Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Bigger Than Friday

With the 1-1 draw against Philadelphia on Friday and the way other results went this past weekend for Sporting KC, the Wizards face a game that's become even bigger than Friday's game. The team the Wizards are tied with for second place, the Columbus Crew come to KC for a Wednesday night league game. The Crew arrive in KC after losing 1-0 late to the LA Galaxy, on the weekend. The Crew haven't won since August 20th when they beat the Union 2-1. Since then they've lost 4 and tied 1. The game is a chance for Sporting KC to negate the loss earlier in the year and even the head to head tie breaker should that be needed in the playoff chase. The Crew also have two of their best players listed as questionable on the latest injury report, Eddie Gaven who has already missed a bit of time lately, and captain, Chad Marshall, who has also missed a few games, but not as much as Gaven.

Sporting need to get 3 points out of this game plain and simple. A loss or a point will definitely start to hurt KC as other teams start to catch up on those games in hand on KC that Philly and DC have. Dropping more points at home is not an option. A win would see KC jump back up to the top of the Eastern conference, this time all on their own. KC could have an injury issue of their as midfielder, Roger Espinoza could possibly miss out due to a quad strain. Him missing out could cause some changes to the potential lineup. I figure we'd probably see the same lineup that started the second half against Philadelphia except for CJ Sapong starting over Teal Bunbury, but if Espinoza can't go, I could see Jeferson back into the midfield with Graham Zusi dropping into the box-to-box role again.

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

Number to Remember - 3 - That's the number of points that separate KC from DC United, currently DC United is outside the playoffs looking in. If you needed a bigger point to think this is a must win for KC, it's right there. Also with the number 3, after tomorrow, DC will have 3 games in hand on Sporting KC, 3 games to pick up the 3 to 6 points KC could be ahead of DC after tomorrow's game. Again tomorrow is HUGE.

Key Match Up - CJ Sapong vs Chad Marshall - If the Crew has their captain available tomorrow, Sapong is going to have to be on his game tomorrow against the former defender of the year. Sapong though should be a handful for Marshall and will be an interesting match up to watch.

PREDICTION - As said earlier, this is a must win for KC if they had designs of being one of the top 3 teams in the East. DC is peaking at the right time while Philadelphia and Houston are starting to see their form improve. KC is going to need to get their points at home and that needs to start tomorrow. The Crew haven't been playing too well of late, but are likely going to play a defensive line similar to Philadelphia's last Friday. The Crew will try to contain KC's early pressure. It'll be important for KC to try to get an early goal and force the Crew out of that defensive shell.

SKC - 2 (Bravo, Kamara)
Cbus - 0


Nathan Martin said...

Agree that CJ should be and, hopefully, will be back as a starter.

A bit unsettling that the #10 spot is still unsettled this late in the year. I know that Cesar has played well, but I still prefer the mobility of Zusi and Espinoza along the back line.

I suspect that taking Jeferson out of the midfield has been almost as much a positive as putting Cesar into the midfield.

Ideally, I'd like to get second half look at Peterson as a #10...in a victory.

hartley said...

Hmmm. I really think the defense is better with Cesar at center back. But if PV starts Collin there and Cesar as dmid, I hope he leaves that part of the lineup alone. This is all dependent on whether Espinoza can play tonight or not. It might be good to sit him if there is any question, so he can come back at San Jose.

I might actually prefer to start Cesar along Besler with Collin on the bench. Then start Arnaud in the midfield with Zusi and Jeferson. Then bring on Joseph for Jeferson at about 60.