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Sporting Kansas City-Earthquakes Preview
It's been relatively all positive for Sporting Kansas City since losing its first game of the season.
Sporting looks to extend its unbeaten streak to six games Saturday night, when visiting the San Jose Earthquakes.
Though Kansas City (2-1-3) has settled for draws in each of the last two games, it's kept a solid form since losing 2-1 at Los Angeles FC to open the 2019 campaign. Against the New York Red Bulls at home last Saturday, SKC needed a Gianluca Busio equaliser in the 88th minute to ultimately earn a point via the 2-2 result.
"A lot of positive things, but also things to work on and keep working to be better," defender Andreu Fontas told Sporting's official website.
One bright spot continues to be Busio, who turns 17 in late May and has scored in three straight MLS games for Kansas City.
"I say it all the time, he's not 16," Sporting coach Peter Vermes said. "He's like 25. He's a very mature kid. He gets it. He's always in the game and he understands what the game needs.
"He's an important player for our club, and at the same time he's making big strides in a short period of time."
Vermes hopes Busio and the rest of his squad can continue Sporting Kansas City's recent success over San Jose (1-5-0). SKC has outscored the Earthquakes 14-5 during a 5-0-1 run during the series.
Despite that success, Kansas City is saying all the right things in order not to take anything for granted in this matchup.
"(San Jose is) a team that's fighting for points," veteran SKC defender Matt Besler said. "Even though it's early on in the season, it's clear that they're fighters. They have a certain way they want to approach the game. That's with intensity and a lot of individual battles on the field."
San Jose snapped a four-game, season-opening losing streak with a 3-0 home victory over Portland on April 6. However, the Earthquakes were unable to build on the that win and lost 2-1 at Houston last weekend.
The Earthquakes' Jackson Yueill tied the game in the 56th minute, but the Dynamo struck just four minutes with the eventual winner.
"It's a long project," Yueill told the Earthquakes' official website. "We're just trying to play the best soccer we can, and we're just looking for the next game to keep improving."
All eyes potentially will again be on San Jose star Chris Wondolowski, who has yet to score in the five games he has played this season and is still sitting on 144 career MLS goals - one away of matching Landon Donovan for the most in league history. With the pressure of trying to achieve that milestone in the air, Wondolowski was benched against Portland and came on as a substitute versus Houston.
Wondolowski has nine career goals in 17 league matches versus Kansas City.
Updated April 18, 2019