Saturday, November 05, 2011

Time to Step Up

Tomorrow Sporting KC get the chance to qualify for their 3rd MLS Cup in team history when they take on the Houston Dynamo, who will also be looking to qualify for their third final under the Dynamo name. Thursday night, Houston qualified for the conference finals by defeating Philadelphia 1-0 off a Brian Ching goal from a Brad Davis free kick. The last time these two teams met was in KC, where Sporting pulled off a 3-0 win over the Dynamo. The Dynamo are a different team since then. When they played in KC they were winless in on the road for the season. Now they've won 3 straight on the road winning in Dallas, Portland, and Philadelphia. They also have not lost a game since that 3-0 loss to KC. They are 6-0-2 in that stretch, including 3-0-1 on the road. The Dynamo's defense has improved, especially with Geoff Cameron back in the center of defense to help with speed factors.

Sporting is on a nice unbeaten run of their own though. Since a 1-0 loss at Salt Lake the game after the 3-0 win over Houston, KC has gone on a 7 game unbeaten run, going 5-0-2 during that same stretch. Omar Bravo could be back and available after missing the Colorado series through injury. The question is do you mess with a good thing that has come from starting Kei Kamara, Teal Bunbury, and CJ Sapong together. With the size that Houston possesses I lean more towards starting the forwards that took care of business against Colorado. Bring Bravo off the bench if need be, but that forward line gives KC size and pace against the Houston defense, which KC was able to exploit in the other game at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park.

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

Number to Remember - 1 - These two teams have met once before in the playoffs. In the 2007 Western Conference finals the two teams met at Robertson Stadium. That result went the way of the Dynamo winning 2-0.

Key Match Up - Aurelien Collin vs Brian Ching - I'm really looking forward to this match up. This will be a physical match up. Maybe not on the level of the Collin vs Steven Lenhart match up earlier this year, but this will be one to watch.

PREDICTION - Ninety minutes away from a trip to MLS Cup, if you can't get up for this game as a player you need to find a new job. This should be KC's game, but that doesn't mean it's going to happen. KC sports fans seem to get disappointed a lot by their teams, hopefully the Wizards can change that tomorrow with a win and a trip to the finals. The way the team is playing I don't think there is any team that I'm afraid of this team playing, I think KC can beat anyone in the league right now. But I just have a bit of a sinking feeling that won't go away. That goes back to my growing up a KC fan not remembering the Royals World Series, and seeing the Chiefs not win a playoff game since 1993. My feelings aside deep down I feel KC can get the win.

SKC - 2 (Kamara, Zusi)
HOU - 1 (Ching)


Anonymous said...

we are in the FUCKIN CCL with a win tomorrow.

Nathan Martin said...

I brought up the Bravo conundrum in one of your previous posts. In some ways, keeping Sapong would be changing our style to our opponent; Vermes has been against this is the past. I've given this a lot of thought. I would start Bravo. CJ is so much better in the run of play in the middle. However, I think Peter keeps the starting 11 unchanged.

I just want our best to face their best and the rest will be sorted on the field: no strange red cards, PK's, injuries, own goals, etc...

Mike said...

CCL would be fun but matters little in the grand scheme of things. Teams that make the group stage have not done traditionally well in the playoffs.

Anonymous said...

Spoken like a true MUFC fan. Prestige is prestige, kiddo. Traditionally sides that do as poorly as we did in La Apertura don't get shit by season's end.