6:30 p.m. vs. Sporting Kansas City • FSN Plus, 1500-AM
Battle for top of the table in West
Preview: The two teams played each other in their MLS is Back tournament opener in a game Loons coach Adrian Heath says his team “pinched” by scoring two goals in extended second-half stoppage time for a 2-1 victory in Group D play. Sporting Kansas City won its group but lost to Philadelphia in the knockout round of 16. … Sporting leads the MLS Western Conference standings with a 4-1-0 record that combines the regular season’s first two games in March and three group-play games in the Orlando tournament. The Loons are second in the West, a point behind with a 3-0-2 record. … Loons goalkeeper Greg Ranjitsingh will start for Tyler Miller, who underwent hip surgery Wednesday and is out of the season. Ranjitsingh started two games for Orlando City in 2019 and went 0-1-1. … The visitors in this rivalry have never won on the other team’s home field in eight meetings so far. … Friday’s regular-season restart comes 159 days after the Loons’ March 15 home opener against New York Red Bulls was canceled when MLS suspended the season because of the coronavirus pandemic. … Newly signed defender Bakaye Dibassy was headed to Minneapolis from France on Thursday after his immigration paperwork was completed. … The 6:30 p.m. start time is a half-hour earlier than normal.
Injuries: Loons D Ike Opara (undisclosed) and Miller are out. MF Jacori Hayes (hamstring) is questionable. MF Robin Lod isn’t listed on the team’s latest injury update, but Heath said Wednesday that he took a “bad bang” on the back of one of his calves Tuesday and could be a gameday decision. Sporting KC’s M Felipe Gutierrez is listed as not medically cleared.