Two clubs that probably felt like they left something on the pitch last year open the 2018 season, as New York City FC travels to play Sporting Kansas City on Sunday afternoon at Children's Mercy Park in Kansas City, Kan.
Sporting KC, which won the MLS Cup in 2013, has been in the playoffs the last seven seasons. But they lost in the knockout round in each of the last four seasons. NYCFC, which completed its third season in the MLS in 2017, finished with the second most points in the league behind eventual champion Toronto FC. But it lost in the quarterfinals to Columbus.
The chance to move on starts Sunday, in a contrast of styles. NYCFC boasts a powerful offense, led by David Villa, who has scored 63 goals and added 21 assists in his three seasons in the MLS. He scored 22 goals last season, second-best in MLS despite missing three games, and added nine assists.
Second-leading scorer Jack Harrison is now with Middlesbrough in his home country of England. But the trio of Jesus Medina, Rodney Wallace and Ronald Matarrita will help the NYCFC offense. NYCFC added 10 new players in the offseason, including former Sporting KC defender Saad Abdul Salaam, who was brought in to help the defense. >> Read more
Copyright 2018 by the Associated Press