Saturday, March 31, 2012

Back on the Road

Record vs Chivas USA - 6-4-4
Record away - 2-3-2
Last game 7/9/2011 - 1-1 (LaBrocca 30, Bravo 93+)

Sporting KC heads back on the road this weekend, out to LA to take on Chivas USA, continuing their swing of 6 against the Western Conference. Chivas USA has created themselves a stingy defense so far this season. All 3 of their games so far have been 1 goal affairs. Goalkeeper, Dan Kennedy has been having himself a great season so far, coming up big multiple times for Chivas to keep them in games. He did it again last week in Salt Lake, when Chivas picked up their first win of the season against RSL. A surprising result on the road, Salt Lake controlled much of the game, but Chivas' defense stood strong. Former Wizards defender, Rauwshan McKenzie is helping to hold down the center of defense with Heath Pearce. They also have another former player, Ryan Smith on the wing providing, he sent in the cross that led to Chivas' winning goal vs Salt Lake last week.

KC sees the return of Teal Bunbury to the team after a disappointing Olympic qualifying cycle for not just the US, but Bunbury as well, who didn't impress against Cuba as a sub or Canada when he started. The great Teal vs CJ debate can start back up. Tomorrow against Chivas though I just have a feeling Bunbury will get the nod. McKenzie and Pearce are not exactly fast defenders and could definitely be exposed by Bunbury's speed. On the other hand, do you change up the lineup that has won you the last two games, and basically the same lineup that was on the field when KC got their other win this season? Again it's a good problem to have, having multiple options at forward.

Myers - Collin - Besler - Sinovic
Cesar - Espinoza
Kamara - Bunbury - Convey

Number to Remember - 3 - Number of road wins in a row KC has heading into this weekend's game in all competitions. The last time they failed to win on the road was 10/1/2011 at San Jose, a 1-1 draw. The last loss on the road was 9/17/2011 against Salt Lake.

Key Match Up - Chance Myers vs Ryan Smith - Myers is likely going to be matched up with Chivas' new winger, and it should be a familiar match up for Myers. Smith has a lot of good moves, but Myers continues to have some great form. And if Myers can continue to get up field and force Smith to track back more, much of his attacking ability will be nullified.

PREDICTION - On paper this should be a game that KC should win, a high powered offense against a strong defensive team, but one that can be broken. KC fans though should look no further than their own teams history to see how defensive teams can stand up against strong offensive teams, I'm looking at you MLS Cup 2000. Both teams are coming into this with momentum, Chivas on the backs of that big road win, and KC looking to have the best 4 game start in team history. I wanna say we'll be 4-0 after this weekend, but I'm calling a draw.

KC - 1 (Kamara)
CUSA - 1 (Townsend)

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