Friday, April 13, 2012

Game of the Week... Again

Record vs Real Salt Lake - 6-5-3
Record at home - 4-1-2
Last game - 9/17/2011 - 0-1 (Borchers 54)

Last week against the LA Galaxy, Sporting KC's game was considered the game of the week. This week again at Livestrong Sporting Park, KC will not only play the game of the week again, but they'll play what's been called the game of the season so far against Real Salt Lake. The league is calling the match up the "Quest for the Shield" a little early considering the two teams have 29 and 28 games left respectively. So calling it the "Quest for the Shield" is a bit misplaced.

Salt Lake comes into the game having played one more game than KC, 5-1 currently, their one loss a 1-0 defeat to Chivas at home, when Salt Lake ended up dominating play. They come in on the back of a 2-0 win over their Rocky Mountain Cup rivals, Colorado. They could be without two of their main contributors in midfield though, Javier Morales and Ned Grabavoy both limped off in the win against Colorado and look unlikely to participate in the game tomorrow. Even without those two, Salt Lake is still a dangerous team, they still have forwards like Alvaro Saborio and Fabian Espindola. Their defense is still very strong with Jamison Olave and Nat Borchers along with Nick Rimando in goal.

Undefeated with 1 goal allowed, and no shots on goal in almost 250 minutes of soccer, it's unlikely that KC will see any changes to their lineups. KC though is very likely to face a much stiffer challenge tomorrow. The defense is going to have to be on their game. While guys like Chance Myers and Seth Sinovic will need to get into the attack to pressure Salt Lake, they're going to have to be mindful of Salt Lake's counters and their attacks. They're going to have to be defensively sound. Salt Lake is the most balanced team that KC has faced, at the moment the two teams are the best in the league.

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

Number to Remember - 245 - KC's streak without a shot on goal. While the stat is a little misleading as a whole, it's still amazing that an official shot on goal has not been recorded in that long. I've honestly stopped paying attention to the save of the week because Nielsen hasn't been up for it in a while.

Key Match Up - Graham Zusi vs Kyle Beckerman - Zusi is going up against fellow national teamer Beckerman tomorrow. Zusi's going to have to try and find space against one of the better d-mids in the league. It's not going to be easy, but if Zusi can control the game for KC they'll control the game.

PREDICTION - The toughest challenge of the year for KC so far. This should be a good match up on face value. Both teams play an attractive style of soccer and both teams do well passing the ball around the midfield. The weather though could play a factor with their still be the potential for storms in KC tomorrow could disrupt the flow of the game though. As a whole though this has the potential to be the best game you see all season in the league.

KC - 2 (Kamara, Zusi)
RSL - 1 (Espindola)

No comments: