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Sporting Kansas City, fans gear up for Wild Card showdown

Sporting KC players during training practice
Posted at 7:04 AM, Oct 25, 2023
and last updated 2023-10-25 10:20:36-04

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — It could be a rainy Wild Card match for Sporting Kansas City as the team gets ready to host San Jose at 8 p.m. Wednesday at Children's Mercy Park.

The winner moves on to the next round of the playoffs, while the losing team gets eliminated.

Sporting won six of its last nine matches to make the playoffs and since 2004, sporting has won 18 of 20 home matches against San Jose. The San Jose Earthquakes have only three playoff appearances in the last 11 years.

"I feel prepared," said Erik Thommy, midfielder with Sporting KC. "We're excited because now it's crunch time and that's what we love and that's why we play soccer."

Johnny Russell and Alan Pulido were both listed as questionable last Sunday as the team closed out the regular MLS season. The dynamic duo were at training practice Tuesday and told reporters they plan on playing Wednesday. It comes after a rocky start to the season, with the team not securing a win in its first 10 matches.

"We clawed our way back, we’re going into the playoffs in good form and I said a while ago, we’re not a team that a lot of teams will look forward to playing," Russell said.

If Sporting wins it will advance to the Knockout Round for a best-of-three series against No. 1 seed St. Louis.

Meanwhile, Rally House has seen a boost in Sporting KC sales. With the cooler weather, the sports apparel chain says fans are stocking up on long sleeves, hoodies and crew necks.

"We're really just seeing the lift and sales with playoffs going on," said Colin Novick with Rally House. "Kansas City is just such a passionate market when it comes to sports."

Plans are in the works for Rally House to obtain additional gear if the team continues to advance.