Saturday, May 26, 2012

Sporting Need to Right Ship

Sporting Kansas City are back in action tomorrow against San Jose in their final league match for two weeks due to the upcoming international break.  Before they reach the break, they'll look to end their 4 game winless streak back at home.  For the 4th time during their winless streak, KC is taking on a team that is coming in on shorter rest than KC.  Montreal, Chicago, Colorado and now San Jose have all played the Wednesday before KC take them on.  KC has gotten 1 point out of the 9 available so far from those games. 

San Jose is a little short handed for this game, especially at the striker position.  First, San Jose is without leading scorer, Chris Wondolowski and his 11 goals as he is in Jacksonville with the US national team.  They are also without second leading scorer, Steven Lenhart, who picked up a yellow against Los Angeles on Wednesday and will have to sit out Sunday's game due to yellow accumulation.  The Lenhart v Aurelien Collin match up last year was intense and the highlight of last year's game at LSP.  San Jose still has plenty of talent in the midfield though that will cause trouble for KC, including Marvin Chavez and Simon Dawkins. 

Kansas City had 3 players called up for national team duty late last week/early this week, but all 3 will be available on Sunday.  Graham Zusi did not make the final cut on the US roster, while Roger Espinoza and Kei Kamara are leaving for duty after the game tomorrow.  All 3 being available is certainly a boost for Kansas City's chances this weekend, and I expect all 3 to play a role.  The thing KC also has to watch out for is that they have an Open Cup game on Tuesday against a very dangerous Orlando City team that already has many KC fans worrying about a repeat of last year's Richmond Kickers' game at LSP.  Peter Vermes is well aware of the dilemma and does have his eye on Tuesday as well.  Still I expect Kansas City to field their full first team in the league game tomorrow against San Jose, even though the Open Cup is still the easiest path to the CONCACAF Champions' League. 

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

Number to Remember - 16 - That's the number of goals San Jose is missing from their lineup tomorrow.  Eleven for Wondoloski and another 5 for Lenhart.  The rest of San Jose's roster has scored 10 goals this season, 4 of those through Alan Gordon.

Key Match Up - Bobby Convey vs San Jose - Convey didn't exactly endear himself with many people in San Jose on his way out of town.  This will be the only opportunity for Convey to play his former team in a match this year and you would want him ready to step up and have a big game.  Especially after Convey got moved to the left back position by Frank Yallop.

PREDICTION - With KC having all 3 of their internationals available, and San Jose being without Wondolowski and Lenhart, KC should win this game.  KC has traditionally not done well against teams that are undermanned, but they have done better since Vermes took over the coaching duties.  This is a game that KC has to win, the team needs to get back to winning ways ahead of the layoff.  Against a San Jose team that doesn't have first choice strikers, now is the time.

SKC - 2 (Kamara, Bunbury)
SJ - 0

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