MIAMI (AP) – Sporting Kansas City has become a contender in the Eastern Conference with a club-record unbeaten streak. It has a good chance to extend the run at home, where it has yet to lose.
Kansas City hosts Real Salt Lake on Wednesday night looking to remain unbeaten in 14 straight matches.
Kansas City (6-6-9) moved within seven points of first-place Columbus in a tight East race after a 1-all draw with New England on Saturday. With second-place Philadelphia's loss Friday, fourth-place Kansas City picked up a much-needed point and has seemed to recover since a 1-6-1 start.
"We continue to climb the ladder," coach Peter Vermes told the team's official website. "If you look back where we were and where we are, it's a big difference. We're in the hunt right now. We're going to keep going after it."
Kansas City, though, needed another late goal to salvage a draw as Teal Bunbury scored in the 89th minute. It marked the fourth time in five games the team scored in the 63rd minute or later to tie the game.
"It's not a good habit to get into to go down a goal early. Honestly, it's been an issue with us for a while now," midfielder Graham Zusi said. "We need to come out, realize we're at home, and we need to take it to the opposing team, especially in the first half. We need to let them know it's going to be a long game for them, so we can control the flow of the game."
Kansas City, 3-0-4 at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park since it opened June 9, continues its nine-game homestand, which equals the longest in MLS history. It opened the season with 10 straight road matches as the new stadium was being completed.
Kansas City hopes the home-field advantage will help end a three-game winless streak versus Salt Lake (9-4-6), which had its seven-game unbeaten run snapped with a 2-0 loss to Columbus on Saturday.
RSL allowed two goals in the first 10 minutes and was held scoreless after netting 12 goals in its last four games.
"We got a bit frantic and certainly a bit frustrated," coach Jason Kreis said. "In the second half I was pleased with the effort, I was pleased with the fight. I don't think any of them out there quit, I think that they tried to put everything they could into that game to get back into it."
Salt Lake played without striker Alvaro Saborio, who was suspended for a dive in the previous match against San Jose. Kreis did not find out about the suspension until after making out his lineup Friday.
Saborio, who is second on the team with five goals, is expected to be in the lineup against Kansas City.