Friday, July 06, 2012

Revenge With an Eye Towards Wednesday

Sporting KC are back to league action tomorrow night when they host a rematch of the 2011 Eastern Conference Finals against the Houston Dynamo.  KC continues their busy schedule of this coming Wednesday's US Open Cup semifinal in Philadelphia.  And while KC likely has one eye on that game, they  can't completely overlook the Dynamo tomorrow night at LSP.

The Dynamo currently sit 8 points behind Sporting, currently occupying the last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.  Since the opening of their new stadium, Houston is 4-2-4.  Will Bruin is having a very good second season for the Dynamo and has passed CJ Sapong to lead last year's draft class in goals.  He has Brad Davis setting him up with crosses into the box and off of free kicks to help provide the service.

The question for KC at this point is if they rest some starters ahead of the match up Wednesday in the Open Cup.  With Teal Bunbury and Kei Kamara both not going the full 90 on Wednesday it could be a possibility that they both keep their spots in the starting lineup, while Sapong gets a break from starting ahead of Wednesday in favor of Jacob Peterson.  The good news for KC is that Aurelien Collin has gone 3 games without a yellow, knocking one off of his record ahead of this match.  The only other change is I expect Julio Cesar back into the lineup ahead of Paulo Nagamura.

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

Number to Remember - 2 - Kansas City has won their last 2 league games at home against the Dynamo, 4-3 in the last year at CAB in the memorable comeback, and 3-0 last year in league play at LSP.  Those have been the first two league wins at home over Houston in KC's history.

Key Match Up - Aurelien Collin vs Will Bruin - Bruin is leading the Dynamo in goals with 9 goals this season.  With Collin now off the suspension with his next yellow, Collin has the ability to a little more physical.  With Bruin having taken over much of the starting duties from Brian Ching, Collin is likely to be tasked with shutting down Bruin.

PREDICTION  - I'm excited about this game tomorrow and the opportunity at some measure of revenge against the Dynamo.  But my mind is also already looking towards Wednesday and the Open Cup semifinal.  The other thing is that KC's performances lately haven't exactly instilled a lot of confidence right now.  KC has won 1 of the last 4 league games and didn't exactly look stellar while doing it against the Impact.  KC's finishing needs to be better if they want to not only beat the Dynamo, but make their first cup final since 2004.

SKC - 1 (Kamara)
HOU - 1 (Bruin)

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