Friday, September 30, 2011

Getting Closer to Playoffs

Kansas City gets back to action again tomorrow night on the West Coast when they'll take on the Earthquakes in San Jose. While KC has a chance to qualify for the playoffs tomorrow with help, they need to take care of business themselves and win to even have a chance for that to happen. San Jose isn't going to be a push over, they aren't eliminated from the playoffs themselves and will be fighting for their playoff lives, and jobs next year as well. The Quakes just finished a 3 game road trip in Houston, Portland, and Colorado where they only picked up 2 out of a possible 9 on the road. They did win their last game at home, 2-0 over the streaking Chicago Fire. San Jose still has last year's Gold Boot Winner, Chris Wondolowski, but will be without Steven Lenhart due to person reasons, which means we won't get a repeat of the match up with Aurelien Collin from the home game earlier this year.

KC once again has Philadelphia breathing down their neck after the Union defeated DC last night, 3-2. The Union are one point back of KC and still have a game in hand on the Wizards. As for the team, I'm not sure if Davy Arnaud will be able to start two games in a row so close together. We could possibly see Roger Espinoza come back into the lineup, or potentially Jeferson. With a two weeks off before the team's next competitive game, there's plenty of time for guys to recover from tomorrow's game before KC takes on the Red Bulls on October 15th.

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

Number to Remember - 3 - The number of games left in the season. While a win alone won't get KC into the playoffs tomorrow, the 3 points would put KC on 47 points. The record for most points and missing the playoffs is 45 set by the 2005 KC Wizards team, so for historical purposes 3 points should be enough to get KC into the playoffs.

Key Match Up - Matt Besler vs Chris Wondolowski - Wondolowski is a good scorer, a very good one, if Khari Stephenson is playing forward again like he has been lately, Besler is likely going to be the one that marks Wondolowski during the game with Collin marking Stephenson. Keeping Wondolowski off the board is going to be a key for Kansas City to get something out of this game.

PREDICTION - This isn't a MUST WIN for KC, but a win would be absolutely huge for KC. If they can pull out all 3 points in this road game they're likely into the playoffs no matter how the rest of the season turns out. But San Jose has been a tough place for Kansas City to play through the years. Since the Earthquakes came back into the league, the Wizards have been unable to win in San Jose. It's certainly possible that KC will be able to pull it off tomorrow, but it's not going to be easy, and KC has never seemed to do things the easy way this season.

SKC - 1 (Kamara)
SJ - 1 (Wondolowski)

No comments: