FC Dallas at Sporting KC – lineup prediction and game info

4th in the West FC Dallas (23 points, 6-3-5) travels to Kansas City to take on 12th in the West Sporting (13 points, 3-8-4) at 7:30 pm at Children’s Mercy Park.

SKC hasn’t had a great year but their performance last game was impressive. Games at KC are never easy.

Broadcast Info

TV: MLS Season Pass on Apple TV.

English Radio: 1190 AM and the FC Dallas App.

Spanish Radio: 1270 AM TUDN.

FCD Lineup Prediction

UPDATE 6:33 pm: FCD recalled RB Collin Smith from his loan to Birmingham City for the next two games. Does he walk in a start? They may not want to risk Geovane Jesus coming off the hamstring injury. Or is it Smith on the bench backing up Geovane?

This is as difficult a prediction as you’ll find as FCD is all out of linking mids and has other missing pieces as well (see the injury report below).

First, tactically how to deal with the lack of 8s? Sebastian Lletget, Paxton Pomykal, and Tsiki Ntsabeleng are all out. I see three realistic potential solutions.

Idea 1: You could take a player from another position and shift them centrally, this would allow the team to keep the recently used 4-2-3-1. Like Alan Velasco or Jesus Ferreira in the 10-hole.

Idea 2: Shift to a 3-man back line, the 3-4-3 that Coach Nico likes to use from time to time.

Idea 3: Shift to the 4-4-2 we’ve seen FCD use as well. Earlier this season Jesus Jimenez would come into this shape but last game we saw a version with Velasco up top with Ferreira.

So which one?

Before the injury pileup, I think this would have been a game where Coach Nico would have rotated Nkosi Tafari to start Jose Martinez and Sebas Ibeagha which would push the coach toward using either of the 4-man back line shapes. That could still be in the cards.

But I’m going to let tactics decide for me.

Given the shape and tactics Sporting played in their last game – a 4-1 win over Portland Timbers – and the fact FCD is on the road, I’m going to with a defensive-minded 3-4-3 which might look a lot like a 5-4-1 for a lot of the game. You know Coach Nico loves to grind down games on the road.

This shape spreads wide to cover the field and doesn’t need any pure 8s. Since Ema Twumasi is out and Geovane Jesus has just been cleared this shape makes it easier to put Geovane immediately back in while relieving a little of the defensive pressure on him.

Maarten Paes is cleared to play so he should be right back in.

3rd Degree's FCD XI prediction at Sporting KC on May 31, 2023.
3rd Degree’s FCD XI prediction at Sporting KC on May 31, 2023.

Bench Prediction
Jimmy Maurer
Bernard Kamungo
Sam Junqua
Jose Mulato
Jesus Jimenez
Amet Korca
Herbert Endeley
Nolan Norris

Yes, FCD is short a player on the bench pending a short-term emergency signing from North Texas SC. Given the injury to Hope Kodzo I think the most likely person to get the call is NTX captain Andre Costa who is an 8. But it’s probably more likely FCD will just go short a man.

MLS Injury/Player Availability Report

FC Dallas 

OUT: Tarik Scott (season-ending injury)
OUT: Sebastian Lletget (quad)
OUT: Paul Arriola (quad)
OUT: Paxton Pomykal (quad)
OUT: Tsiki Ntsabeleng (Knee sprain)
OUT: Ema Twumasi (ankle)

Sporting Kansas City

OUT: GK – Tim Melia (Quad Injury)
OUT: DEF – Kortne Ford (Achilles Surgery)
OUT: DEF – Kayden Pierre (Hamstring Injury)
OUT: FWD – Willy Agada (Tibia Stress Fracture)
QUESTIONABLE: Remi Walter (Back Spasms)
QUESTIONABLE: Johnny Russell (Hamstring Injury)

Antonio Carrera (United States U-20)

Jáder Obrian, Paxton Pomykal, Edwin Cerrillo

MLS Kit Assignments

FC Dallas is going to be in their red/blue primary kit and Sporting KC should be in their light blue-based hoops.

Edwin Cerrillo turns away from pressure against Sporting KC, October 9, 2022. (Matthew Visinsky, 3rd Degree)


Other Game Info


  • FCD record: 6-3-5 (23 points – 4th in West)
  • SKC record: 3-8-4 (13 points – 12th in West)
  • FCD vs. SKC all-time: 30-27-14 (114 goals scored, 104 goals conceded)
  • FCD vs. SKC all-time away: 12-15-9 (48 goals scored, 63 goals conceded)

All six of FC Dallas’ wins this season have come in matches in which Jesús Ferreira has scored. Dallas has a 15-1-2 record in the 18 matches in which Ferreira has scored since the start of last season.

Jesus Ferreira’s eight goals have earned FC Dallas 13 additional points this season, more than any other player in MLS (C. Espinoza – 9 for San Jose).

FC Dallas is 2-0-0 (5 GS, 2 GA) against original 1996 teams in 2023.

Dallas’ three defeats are tied for the third-fewest in MLS, more than only LAFC and FC Cincinnati (one).

Sporting have recorded 10 goals and 14 assists in their last five MLS matches after recording three goals and one assist in their first 10 league games.

Sporting is 4-0-0 when scoring multiple goals this season in all competitions and 0-9-4 when scoring one or fewer.

Sporting has scored seven goals in their last two MLS home matches after scoring one in their first four.

Sporting has used 29 players in MLS this season, the most in the league.

Five of Dallas’ six league wins have come by a one-goal margin. Their five one-goal wins are tied for second-most in MLS.

Dallas has an MLS-best 3-3-1 record when conceding the first goal this season. Their 10 points gained from losing positions are tied with Philadelphia for the most in the league.

Dallas is 3-0-3 when scoring first in 2023 and 2-0-0 when leading at halftime.

Dallas has an average shot distance of 15.5 yards, the shortest in MLS.

Sporting has conceded four penalty kicks this season, tied for the most in MLS. Dallas is one of six MLS clubs yet to receive a penalty kick this season. Perhaps this is the week FCD breaks their no-PK streak?

Dallas ranks third in MLS with a dribble success rate of 55.8%.

Jáder Obrian 48
Maarten Paes 45


  1. LA Galaxy 137
  2. New York Red Bulls 124
  3. Sporting Kansas City 123
  4. D.C. United 118
  5. Columbus 117
  6. FC Dallas 116

FC Dallas All-Time Regular Season Goals

Jason Kreis91247
Kenny Cooper46121
Jesus Ferreira44129

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