Thursday, September 22, 2011

This Game is Kind of Big

photo courtesy of Jarred Donalson

KC has probably their biggest game of the season to date tomorrow when they take on the Philadelphia Union at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park. One point separate KC and Philadelphia, with the Union having a game in hand on KC. The Union are coming off of a big home win over the East leading Columbus Crew 1-0 last weekend. A big win for them in closing the gap against the Crew. The Union will still be without their starting goalkeeper and captain, Faryd Mondragon who is still out with a broken finger, so 20 year old Zac MacMath will once start in goal for the Union. The rookie has picked up shutouts in Philly's last two games, a win and a draw. Philadelphia has spent most of the month at home so it'll be interesting to see them back on the road.

The Wizards are back at home after the 1-0 loss out in Utah against Salt Lake. The team continues to get healthier as Davy Arnaud continues to get match fitness back, and Luke Sassano has gotten back into full training. Back at home the question becomes how KC changes their game plan. While KC had some high pressure against Salt Lake on the road, it wasn't to the extent of their pressure at home. I expect that KC will come out with the high pressure that has become a staple of their home performance. The question with that is whether we'll see changes to the lineup that took the field against RSL. Does Peter Vermes re-insert someone like Jeferson, dropping Aurelien Collin to the bench and have Julio Cesar drop back to the center of defense with Matt Besler again? That seems possible, Collin was less than impressive against Salt Lake. Or Vermes could leave the lineup the same with Roger Espinoza playing more in Graham Zusi's box-to-box role with Zusi playing in the attacking midfield spot.

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

Number to Remember - 1 - Number of points KC is in front of Philadelphia, number of points that KC is behind Columbus for first place. With the Crew hosting the best team in the league, LA, KC has a chance to be able to jump to the top of the East with a win over Philadelphia.

Key Match Up - Aurelien Collin/Matt Besler vs Sebastien Le Toux - An MVP finalist last year, Le Toux is starting to find his form, as he now has 7 goals on the season for the Union, scoring 4 of those in the last 4 games for the Union. Shutting him down is going to be a big key for KC.

PREDICTION - Another big game at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park, the 2nd of 3 straight big games with Columbus visiting on Wednesday. KC can make a statement heading into the final games of the season, if they want to be considered a true playoff caliber team and one able to do something once there, they need to get three points out of this game. A loss here makes things extremely interesting for KC's playoff hopes, especially getting one of the top 3 seeds. Philadelphia is likely to come out a bit more defensive, but KC's pressure has been able to break down stingy defensive teams already this season and should be able to get a few tomorrow to bring home the 3 points.

SKC - 2 (Kamara, Bravo)
PHI - 1 (Mwanga)


Anonymous said...

So is Chance officially ok to play?

Mike said...

He's probable on the latest injury report.

Justin said...

Very good good breakdown. I agree with the score line, too. Lineup will definitely be interesting tonight. I think Collin will start, even though I prefer Cesar teaming up with Besler.

hartley said...

With another game coming up quickly, my guess is that Myers starts on the bench. And though your lineup doesn't show it, good call with Collin on the bench and Cesar at central defense.

Might we see other tweaks? Might we see Davy instead of Omar at outside forward? Or a tall strong front line of Kei, Teal and CJ? Could we see Joseph come on as a sub late?

Vermes has some good problems.