While KC comes in with a week off, the Impact are set to play their 3rd game in 8 days. They beat the Timbers 2-0 in Montreal last weekend, and then tied Toronto in the Canadian Championship 0-0 on Wednesday. Getting ready to play this weekend, 9 players have started both of Montreal's games, and all but one has played at least 170 of the 180 minutes. That's one less than KC played in their stretch against Salt Lake and Vancouver before their game against Portland. The Impact though, look set to make changes ahead of their trip to Kansas City. Word out of Montreal is that the Impact will have 3 new players in the middle of their defensive half of the field. Jesse Marsch looks set to hand starts to former Italian international, Matteo Ferrari and Hassoun Camara in the middle of defense and Canadian international Patrice Bernier in the midfield. The disappointment in that for KC fans is the likely exclusion of Shavar Thomas. Most KC fans were likely looking forward to seeing CJ Sapong, Kei Kamara, and Teal Bunbury running at the former KC center back. That could certainly change KC's tactics heading into the game.
And all that without talking about the return of one of KC's legends in Davy Arnaud. Arnaud is KC's all time leader in league appearances and one of only 2 players in team history to score 50 goals in all competitions for the club. Arnaud will get a warm reception before and after the game for his service to the club definitely. As a whole I expect him to get some cheers as well while the game is going on as well.
For Kansas City, they are forced to make one change, as Seth Sinovic is out after surgery on his hand, which he broke in the game in Portland. Michael Harrington is set to get the start in his place. And while that may be a bit of a loss defensively, I think Harrington provides a bit more going forward than Sinovic does. I think Harrington will do just fine in replacing Sinovic, having that sort of experience on the bench is a luxury few MLS team's have. The rest of the team is likely to stay the same. The only other potential change that I could see is Bunbury coming in for Sapong. But with Thomas looking unlikely to start for the Impact, I think we'll see Sapong in the lineup.
Myers - Collin - Besler - Harrington
Cesar - Espinoza
Kamara - Sapong - Convey
Number to Remember - 9 - Nine straight games without a loss in league play for Sporting KC at Livestrong Sporting Park. The last loss at home was to FC Dallas back in August. The team has also won their last 6 at home.
Key Match Up - CJ Sapong vs Matteo Ferrari - Ferrari is set to start his first MLS game in his career, but he's no novice, he's played for teams like Inter Milan, Roma, and Everton. But Sapong will be a handful for him in the middle of the field.
PREDICTION - Kansas City is the clear favorite in this game, Montreal is 0-5-1 on the road so far this season, although they did get a point on the road in their last game against DC on the road. Still, this is a game that KC has no business losing. They're at home where they've been damn near unbeatable since LSP opened. While Montreal has some decent talent, they're still an expansion team, and KC should still be able to take care of Montreal.
KC - 3 (Kamara, Zusi, Bunbury)
MTL - 0