operator and play by play announcer. Derek is now responsible for the digital content of Dierking Communications, Inc. six radio stations.In 2005 Derek joined the staff of KCFX radio in Kansas City as a production coordinator for the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, which airs on over 94 radio stations across 12 Midwest states and growing. In 2018 he became the Studio Coordinator at the Cumulus Kansas City broadcast center for Kansas City Chiefs Football.

(Dec. 19, 2019) — Sporting Kansas City unveiled today the club’s 34-game schedule for the 2020 MLS regular season, which will kick off with a trip to Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Feb. 29 and conclude with a Decision Day home clash against New York City FC on Oct. 4 at Children’s Mercy Park.

The best way to guarantee tickets for 2020 home matches 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 SportingKC.com, including the limited-time Holiday Pack that bundles the home opener versus Houston Dynamo on March 7 with two flex matches and a Sporting scarf. Single-game tickets for the first half of Sporting’s home schedule will go on sale to the general public in early 2020.

Sporting’s fan-friendly home slate–consisting of 13 Saturday matches, three Sunday games and only one Wednesday fixture–will once again feature a variety of exciting promotions and theme nights, including the return of Retro Night, Sporting Salutes, Sporting Legends, Kick Childhood Cancer Night and more. For further details about current ticket promotions, click here.

Guided by 12th-year Manager Peter Vermes, who enters 2020 as the longest-tenured MLS head coach, Sporting will begin their regular season campaign on Canadian soil for the first time when they visit Vancouver on Feb. 29. The earliest regular season start date in league history will see Vermes’ side lock horns with a Whitecaps team led by former Sporting Kansas City II head coach Marc Dos Santos.

Seven days later, Sporting will host rivals Houston in the first of 13 Saturday home fixtures at Children’s Mercy Park. The club’s entire 2020 schedule will feature 28 Saturday matches, four Sunday contests and just two Wednesday kickoffs. Sporting will play every single weekend over the course of 32 weeks between Feb. 29 and Oct. 6, when the team hosts New York City FC in the regular season finale.

The 2020 slate is also conducive to numerous road trips for Sporting fans wishing to support the club away from home. Road matches at expansion side Nashville SC, FC Dallas, Minnesota United FC, Chicago and Colorado–each within an eight-hour drive of the Kansas City metro–will all take place on Saturdays. Sporting will continue to offer free away tickets to supporters in 2020, and more information is available by clicking here.

Major League Soccer’s 25th Season Celebration will feature 26 clubs, with Sporting among the nine active MLS charter members from the inaugural 1996 campaign. Each team will 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–D.C. United, the New York Red Bulls and expansion side Inter Miami CF–marking the first time ever that the club will not face every other team in the regular season.

2020 Home Opponents: FC Cincinnati, Colorado Rapids, Columbus Crew SC, FC Dallas, Houston Dynamo, LAFC, LA Galaxy, Minnesota United FC, Nashville SC, New York City FC, Orlando City SC, Portland Timbers, Real Salt Lake, San Jose Earthquakes, Seattle Sounders FC, Toronto FC, Vancouver Whitecaps FC

2020 Away Opponents: Atlanta United FC, Chicago Fire FC, Colorado Rapids, FC Dallas, Houston Dynamo, LAFC, LA Galaxy, Minnesota United FC, Montreal Impact, Nashville SC, New England Revolution, Philadelphia Union, Portland Timbers, Real Salt Lake, San Jose Earthquakes, Seattle Sounders FC, Vancouver Whitecaps FC

Not on 2020 Schedule: D.C. United, Inter Miami CF, New York Red Bulls

Sporting’s regular season docket is highlighted by four nationally televised matchups–one each on ESPN, FS1, ABC and Univision. Vermes’ men will make their ESPN and FS1 debuts against the Portland Timbers, visiting Providence Park on June 13 before hosting the reverse fixture on June 28. Sporting will play on network television for the first time since 2016 when they travel to meet reigning MLS Cup champion Seattle Sounders FC on Aug. 8 on ABC, then make their lone Univision appearance on Sept. 5 with a battle against Chicago Fire FC at Soldier Field. Sporting will announce details for locally televised matches at a later date.

Playing 32 straight weekends from start to finish, Sporting will open 2020 with five of their first seven games on the road. The stretch includes a marquee tilt with defending Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup champion Atlanta United FC on March 14 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium and an inaugural meeting with Nashville SC on April 11 at Nissan Stadium.

A daunting month of May will require Sporting to play five opponents that reached the 2019 MLS Cup Playoffs, including home games against MLS Cup finalists Toronto FC (May 9) and Seattle (May 23) as well as visits to reigning Supporters’ Shield winners LAFC (May 2), Philadelphia Union (May 16) and FC Dallas (May 30).

Fans will be treated to a home-heavy summer at Children’s Mercy Park, with Sporting set to host seven of 10 games throughout June and July. The home match versus Orlando on June 6 will mark the 25-year anniversary of Sporting’s official launch as a charter member of Major League Soccer ahead of the 1996 season. Other high-profile encounters during the heart of summer involve visits from Western Conference rivals LA Galaxy (June 17), Portland (June 28), LAFC (July 5) and FC Dallas (July 25) as well as FC Cincinnati’s first game at Children’s Mercy Park on July 11.

The beginning of August will mark the start of another seven-game stretch that contains five away matches. The late-summer period is headlined by a road tilt in Seattle on Aug. 8 and a trip to Chicago in early September, which will be Sporting’s first game at Soldier Field since 2005.

Four of Sporting’s final seven fixtures will come against Eastern Conference sides, including the club’s regular season finale against NYCFC on Oct. 6. The curtain closer is one of 13 MLS matches set to kick off simultaneously at 3:30 p.m. CT as the 2020 regular season comes to a dramatic end on Decision Day.

Beyond the MLS regular season, Sporting will kick off their 2020 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup campaign next April, entering in the Third Round of U.S. Soccer’s National Championship. In a notable format change, the 2020 competition will require 11 MLS clubs–including Sporting–to enter in the Third Round, one round earlier than in recent years. This change will see Sporting play up to six Open Cup matches in 2020, should they reach the Final.

Sporting will visit Arizona for both legs of the 2020 preseason, presented by Children’s Mercy Sports Medicine. The first phase will run from Jan. 19 to Feb. 2 and the second phase will span Feb. 8-23, ending the weekend before the regular season begins. Sporting will announce their full preseason schedule in the near future.

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