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Sporting Kansas City vs Toluca Prediction: Sporting Kansas City Optimistic After Previous Triumph

Written by: Nikhil Kalro
Published August 3, 2023
11 min read
  • Sporting Kansas City lost their opening game of the tournament on penalties against FC Cincinnati before securing their qualification with a win against Chivas Guadalajara
  • Toluca had a perfect record in the group stage of the competition, winning games against Nashville SC and Colorado Rapids
  • These two clubs have previously met twice, and Sporting Kansas City have won both games

Sporting Kansas City vs Toluca Odds

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Game result

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Sporting Kansas City

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Draw

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Toluca

+130

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Sporting Kansas City vs Toluca Pick

Sporting Kansas City vs Toluca Prediction

Sporting Kansas City vs Toluca Predictions

After a series of dissatisfying results leading up to the break in the MLS, Sporting Kansas City are looking for some respite in the 2023 Leagues Cup. The recent narrow win against 2022-23 Clausura runners-up Chivas Guadalajara ended the club’s four-game winless streak, and it was only their third win in ten games across all competitions. In the MLS, the primary aim for Sporting Kansas City is to sneak into the playoffs. In the Leagues Cup, the objective will be to go all the way.

The journey to the final of the 2023 Leagues Cup will be anything but a cakewalk for any side. It will be a challenging task for Sporting Kansas City because their first knockout hurdle is a big one. Toluca came very close to winning their first Liga MX title after the 2009-10 Clausura season in the previous Apertura phase but finished second-best in the final. This season, the Mexican outfit is desperate for silverware and has already shown that desire in the opening two fixtures of the tournament.

Despite being 11th in the Western Conference table, Sporting Kansas City are one of the most unpredictable sides in the competition. At one point, they were rooted to the bottom of the league, but a sudden resurgence has given them hope for playoff qualification in the MLS. However, in the Leagues Cup, Toluca have the advantage and will scrape past the MLS side.

Previous Meetings

Since the two clubs play in different domestic leagues, they have not met in a league fixture before. However, in 2019, Sporting Kansas City and Toluca locked horns in the Round of 16 of the CONCACAF Champions League.

Sporting Kansas City were hosts in the first leg and bagged a comfortable 3-0 win at home. Krisztian Nemeth, Gerso Fernandes, and Ilie Sanchez were on target, as Toluca huffed and puffed but ended up firing a blank.

The Mexican side did have a chance to fight back in the second leg but ended up conceding an early goal that disrupted their momentum. Fernandes was the scorer of that goal in the eighth minute. Toluca were reduced to ten men when Adrian Mora was sent off for a cynical foul in the box.

From the resulting penalty, Nemeth found the back of the net, and Sporting Kansas City advanced to the next round, while Toluca were eliminated without getting a single goal over two legs.

Sporting Kansas City Optimistic After Previous Triumph  

Sporting Kansas City have been caught in a turbulent phase for the past two years. The club last won a trophy in 2017, and their last decent finish came in 2021 when they finished third in the Western Conference.

However, last season, they failed to reach the playoffs, and earlier this season, they were at the bottom of the pile. The club is desperate to regain top form, and victory in the previous game has made the fans and players more optimistic.

After losing their first game on penalties, the match against Chivas Guadalajara was a must-win game. The odds were against Sporting Kansas City because their opponents were the 2022-23 Clausura runners-up. However, the MLS side nabbed a narrow 1-0 win to secure qualification.

Goal-Scoring Defender Shining Amidst Growing Defensive Concerns

The new season got off to a shaky start for Sporting Kansas City, and to make matters worse, injury concerns started piling up. The club’s first-choice goalkeeper was sidelined for three months in May before right-back Graham Zusi picked up a hamstring injury.

Fortunately for Sporting Kansas City, Daniel Rosero was signed in March. The astute center-back has made 17 appearances in the MLS and has scored twice in the MLS, apart from being solid in defense. He also scored in the 3-3 draw against FC Cincinnati in the Leagues Cup.

Key Striker Will Miss the Match Due to Suspension  

In their first Leagues Cup match of the season, Sporting Kansas City were dealt a major blow when Alan Pulido was dismissed in the first half against FC Cincinnati. The striker headbutted Yerson Mosquera and instantly received his marching orders.

Sporting Kansas City were leading 2-0 when they were reduced to ten men. Pulido received a two-match suspension for his cynical offense, and due to that, the top scorer of Sporting Kansas City this season will miss the game against Toluca.

Toluca Aiming for Three Wins in a Row    

The United States and Canada are hosting the 2023 Leagues Cup, meaning that no matches will be played on the home grounds of Liga MX teams. The MLS sides have somewhat of an advantage as they play on familiar territory.

Despite that, over half of the Liga MX teams have advanced to the knockout phase. Toluca has been one of the strongest Mexican sides so far. In their opening game of the season, the resilient Liga MX club defeated Nashville SC in a seven-goal thriller.

After beating one MLS side, Toluca defeated another American team – Colorado Rapids. Victory in the second game was a bit more convincing as Toluca smashed four past the MLS club and conceded only one via a late penalty. Now, the Mexican club is aiming to beat another MLS club.

A Wide Array of Goal Scorers

In the defensive department, there may be some concerns due to the lack of clean sheets, but in the attacking department, the club has no reason to worry. In two Leagues Cup matches, Toluca have scored eight goals.

Additionally, the Mexican side is not relying on a player or two. The club already has seven different goal scorers in the tournament, including the goalkeeper Tiago Volpi, who scored from the spot against Nashville SC. Marcel Ruiz has scored two, while Edgar Lopez, Jesus Angulo, Pedro Raul, Robert Morales, and Valber Huerta have scored one each. 

Toluca Dangerous in the Final Quarter

After a goalless draw in the opening game of the new Apertura season, Toluca went on to win the second game 2-0 against Cruz Azul. Juan Dominguez sealed the win in the second minute of second-half stoppage time.

In the Leagues Cup against Colorado Rapids, Toluca struck thrice in the final quarter of the game to end a second successive match with four goals under their name. This is a tactic Toluca could use in the next game and wear Sporting Kansas City down before striking in the closing stages. 

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  • Time: Friday, August 4 at 9 pm ET
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AUTHOR

Nikhil Kalro

681 Articles

With an interest in strategy and mathematics, applying that to sports writing was the natural progression. A writer at night and the founder of a gaming company, Nikhil’s previous experience includes working with ESPN for five years. His specialization includes soccer, basketball, tennis, and esports betting. Email: [email protected]

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