KANSAS CITY, Kan. – The stakes have never been higher for St. Louis CITY SC. Starting with Sunday, CITY needs to win every game ahead of them, or else their inaugural season is over.
St. Louis CITY SC is set for the second match Sunday in a best-of-three playoff series against Sporting Kansas City. Kickoff is set for 4 p.m. CT.
Sporting KC spoiled St. Louis CITY SC’s playoff debut last week with a 4-1 road defeat. Sporting took advantage of CITY’s early mistakes, scoring three goals in a matter of roughly 35 minutes and their final three tallies unanswered in near-freezing conditions.
St. Louis needs two consecutive wins over Kansas City, this Sunday and the following Saturday, to keep its first season alive. Each round after that switches to a single-elimination format, so basically, CITY will play its remaining slate of games on the brink of elimination.
Here’s what else to know ahead of Sunday’s match:
Sporting Kansas City has a 1-0 series advantage after their victory last Sunday at CITYPARK.
Up next is Match 2. It’s set for Sunday, Nov. 5 at Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas City, Kansas with a projected kickoff time of 4 p.m. CT.
If necessary, in the case CITY SC wins, the series returns to St. Louis for a winner-take-all match three. That’s tentatively scheduled at CITYPARK for Saturday, Nov. 11 at 6 p.m. CT.
How To Watch/Listen
There are essentially two options for following Sunday’s match if you don’t already have a ticket and roadtrip plans.
The game will be available to anyone with an MLS Season Plus subscription through Apple TV+. This broadcast is only for people with subscriptions and will not be available on any cable TV channels. To check on your subscription or eligibility for one, click here.
If you’re in the St. Louis area, but don’t have access to MLS Season Pass, you can listen to the broadcast via radio on 98.1 FM.
Friendly reminder that this game is in Kansas City. So it is a road game, but it’s also one of the closest possible destinations for CITY fans looking to travel.
CITY’s Match II Preparations
There was a large consensus among St. Louis CITY SC staff and players that the team came out flat in their playoff debut. Looking ahead to the next opportunity, leaders are aware that the margin for error is even smaller.
“It’s something we kind of haven’t been challenged with the whole year,” said head coach Bradley Carnell.
CITY took a couple of days off of practice after Sunday’s loss, but ramped up the intensity of drills throughout the week. Ball possession and forcing turnovers were points of focus in recent days.
“This week has been really energized,” said Carnell. “It’s been good spirits, and knowing that something’s on the line, it’s a problem we’ve never been faced with before. It’s about us coming to put us on display against the logs of pretty much the whole season was.”
In a season during which CITY SC broke the record for most MLS wins in an expansion team’s first year (17) and clinched the Western Conference’s top seed, players and staff say it’s not enough. There’s a growing sense of urgency among players to bounce back from the first match.
“If we don’t win this game, the season is over,” said Indiana Vassilev. “It’s do or die, so there’s more pressure on it, and everyone in the change room knows.”
“Thank you for the fans, and sorry for the game [Match 1] we played at the same time,” said Klauss. “The environment was amazing. If we play a good game on Sunday, we’ll have the opportunity to meet them at least one more time this season.”
IAt least 18 bars are registered through St. Louis CITY SC’s watch party experience, tabbed as “CITY On Tap Presented By Michelob ULTRA.”
“CITY On Tap” bars are all registered with MLS Season Pass credentials and plan to carry broadcasts for all remaining matches this year. That includes many locations in the City of St. Louis and the following suburbs:
- Arnold, Missouri
- Florissant, Missouri
- Kirkwood, Missouri
- O’Fallon, Missouri
- Valley Park, Missouri
- Webster Groves, Missouri
- Alton, Illinois
- Columbia, Illinois
- Edwardsville, Illinois
- O’Fallon, Illinois
To find a “CITY On Tap” location near you, click here.
Rest of playoffs
After the Wild Card Round, the MLS plans to schedule conference semifinals and finals matches between Nov. 25 and Dec. 3. Unlike the best-of-three first round series, these rounds will consist of just one winner-take-all match. The MLS Cup is set for Dec. 9 between the Western and Eastern conference champions and will also consist of just one single match.