Friday, April 01, 2011

On to Vancouver

Kansas City continues their long road trip this week with their first trip to Vancouver to take on the Whitecaps. Vancouver is 1-1 after the first two games, winning on opening day at home against Toronto and losing last week against in Philadelphia. They are being hit by injuries and suspensions this week and could be in a similar situation that KC was in last week when it comes to their center back set up. Jay Demerit appears set to miss the game after picking up an injury for the US team on Tuesday night and Michael Boxall missed time this week due to illness. Midfielders Shea Salinas and John Thorrington are still questionable while Davide Chiumiento is up to probable. Possibly the biggest loss for Vancouver though is the fact they will be without Eric Hassli, who picked up a red card in Vancouver's loss to Philadelphia.

Kansas City is getting healthier and could potentially play have their full first choice central defense starting the game for the first time this season. Julio Cesar is up to questionable after missing last week and with Shavar Thomas back from international duty KC at least has some center back depth if need be. Michael Harrington also could make his season debut as well tomorrow. A question could be made for who will replace Omar Bravo at forward. Will CJ Sapong start his third straight game for KC, or could KC put Davy Arnaud or Milos Stojcev up on the left side in a similar set up as last week in Chicago? I'm hopeful we'll see the closest to a full first team lineup we've seen all season.

Sapong - Bunbury - Kamara
Stojcev - Arnaud - Rocastle
Espinoza - Besler - Julio Cesar - Harrington

Number to Remember - 5 - The number of combined goals scored in each of KC's first two games. This isn't your Bob Gansler Wizards team it looks like. KC is playing a lot more open this season and the defense certainly looks frail at times.

Key Match Up - Craig Rocastle vs Davide Chiumiento - Chiumiento has been a great creator in the midfield for Vancouver this season. Rocastle will have his hands full shutting down the Swiss attacker.

PREDICTION - Vancouver was impressive in their first game at home, and will be tough for KC to beat on the road. The thing working in KC's favor would appear to be that Vancouver's injury issues right now, while KC is starting to get healthier with Cesar and Harrington possibly returning. The lack of the two team's DPs will be interesting to see which team can overcome the loss of their "star" player better. KC certainly appears to have the better attack on paper, but KC's defense is going to have to prove to me that they've improved before I give them a shutout this season.

KC - 2 (Kamara, Bunbury)
Van - 1 (Harris)

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