The Union will fight for their playoff lives Saturday while Kansas City seeks the Supporters' Shield.For Sporting Kansas City and the Philadelphia Union, the MLS regular season ends exactly where it started — at PPL Park in Chester, Pa.
There, Kansas City rolled to a 3-1 triumph March 2 to kick off 2013 campaign. When the teams meet again Saturday, there will be plenty on the line. While Kansas City (16-10-7) must win Saturday if it wants to add the Supporters' Shield to its trophy case, the Union (12-11-10) must triumph if they want a ticket to the postseason.
Currently sitting one point behind Real Salt Lake and the New York Red Bulls for the league's best record, Kansas City enters the match on a 5-1-1 run. It'll be short turnaround, though, as a nearly full-strength Sporting side won its CONCACAF Champions League group Wednesday with a scoreless draw against Honduras' CD Olimpia.
The Union, meanwhile, saw their three-game unbeaten spurt ended with a 2-1 loss at the Montreal Impact last weekend. Two points out of the final playoff spot, Philadelphia is in need of a win over Kansas City and considerable help.
Making matters more difficult for Philadelphia will be the absence of captain Brian Carroll, who is suspended because of yellow card accumulation. To fill Carroll's holding midfield spot, Amobi Okugo could slide up from his center back post or Michael Lahoud could step in as a straight swap.