Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Final Trip West

This Wednesday marks the 14th game of the season for KC, and the final game against the Western Conference.  KC has already played 8 of the 9 teams in the West and will finalize that part of the season with the trip back to the Pacific Northwest.  KC close out the Western Conference playing the Sounders at Century Link Field tomorrow.  The final 20 games of the season for Sporting will be against the East.  So far, KC has only lost once to Western opposition, to the Portland Timbers.  Currently KC is 6-1-1 vs the East, and 2-1 when they've had to travel all the way to the West Coast.

Seattle comes in to the game on the back of a very disappointing 4-1 loss in Montreal against the Impact.  A disappointing result that was compounded by the red card to Jhon Kennedy Hurtado.  The Sounders have suffered from injury issues in their defensive third during their current 0-3-2 run.  They were struggling so badly that against the Impact, the Sounders had to have Roger Levesque and Mike Seamon on the bench as defensive subs.  Against KC though, the Sounders will be getting Patrick Ianni and Leo Gonzalez back from injury so the defensive depth will help a little.  They will also have Osvaldo Alonso, the new US citizen back from his two game suspension handed down by the disciplinary committee.

KC are in the second game of a very congested stretch of the schedule.  After playing Saturday vs Toronto KC traveled to Seattle and from there they'll travel to play Philadelphia on Saturday before heading home for their Open Cup game against Dayton.  Peter Vermes has hinted at some squad rotation, but I'm not sure if that will happen in the game tomorrow or if Vermes could look more towards resting players on Saturday ahead of the Open Cup match up.  Kei Kamara has returned to the team, and I'm sure he'll play a part in the game, but I'm not sure he'll start, jet lag from flying half way around the world I'm sure is a pain.

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

Number to Remember - 1 - That's the number of wins that KC has against the Sounders in their 3 year history in the league.  The win came in their first match up in Seattle on a long range goal by Davy Arnaud.  Since then, KC has gone 0-5, scoring 4 and conceding 9.  Three of the last four have seen KC lose on very late goals with the winning one coming in the 92nd, 93rd, and 92nd in those three games.  Two of those have come on the road in Seattle.

Key Match Up - Roger Espinoza vs Mauro Rosales - The Seattle captain pulls the strings on Seattle's offense, Espinoza is going to need to help Julio Cesar in shutting down Rosales in their offensive half of the field.

PREDICTION - Seattle has not been a happy place of KC to play the last few years, heart breaking defeats have happened there, late goals have defined this series between the two sides, and while KC has only won one, all of them have been close.  All 6 games in league play, and the 1 US Open Cup game between the two sides since Seattle joined the league have seen the winning team only do so by one goal.  And while Seattle is a little injury hit right now, they're not going to be a push over, their offense is still going to be extremely strong, and KC's going to need to avoid the level of letting the foot of the gas that KC did vs Toronto.  Because if they give as much space and chances that KC gave Toronto, Fredy Montero and Eddie Johnson will punish them.

SKC - 1 (Bunbury)
SEA - 1 (Montero)

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