Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Sporting Close Out Group Play

Today at 5pm CST, Sporting KC close out the group phase of the Disney Pro Soccer Classic in Orlando against the Vancouver Whitecaps. The Whitecaps are currently 2-0 in the group and have booked their spot in Saturday's final against the winner of the other group. Kansas City still has a chance to play on Saturday in the consolation game.

Kansas City is currently on 2 points from their two draws, while Montreal and Houston each have a point. A win over the Whitecaps puts Kansas City into the consolation game. A draw will put them in if Montreal and Houston also tie their game. A loss would possibly also get KC into the consolation game as long as it's a 1-0 loss, and Montreal-Houston draw 0-0. (I'm assuming the tie breakers in order are head-to-head, GD, goals for, which would see KC advance because GD would be -1 for KC, -1 for Houston, -3 for Montreal, and goals for would be KC 1, Houston 0). A 1-1 draw between Montreal and Houston, then who knows.

I've seen some comments on Twitter that seem to imply that the Whitecaps will play a more reserve squad in today's game. I would have expected KC to put out a first team lineup for this game considering KC had the reserves play on Sunday. But it's completely possibly we'll see the reserves play again. One player that won't be there is Roger Espinoza, who is away on international duty. But as I posted Sunday, it appears that Kei Kamara did not travel to Sierra Leone for his countries African Cup of Nations qualifier. If KC does play a first team lineup, I'd expect Paulo Nagamura to replace Espinoza in the midfield next to Luke Sassano and Graham Zusi.

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