Sporting KC: 4 things to watch for in 2020 MLS Playoffs

Sporting KC (Photo by Bill Barrett/ISI Photos/Getty Images).
Sporting KC (Photo by Bill Barrett/ISI Photos/Getty Images). /
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Sporting KC
Sporting KC. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Swinger-USA TODAY Sports /

Sporting KC head into the playoffs unbeaten from their last four, but still have vulnerabilities

Sporting KC has had a rollercoaster 2020 season so far. They started out looking as good as any other team in the league, had a decent showing at the MLS Is Back tournament, but then won just two of their opening eight matches after returning to the regular season. SKC went on a late tear to win six of their final eight matches, accompanied by a controversial loss to FC Dallas and a heartbreaking draw with the Chicago Fire.

Sporting Kansas City will open their MLS Cup Playoff campaign with a meeting against the San Jose Earthquakes. As the top seed in the Western Conference Sporting KC will need three home wins to advance to the MLS Cup Final, which SKC would also host unless the Philadelphia Union or Toronto FC make it to the Final.

Here are four things to watch for Sporting KC in the playoffs.

4. Home record worrying

Believe it or not, Sporting KC has a better record away from home (five wins, two draws, two losses) than they do at Children’s Mercy Park (five wins, one draw, three losses). It certainly isn’t as surprising as other years since the stadium is at a significantly reduced capacity, but it is still a place that Peter Vermes‘ side hasn’t thrived in like most other years.

While SKC’s home record is worrying, it isn’t as bad as it initially sounds. Sporting did win their last three home matches, and the three home matches that they lost were all in the eight-game stretch where they struggled in August and September.

For Sporting KC, things are pretty simple: win your home games and you are in the MLS Cup Final. Three wins at home will bring SKC 90 minutes away from their third MLS Cup title, whether it be on the road or at home. If SKC can keep their momentum going that they ended the season with, it is hard to see this team not in the MLS Cup Final for the first time since 2013.

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