Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Road Trip Ends

Sporting Kansas City's 3 game road trip is coming to an end tomorrow in Houston.  Sporting KC make their first trip to BBVA Compass Stadium to take on the Dynamo.  KC comes in having won their last two games on this road trip, both by a 2-0 score line, over Philadelphia and Columbus.  Houston on the other hand had the midweek off last week, but beat DC at home on Sunday, 4-0.

The Dynamo win over 10 man DC United on Sunday, pushing their unbeaten run to 4 games (2-0-2), they also extended their shutout run to over 300 minutes now.  The team has had what's been the minor distraction of the upcoming transfer of Geoff Cameron to EPL side Stoke City, but that ordeal looks to be close to an end, and Houston already looked to be moving on without the player.  Will Bruin has pushed past CJ Sapong for goals in the class of 2011 draft class.  Bruin hit double digits for goals on the season with his goal against DC on Sunday.

After Sporting's big win in the Open Cup last Wednesday, they rested a few starters a little bit against the Crew on the weekend, giving a guy like Graham Zusi a much needed rest and cutting down on the minutes a bit for Sapong and Teal Bunbury.  Per the Sporting Twitter account today, Bobby Convey is back in training and could play a role tomorrow.  This could be big, especially if Jacob Peterson is still out due to his injury he picked up against the Crew.  Peterson is questionable currently with an ankle sprain that he picked up against the Crew.  It's a blow to KC as Peterson has been in some extremely fine form, scoring goals in 3 of KC's last 4 games, all 4 of which KC has won.  His loss could be offset if Convey can play.  If not, expect Bunbury, Sapong, and Kei Kamara to start again up top.  The other loss is that KC will be without midfielder, Roger Espinoza who has now left to join Honduras for the Olympics in London.  This could see Julio Cesar, who seems to have been in the dog house lately, return to the starting lineup, or it could be Michael Thomas starting with Paulo Nagamura.

Myers - Collini - Besler - Sinovic
Nagamura - Cesar
Kamara - Bunbury - Sapong

Number to Remember - 5 - KC is unbeaten in their last 5 games they've played for the first time in one location.  Since losing their first game at Red Bull Arena, Sporting has drawn in Vancouver at Frontier Field, won at Jeld-Wen in Portland, drawn at Livestrong Sporting Park, won at BC Place in Vancouver, and at Saputo Stadium, in their first game at each of those sites.  They'll look to make it 6 and give Houston their first loss at their new stadium.

Key Match Up - Chance Myers vs Mac Kandji - The two were an entertaining match up to watch when the two teams met a week and a half ago in KC.  I'm sure the two will be quite entertaining to watch again tomorrow.

PREDICTION - Kansas City's road trip has taken them from Philadelphia, to Columbus, to Houston.  While Houston is on their 2nd of 3 games in 7 days.  In the heat and humidity down in Houston these things would seem to point to a rather dull, drab game.  Both teams could be a little tired, KC from the travel, and Houston from the one day less of rest compared to KC.  I'm not expecting a ton from tomorrow's game.

SKC - 0
HOU - 0


Anonymous said...

Do you think Julio has been in the dog house lately because of not following captian Jimmy Nielsen? I have noticed the at a few games this season that Jimmy tires to corral the whole team on the filed during injury (read: whiny) times to the opposing team, but Julio seems to blow Jimmy off as he is corraling the team together. His play has been OK but I noticed JImmy emphatically waving everyone together and Julio's body language seems as if he could give a damn.

Nathan W Martin said...

Cesar is in the doghouse because his lack of mobility requires much smarter positioning and anticipation. Whether it was apathy, laziness or a simple misread, he was pulled out of position several times in the run-up to and within the Chicago game. He would then jog back (which at his pace is the equivalent of power walking compared to the other players).

I've said it before, the team would be much better off if another player earned the spot ahead of Cesar. It's possible that two have done so. He can still situationally contribute for the rest of the year: off the bench or as a replacement.

I expect this to be his last year here, though.