Friday, July 22, 2011

The Home Stand Starts

photo courtesy of Jarred Donalson

Sporting Kansas City's two month long home stand starts tomorrow when the Wizards take on Toronto FC at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park. It's also the end of a five week stretch of Kansas City playing two games a week. Next week the team only has one game against New England on Saturday. Toronto coming into town for the game tomorrow playing only their second game after some major roster shuffling. In the past few weeks, Toronto has brought in two designated players and traded for four or five new players along with sending other players the other way. All the player movement makes it extremely hard to predict what TFC is going to put out. TFC has already used 33 players in league play so far this season.

KC still has their league unbeaten run, now up to 11, but lately, KC has had trouble with giving up the first goal, early in the game. In each of KC's last 3 league games they've given up an early goal first to the opposition and had to fight their way back into the game. In the last two games it's taken a goal in stoppage time to continue the unbeaten run. Unlike Toronto, who played a league game on Wednesday night against Dallas, KC had their Newcastle friendly and were able to get some of their first team players a bit of a rest. Add that to the heat and one would think KC would have the advantage.

Myers - Collin - Besler - Sinovic
Jeferson - Espinoza - Zusi
Kamara - Sapong - Bravo

Number to Remember - 1 - KC has averaged only one game in their 8 games at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park. 5 league games, 2 Open Cup games, and the Newcastle friendly, KC has found it difficult to score goals at home lately. Also only 1 league goal by KC has been scored at the Cauldron end, the first SKC goal at LSP, by CJ Sapong

Key Match Up - Jeferson vs Torsten Frings - A battle of two DPs in this game. Jeferson showed some good skill in the friendly against Newcastle, but it will be interesting to see how he matches up against a team that will likely play tighter to the Brazilian. Frings could very well be the one tasked with shadowing Jeferson which could make for an interesting match up.

PREDICTION - Toronto had a league game Wednesday and has a CONCACAF Champions' League qualifier on Wednesday against Real Esteli FC out of Nicaragua. Combine that with heat in KC currently and KC should likely be the favorites in this game. Hopefully KC can finally break their scoring slump a little bit. TFC's defense, even with the addition of Andy Iro is still suspect and as a whole the team is likely still gelling a little bit on the field with all the new additions.

SKC - 2 (Sapong, Bravo)
TFC - 1 (Johnson)


Anonymous said...

I like the defensive lineup you put out. What about putting Kamara at midfield?

Kamara Jeferson Zusi
Bunbury Sapong Bravo

That's some firepower to stop this goal scoring issue.

Mike said...

Without a defensive minded midfielder that's just screaming to be exposed badly. Without a true d-mid (all the guys you've listed in the midfield aren't really known for their defensive ability) you're going to lose the connection between the midfield and defense.

The Footy Chronicles said...

I'm looking forward to seeing the threesome of Zusi, Jeferson and Bravo learning to connect with each other. That could bring some real fireworks on the field.

aletheist said...

I would bench Kamara and keep Cesar in the starting XI, with Zusi moving to right wing.

hartley said...

I believe the lineup you have put out is probably correct. We should all remember that Roger was a defender before moving to the midfield. And I would assume both Roger and Graham will play a more defensive role behind Jeferson.

With the promise that Jeferson will only play 60 minutes or so, another defensive-minded replacement will probably enter the game at that point — especially if we have the lead. That could be Luke, Cesar, or even Michael.

From my point of view, Teal is still not working. He gives up on balls. He will most likely continue to be a sub for important games until he shows he is willing to work as CJ, Kei and Omar do.

I see a win coming with a shutout, 2-0.

Anonymous said...

ya seen this team play much, buddy? for years this team has been pretty bad at playing "hotball" (90 or hotter) and with expectations of 95 at ko, the early goal will be CRITICAL if it comes at all. for you Canadians that's 35 degrees.