While Dayton has won their 3 US Open Cup games so far, beating two PDL sides (Chicago Fire PDL and Michigan Bucks) and one MLS side (Columbus), they have struggled in league play. Dayton is 1-7-5 in league play though, winning their first league game of the season this past weekend. While Sporting KC was losing 4-0 at Philadelphia, the Dutch Lions were beating the Wilmington Hammerheads 4-0 in league play. Forward Eli Garner scored 2 of Dayton's goals in the win. He's also their leading scorer currently in the Open Cup with two as well.
Sporting KC has decisions to make with their lineup, this is their 4th game in 11 days, and they have a 5th in 14 on Friday when they play Chicago. Peter Vermes will likely have to make a few changes to the lineup in preparations for the busy league schedule. Eric Kronberg could be set to make his first start of the season after missing the majority of the season so far with injury. But Vermes could decide to play Jimmy Nielsen since he'll have to use one of his international slots on the Dane. Matt Besler also looks set to make his return to the Sporting KC team, at a time when KC's defense could really some support after the 4-0 beating. The question is if Aurelien Collin or Lawrence Olum will make way for Besler to come back in. I think that Collin is the one that needs the break as he's seemed to be a little off the last few games. I expect that Michael Thomas and Peterson Joseph could also make returns to the starting lineup as well.
Myers - Olum - Besler - Harrington
Thomas - Espinoza
Peterson - Saad - Sapong
Number to remember - 270 - The reason for this number has already been stated.
Key Match Up - Sporting KC Defense vs Dayton attack - KC's defense allowed 4 goals on the weekend, while the Dayton offense scored 4. The Sporting KC defense needs to get their act together, and shutting down an attack that is coming in off a high is a tough ask.
PREDICTION - The good news is that KC got the let down result out of the way before this game against Dayton. The 4-0 loss to the Union on Saturday may be the wake up call for KC that helps them avoid the banana peel that is this game. Vermes said after the Union game that the team "just weren't ready for the game. That's my fault and I'll make sure it doesn't happen again."
I truly believe him when he says that. And because of that quote, part of me things that KC is going to come out and destroy Dayton tomorrow. But with the congested schedule and the game against Chicago on Friday, KC may sit back a little bit, but they should still be able to take care of business.
SKC - 2 (Saad, Peterson)
DDL - 0