Friday, June 22, 2012

Across the Country to Play Again

Sporting KC continue their busy stretch of games with a trip across the country.  The day after playing the Sounders in Seattle, KC traveled across the country to Philadelphia where they'll play the Union at PPL Park in Chester.  The brutal stretch of 4 games in 10 days is half over at this time, but the cross country trip isn't fun.

Against Philadelphia will be the second time in three games that KC will play a team with a new coach.  During the international break, Peter Nowak left the Philadelphia Union and was replaced by assistant coach, John Hackworth.  His first game in charge was last weekend when they took on DC United, losing 1-0.  Under Nowak, Philadelphia had traded away two fan favorites in Sebastien Le Toux and Danny Califf and the team's first ever draft pick, Danny Mwanga.  That has soured the fans on the team a little bit.  They still have Freddy Adu, who while still not living up to the high expectations that were laid upon him at 14, is still a danger offensively.  Their other big offensively weapon is Gabriel Gomez, who leads the team currently in goals scored.

Kansas City rested some of their starters on Wednesday on the trip to Seattle, with the assumption being that they'd be ready for this weekend's game against the Union.  After handing a league debut to Michael Thomas, and first starts to Peterson Joseph and Soony Saad it seems likely that the likes of Julio Cesar, Graham Zusi, and Kei Kamara will return to the starting lineup against the Union.  The return of those 3 along with Seth Sinovic should give KC a bit more control of the game that they seemed to lose at times during the game against Seattle.  Peter Vermes though could also have one eye on the game that is coming up on Tuesday in the US Open Cup against Dayton.

Myers - Collin - Olum - Sinovic
Cesar - Espinoza
Kamara - Bunbury - Sapong

Number to Remember - 0 - This is KC's third trip to Philadelphia to play the Union.  So far, there have been zero wins between the two teams in games in Philadelphia.  Philly's first year in the league the two teams tied 1-1.  Last year the teams played to a 0-0 draw at PPL Park.

Key Match Up - Roger Espinoza vs Freddy Adu - Espinoza didn't have a fantastic game going forward against Seattle on Wednesday.  Compared to Muaro Rosales, Espinoza should be able to control Adu in the Philadelphia midfield.

PREDICTION - KC is going to have some tired legs for this game against the Union.  No matter how much rest that Sporting gave to many starters on Wednesday, 3 games in 7 days will wear out even the most fit people.  The Union are 0-4-1 in their last 5 games, 0-1 under Hackworth.  With the rest that Vermes gave to the starters on Wednesday though, I think 3 points are the aim here, 1 point would be acceptable, and 0 points would be a major disappointment.

SKC - 1 (Sapong)
PHI - 0

1 comment:

hartley said...

You are missing Zusi from your lineup. And I think we might see more roster rotation. There's a possibility of resting Myers, Espinoza, and Bunbury to start this one. I would love to see Besler on the bench but doubt we will see him until at least the Dayton match.