FRISCO - If you’re a fan of a Western Conference showdown, we have one for you when two of the top teams in MLS face each other as FC Dallas visits Sporting Kansas City on Saturday, July 21 (8PM CT, ESPN).
Kansas City and Dallas have been atop the Western Conference standings for much of the season. Dallas is currently first in the West with 39 points and Sporting is third with 33.
Dallas played to a 1-1 draw in the first matchup of the 2018 Texas Derby against Houston last Saturday. Sporting Kansas City was off this past weekend after getting eliminated in U.S. Open Cup play on July 18 by the Dynamo.
Here’s where Dallas and Kansas City landed in the latest MLS power rankings roundup.
1. Atlanta United FC (no change)
2. New York City FC (no change)
3. New York Red Bulls (+2)
4. Portland Timbers (-1)
5. LAFC (-1)
6. FC Dallas (no change) - Interesting that FC Dallas pick up Dominique Badji, a streaky scorer whose game in many ways resembles Maxi Urruti. Will this trade help Oscar Pareja's group keep hold of first place in the West?
8. Sporting Kansas City (-1) - Sporting get a week off and the rest should probably do them good at this point in the season. If Felipe Gutierrez, who came off the bench for his return from injury in their last game, can get match fit quickly, that should provide a major boost.
1. New York City FC (no change)
2. Atlanta United (+1)
3. New York Red Bulls (+1)
4. LAFC (-2)
5. Portland Timbers (no change)
6. Chicago Fire (no change) - FC Dallas had its chances on Saturday against Houston but couldn't take advantage in the first battle of the year for El Capitan. Roland Lamah's misses prevented FCD from getting the win.
9. Sporting Kansas City (no change) - No match on the weekend for a Sporting side still licking its wounds from a U.S. Open Cup loss on Wednesday.
1. Atlanta United (+3)
2. New York City FC (+1)
3. New York Red Bulls (+3)
4. Portland Timbers (-3)
5. FC Dallas (-3) - FCD would have taken the three points at Houston but for keeper Joe Willis' rare double save on Roland Lamah's penalty kick and follow-up attempt on the rebound of Willis' initial save. The big news out of Frisco is the trade that sent Kellyn Acosta to Colorado for Dominique Badji.
11. Sporting Kansas City (no change) - SKC was off this weekend after losing at Houston, 4-2, in the Open Cup. Peter Vermes was livid, saying a couple of players "gave up" and are going to find themselves "very, very, very, very, very far away from the team." We should know Saturday who he was talking about when SKC hosts FC Dallas.