Our prediction for this MLS match:
All eyes will be on Mercedes-Benz-Stadium when Atlanta United and Sporting Kansas City, the two leaders, face each other in the MLS derby. The Five Stripes have been in a thrilling form at the start of the season and it is no surprise they are considered one of main favourites to win the MLS Cup trophy. Tata Martino is doing an amazing job with Atlanta United, who have been scoring goals for fun in the 2018 season, but Thursday’s football game against Sporting Kansas City will be anything but a walk in the park for the hosts. The Wizards, on the other hand, are sitting in top position in the Western Conference ahead of the trip to Georgia and they head into the midweek fixture following a hard-fought 1-0 win over Colorado Rapids. Anyhow, the two teams seem to be evenly matched at the moment and share of spoils appears on the horizon.
Highlighted Player (Josef Martinez):
Josef Alexander Martinez Mencia started his senior career at Caracas, but he made no more than 36 league appearances for the Venezuelan outfit from 2010 to 2012. Martinez then moved to Europe and the 170-cm tall striker scored 4 goals in 34 appearances for the capital club. In the 2013/2014 season he played for fellow Swiss outfit Thun (on loan) and on June 7, 2014 he signed a contract with Serie A team Torino. In December, 2017 Josef Martinez scored his first ever goal in the Italian top flight in a 2-2 draw with Palermo. The Venezuela international currently plays (on loan) for Atlanta United in MLS and he made his debut for Gerardo Martino’s team against New York Red Bulls. Speaking of his international career, Martinez made his Venezuela debut against El Salvador, coming from the bench after 76 minutes. On November 10, 2016 he scored a hat-trick for La Vinotinto in a thrilling 5-0 victory over Bolivia and it has to be noted that he has four caps (two goals) for Venezuela U20 team.
Highlighted Team (Sporting Kansas City):
Sporting Kansas City have been competing in Major League Soccer since 1996 and they won their first MLS Cup trophy in 2000. The club faced Chicago Fire at Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium in Washington in the play-offs final and Miklos Jon Molnar scored the winner for Bob Gansler’s team. 13 years later Sporting Kansas City met with Solt Lake in the title game and they were fortunate to defeat the Royals on penalties.
The Wizards welcome their rivals at Children’s Mercy Park, but they used to play some games at Blue Valley Sports Complex, Julian Field, Hermann Stadium and Durwood Soccer Stadium in the past as well. Sporting Kansas City were founded in 1995 and the club’s original name was Kansas City Wiz.
The Wizards wear navy blue shirts and dark blue shorts when playing at home, while the colour of their away kit is blue. Former Wigan Athletic man Roger Espinosa is regarded as one of the club’s most notable players and he has been playing for the Children’s Mercy Park outfit since 2015.