Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Time to Start Open Cup Run

Tomorrow Kansas City starts their attempt to qualify for the Open Cup proper when they take on the Houston Dynamo in College Station in a qualification match for both MLS sides. The good news in one regard for KC is that while Houston plays this coming weekend, Kansas City does not. Meaning that they have a little extra time for rest after the game and that could potentially see KC put out a stronger lineup than the Dynamo who have Vancouver coming to town on Sunday. The Dynamo have draw each of their past 2 matches thanks in large part due to the goalkeeping of Tally Hall. While Houston was out played in both games they rode hot goalkeeping to earn a point in each of those games. The question is if Hall or Tyler Deric get the start tomorrow for the Dynamo.

As for KC, it appears that plenty of first team players are traveling to Houston for the game. Tweets from Davy Arnaud and Kei Kamara have put them down in Houston. Also Eric Kronberg and Jon Kempin have apparently traveled as well. Which would seem to point to Kronberg getting the start and Jimmy Nielsen staying at home. I would think that Omar Bravo gets a start as well so that he's not 3 weeks without a competitive game for KC. It would appear that Chance Myers, Graham Zusi, Ryan Smith, and Julio Cesar all didn't travel. I think we'll see a bit of a mix but quite a few first teamers on the field for KC tomorrow.

Bravo - Sapong - Kamara
Arnaud - Auvray - Rocastle
Lorenz - Thomas - Besler - Sassano

Number to Remember - 0 - The number of wins that KC has in Open Cup qualifying matches. They lost to RSL in 2007, tied Colorado in 2008 (won on penalties), and lost to Colorado in 2010. To qualify for the open cup this year they'll need to win, or draw and advance on PKs twice.

Key Match Up - N/A - I don't have a enough of an idea on what lineup Houston is going to put out tomorrow to come up with a key match up for tomorrow's game.

PREDICTION - I think KC will put out the stronger lineup tomorrow just because of their open schedule this weekend. That should make KC the favorites going into the game. The team will also have a bit of a chip on their shoulder trying to get the bad taste from Vancouver out of their mouths. The question will be can the defense step up and actually shut a team down offensively? I'm not sure they'll be able to completely, but I think KC has the better offense and will be able to hold out this time.

KC - 3 (Bravo x2, Kamara)
HOU - 2 (Bruin, Cruz)


Drew Farmer said...

I would think the league will be more important to Houston than a cup run with the team still in the weird transition phase that they've been in since De Ro, Holden and Clark left. Vermes would be stupid not to give playing time to the usual starting 11. With a week off he needs to keep them fit and especially the attackers in form. Bunbury and Bravo have barely played this season together, so get them in the line-up to gel. I think even with a reserve lineup Houston could give Sporting's defence trouble. However, this could be a big confidence boaster to the backline if they can come away with a win. Not expecting a shut out, but a Sporting 2-1 should do.

Rob Swenson said...

A convincing win would go a long way toward forgetting Vancouver.

mrdot said...

This game will be instructive as to whether KC's defensive struggles are early-season jitters or endemic of deeper problems. If the usual haplessness shows up again, expect the 90 minutes to end as a multiple-goal draw or a 2-1, 3-2 loss.

I do like our chances if it comes down the PK's though.

MOUFWASH said...

considering the Gold Cup players and our loaded schedule in the summer, Im not sure I really "want" us to win many of these.