Thursday, June 16, 2011

Taking on the Quakes

KC plays their second home game of the season tomorrow when they take on the San Jose Earthquakes at LiveSTRONG Sporting Park. The Quakes come into the game having not lost since April 30th to the Philadelphia Union. That's a span of 8 games in all competitions, 6 in league play, including last week's 4-2 win in DC. They've scored more than one goal in 5 straight league games, 6 in all competitions. Against DC, San Jose got a hattrick out of Steven Lenhart. So the Quakes come in on a nice hot streak and have been scoring goals at a very good pace at the same time. KC's recent run of better defensive performances (2 goals in the last 5 games in all competitions) will definitely be tested.

Kansas City is on a small unbeaten run of their own, now unbeaten in 4 games in league play, 5 in all competitions. It's funny how a single win can turn a winless run into an unbeaten run. Stephane Auvray is back from the Gold Cup, but is getting the weekend off to recuperate from international duty. Ryan Smith and Omar Bravo both also look set to miss this weekend's game with their injuries that they've picked up. While Craig Rocastle went under the knife today to repair his torn meniscus. I'd expect a lineup very close to the team that put four past Dallas on Sunday, with the exception of the suspended Milos Stojcev. Although with Jimmy Nielsen and Michael Harrington back from their suspension, they could be back in the lineup as well. Also, factor in that this is the start of a 4 games in the next 11 days stretch for KC, so the lineup could get interesting.

Myers - Collin - Besler - Harrington
Sassano - Diop
Kamara - Sapong - Zusi

Number to Remember - 2004 - That's the last time that KC did not take all 3 points from a home game against the Earthquakes. August 14th, 2004 2-0 at Arrowhead was the last loss at home. That's a span of 7 games in all competitions (5 league, 1 Open Cup, 1 playoff).

Key Match Up - Aurelien Collin vs Steven Lenhart - Coming off a hattrick in DC last weekend, Lenhart is going to come into the game with confidence, as is the entire San Jose team. Should make for a fun match up to watch, but with Collin one yellow away from suspension, it could force Collin to play more conservatively.

PREDICTION - Both teams have been playing well lately. For pure confidence purposes this game is much more important to KC. Getting that first win at home will keep the hype in the city from the opener and the US game, but they need to get that win to do it. With so many home games coming up, getting the confidence up for that is going to be important. But with San Jose high on confidence it's going to be tough. KC was able to end one long unbeaten run on Sunday, hopefully they'll be able to do that again this weekend.

KC - 2 (Sapong, Kamara)
SJ - 1 (Lenhart)


Christian Sinclair said...

Thanks for the analysis.

My prediction SKC 2 (Sapong, Kamara) - SJ 1 - (Stephenson)

(made before reading your review. I feel they will mark Lenhart heavy and leave other folks open to take the shot. I think Zusi will get a few shots but miss. Hoping to see Nielsen back, but maybe Kron needs to start....

Bummed Smith and bravo are still out. They need to come back.

aletheist said...

It will be interesting to see if the wingers become forwards again in a 4-3-3 or remain midfielders in a 4-2-3-1, as in Dallas. Collin should not worry too much about getting another yellow; he is probably due for a break sometime during this heavy stretch of games anyway.

Christian Sinclair said...

Glad to see Bravo played. And Collin got the yellow, leading to a one game suspension which at first I was bummed about, but after that tough game and your comment, you are right, he could use a break. Just hoping they pair someone good with Besler.