Friday, April 29, 2011

Second Half of the Road Trip

Tomorrow in New York, Sporting Kansas City begins the second half of their 10 game road trip against the New York Red Bulls. New York comes into the game tomorrow on the backs of two blow out wins against San Jose (3-0) and DC (4-0). Thierry Henry has started to get into good goal scoring form, getting 3 goals in the last two games. Luke Rodgers has become the current partner for Henry, with Juan Agudelo, the latest US soccer teen sensation coming off the bench. That's not even including the likes of Dane Richards and Joel Lindpere on the wings who can score plenty on their own. New York is going to be the biggest offensive threat that KC's weak defense has faced all season.

KC will have Aurelien Collin available after his suspension was rescinded, but that comes that the expense of Birahim Diop. Most fans are not too disappointed in that. One thing that this move will cause I think is that it will give us a Collin and Julio Cesar partnership, which honestly I dread seeing. I'm not a fan of Cesar's and I struggle to find many people that are fans of his. He just doesn't play the style defensively that is needed with the type of lineup that KC plays. As for who replaces Diop, I think we'll see Stephane Auvray step back into the starting lineup. I hope this move was coming anyways, but that remains to be seen. Other than that I'm not sure if we'll see any changes, but I wouldn't mind seeing more in the midfield as the team has struggled in all five games so far to control the midfield. Milos Stojcev, Davy Arnaud, and whoever has played d-mid have not looked good. We'll see if Peter Vermes feels the same way or not.

Harrington - Cesar - Collin - Espinoza
Arnaud - Auvray - Stojcev
Kamara - Bunbury - Sapong

Number to Remember - 4 - Number of games that KC has gone without a win since defeating Chivas USA in their first game 3-2.

Key Match Up - Aurelien Collin vs Thierry Henry - The Frenchman vs the Frenchman, Henry is on a nice run of form right now and is leading the Red Bulls attack. Collin is going to have to play a lot smarter than he did against New York though, Henry isn't the type of forward that he went up against in New England. More of a finesse player.

PREDICTION - I have very little confidence in this game, New York is playing extremely well, and well, KC isn't. The defense is still struggling greatly, and the thought of a Collin/Cesar partnership in the middle of defense worries me a lot. More so for the later player in that lineup. This part of the road trip is the tougher half of the two and it starts with the hottest team in the league probably. Of course in recent years under Vermes, Wizards teams seem to step up when they play the elite teams in many instances. So maybe the team will come out and surprise us. But I'm not holding my breath.

KC - 1 (Bunbury)
NY - 3 (Henry x2, Rodgers)

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