Friday, March 18, 2011

Season Opener is Here

Tomorrow Sporting KC will take the field against Chivas USA in the season opener of the 2011 season for Sporting KC. It's also the start of the team's 10 game road trip to start the season in league play. Chivas USA has turned over much of it's roster, bringing in a new coach in Robin Fraser and bringing in some interesting talent, including former Wizards defender Jimmy Conrad in the re-entry draft. Also joining Conrad is national team left back, Heath Pearce, acquired from Dallas. Still I haven't been overly impressed with their additions this offseason. I think Fraser is going to be a good coach sooner than later, but I think catching the Goats early is an advantage for KC.

As for the Wizards, some early injuries could change the way that the team looks. With Teal Bunbury, Ryan Smith, and Michael Harrington all recovering from injuries it could be an interesting set up. Birahim Diop would seem set to start if Bunbury can't go. Smith has missed all of preseason basically so his absence has already been worked through a bit. The big question mark could be Harrington. If Harrington can't go, that would seem to put Luke Sassano into the starting spot. Only a few weeks ago Peter Vermes said Sassano wasn't 90 minutes match fit. If that's still true, we could potentially see the debut of a SKC Wizards juniors player in a league game, as right now Kevin Ellis appears to be the third choice right back. Would certainly make things interesting, but at this point I'm hoping Harrington will start.

Bravo - Diop - Kamara
Stojcev - Arnaud - Rocastle
Espinoza - Julio Cesar - Besler - Harrington

Key Match Up - Kei Kamara vs Heath Pearce - This will be a very interesting match up, Pearce is a strong back but Kamara has done well to learn the right wing and will be putting plenty of pressure on Pearce.

- I hate the first game of the season when it comes to predictions, I haven't seen enough of our own team, let alone Chivas to make a really good prediction on the game. But Matt Besler guaranteed me at the Meet the Players night that the team would win one of the first two road games of the season, giving me the first away win I've seen in person. So I'll predict this one.

SKC - 2 (Kamara, Bravo)
Chivas - 1 (Braun)


Alex Englén said...

Wait where is Auvray in the starting XI ? I'm all for stojcev but auvray is simply amazing

Nathan Martin said...

So is this a different formation with Stojcev in there?

Because he has mostly been touted for his "creativity". And neither Rocastle's role last year nor Auvray's would fit that bill.

Unless you're moving, both Davy and Craig back a spot and putting Stojcev closer to the forwards.

go wizids said...

hate to burst your hope bubble but harrington wont be starting.

Drew Farmer said...

SKC should take all three points, but being that they're going to be on the road for 10 games it's going to be an early test. The forwards should run Conrad ragged. If SKC lose this match, which I don't think they will, it maybe a long road trip and they will have a difficult time getting back into the playoff picture.