Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Heading West

Sporting KC heads out west for the second time this season for a two game swing in the Pacific Northwest. That swing starts tomorrow when KC take on the Vancouver Whitecaps at BC Place. The Whitecaps come into the game after a week off. On their last outing the Whitecaps fell to the San Jose Earthquakes, in their first loss, and also the first time that they gave up a goal, as San Jose scored 3 goals in the second half to win 3-1. On the season, the Whitecaps are now 2-1-2, but the offense that everyone expected to score a ton of goals has been misfiring so far. The Whitecaps have only scored 4 goals, and it's been their defense that's stepped up. They'd pitched shutouts in their first 4 games before the loss to San Jose.

Heading into these 2 games in 4 days, KC has not made a lot of changes to their lineups in the first 6 games. In KC's first 6 games, 11 players have played 5,660 of KC's 5,940 available minutes this season. That's 95% of KC's minutes this season. Point being, Peter Vermes hasn't been going to his bench a ton. The other is that he's been sticking with what has worked, it's hard to argue when the team is 6-0. Vermes will be forced into at least one change, as Julio Cesar is set to miss the game with a hamstring injury. That means that Paulo Nagamura is likely to get his first start in a Sporting KC uniform. I also wouldn't be surprised with at least one other change from Vermes. I could see Teal Bunbury getting his second start of the season in place of CJ Sapong, giving the second year man a bit of a break after getting beaten up against RSL on Saturday.

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

Number to Remember - 500 - I posted this last night, but Sporting KC will become the first team to play 500 MLS games tomorrow. KC will hopefully not end the 500 games with a 200-200-100 record.

Key Match Up - Teal Bunbury/CJ Sapong vs Jay Demerit - However KC chooses to line up tomorrow, Vancouver's former US national team defender, Jay Demerit is going to be the one they'll go against. It'll be a tough match up for either player, Bunbury could be the better option, if he can get behind the defense, but man on man Sapong and Demerit could be a fun one to watch.

PREDICTION - This is going to be a tough 4 day stretch for Kansas City and it starts with a rough one in Vancouver. The Whitecaps are yet to concede a goal at home at BC Place this season and have the offensive fire power to strike quickly. The defense is going to have to keep their good play up as Vancouver's firepower is scary, at least on paper. I think KC will do ok on this road trip, but I think the perfect season comes to an end tomorrow.

KC - 1 (Kamara)
Van - 1 (Le Toux)

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