Fri, 08 Dec 2023

Joao Klauss, St. Louis look to stop SKC's playoff push

Field Level Media
30 Sep 2023, 11:55 GMT+10

(Photo credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports)

St. Louis City will look to stretch their unbeaten streak to five straight matches when they play host to Sporting Kansas City on Saturday.

St. Louis (16-10-5, 53 points) is unbeaten in four straight (1-0-3) for the first time since it won its first five matches. The side's 16 wins are already tied for the most by an expansion team in MLS history, matching the mark set by Los Angeles FC in 2018.

Joao Klauss keeps rolling in September, as he scored the equalizer in St. Louis' 2-1 come-from-behind road win against Minnesota United last weekend. Klauss has three goals in his past four matches.

The sides have split the season's first two meetings, with St. Louis winning 4-0 in May and Kansas City picking up a 2-1 victory earlier this month.

"For us, it's about making sure we do our business to get that home playoff match," said St. Louis coach Bradley Carnell, whose team sits atop the Western Conference standings. "We want to right the wrongs of four or five weeks back (against SKC) because we thought we played a really good game in that game."

Sporting KC (10-13-8, 38 points) enters the Saturday match following a 2-1 victory over the Houston Dynamo last weekend. Kansas City sits two points behind FC Dallas in the race for the final playoff spot in the West.

Kansas City goalkeeper Tim Melia has won six of his last eight starts since May 13. Forward William Agada scored the winner against Houston.

Sporting KC are 2-7-6 on the road in MLS regular-season matches, while St. Louis City are 10-3-2 at home.

"This is more than just a game. People are fighting. It's very physical on both sides," Kansas City midfielder Roger Espinoza said of the rivalry. "There's not many opportunities in games like this. Both teams are very fresh. It's going to be a very good game and a very close game, I believe."

--Field Level Media

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