Saturday, August 20, 2011

An Important Game for KC

Tomorrow's game against DC United is an incredibly big game for both KC and DC. Both teams are fighting to work their way into one of the 3 automatic playoff spots for the Eastern Conference as we head into the weekend. KC currently (as of this moment) holds the 3rd spot, but is only 2 points ahead of 6th place DC. Big changes can occur in the standings this weekend as results from Saturday could see KC jump into 2nd place in the East with a win tomorrow against United. KC catches a bit of a break for the second straight game, as like Portland, DC played 2 nights before this time in Chicago against the Fire. United looks set to be missing their starting goalkeeper, Bill Hamid as he picked up an injury late in the first half against the Fire. DC has called in their third goalkeeper, Joe Willis, and apparently also called in MLS pool keeper, and former Wizard, Chris Konopka as well. Combine that with Steve Cronin not showing incredibly well and it seems like it could be a virtual toss up for who starts in goal for DC tomorrow in net. The questions could certainly be something that works to the advantage of Sporting tomorrow.

KC themselves are coming in on short rest as well, having played Portland on Wednesday night. The team will have designated player, Omar Bravo is back for selection after sitting out Wednesday's game for his red card against Seattle. Jeferson, the team's other DP looks like he's set to miss his second straight game with injury. That gives KC a few different options in the midfield for tomorrow's game. Peter Vermes could slot Bravo in the midfield leaving his front 3 from Wednesday the same. Or he could go with the same midfield as on Wednesday night, pairing Roger Espinoza, Graham Zusi, and Milos Stojcev together. Finally, Vermes could go more defensive putting on Birahim Diop in place of Stojcev, who wasn't horrible but showed his drastic one leggedness again on Wednesday night.

Myers - Cesar - Besler - Sinovic
Zusi - Espinoza - Stojcev
Kamara - Sapong - Bravo

Number to Remember - 2 - That's the number of points between KC and DC. That's the difference between an automatic playoff spot and being out of the playoffs right now.

Key Match Up - Roger Espinoza vs Dwayne De Rosario - De Rosario is on his 3rd team of the team of the year, but even so he is putting together an MVP season. Shutting him down tomorrow is going to be the main key. If Espinoza can shut down the Canadian, KC should be able to control this game.

PREDICTION - This game is incredibly important for KC. During the course of my writing this post, Houston grabbed a win over RSL and has taken over second place in the East, bumping Philadelphia to 3rd and KC to 4th. Although at this moment Houston has played 2 more games than KC, I'd rather have the points in hand already. KC would still jump into second place with a win. DC's goalkeeper situation I think is going to play a very big role in the game. Hopefully KC will once again take advantage of a team on less rest than they are.

SKC - 2 (Bravo, Kamara)
DC - 1 (Wolff)

No comments: