Sporting Kansas City vs Vancouver preview: How to watch, team news, predicted lineups and ones to watch

Sporting Kansas City host the Vancouver Whitecaps in the first round of the 2021 MLS Cup playoffs at Children's Mercy Park.

SKC was in contention for the top seed in the Western Conference, but had to settle for third after losing their final three matches of the season.

Vancouver finished the season on a six-match unbeaten streak to grab the sixth seed and will look to continue their outstanding form against a slumping Kansas City side.

Team news

Sporting Kansas City will be without Felipe Hernandez after the midfielder was suspended without for pay the remainder of the season for violating MLS gambling integrity rules and standards of conduct.

Right back Jaylin Lindsey will also miss out as he continues to recover from a hamstring injury.

Vancouver will also be without a pair of players as defensive midfielder Caio Alexandre and 34-year old forward Tosaint Ricketts are sidelined through injury.

Predicted lineups

Sporting Kansas City: Melia; Martins, Fontas, Isimat-Mirin, Zusi; Mauri, Walter, Kinda; Salloi, Shelton, Russell

Vancouver: Crepeau; Nerwinski, Veselinovic, Jungwirth; Brown, Owusu, Teibert, Gaspar; Gauld; Dajome, White

Ones to watch

Daniel Salloi (Sporting Kansas City)

For a team that was second in MLS with 58 goals, it was the Hungarian was voted as team MVP after a brilliant regular season that saw him score 16 times across 14 different matches. An even more telling statistic is that SKC went 11-0-3 when he scored, proving just how valuable he is to the club.

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Brian White (Vancouver)

By contrast, the Whitecaps were 18th in total goals with 48, but White had nearly one-third of that total with 12, all the more impressive since he's only been with the team since June 8 after being acquired in a trade with the New York Red Bulls. He also led the team in headed goals with four, proving just how dynamic he is in all offensive areas of the pitch.

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Previous meetings

This is the third meeting of the season between the two sides with each winning at home.

In May, goals from Salloi and a brace by Alan Pulido gave SKC a 3-0 victory while Vancouver defeated Kansas City 2-1 a little over a month ago behind goals from Ryan Gauld and Russell Teibert.

How to watch

The match will be shown on and the MLS app. English-language coverage will be televised by Bally Sports KC and Bally Sports Midwest Plus.

TSN1 has the action for viewers in Vancouver and Canada in general while Spanish-language coverage is on UniMas and TUDN. Kickoff is set for 5pm Eastern time.