Friday, March 08, 2013

Sporting Looking to Make it Two

Sporting will play another home opener this week when they travel to Toronto to take on TFC at the Rogers Centre.  With the earlier start, Toronto is moving the game from BMO Field to the larger facility. 

TFC comes into the game on the heals of a 1-0 loss in Vancouver in the opener.  Overall I wasn't that impressed watching them last week, but they were missing a few players as well.  This week it looks like they'll welcome back Luis Silva, last year's first round pick for TFC who impressed quite a bit in a very dismal season.  Julio Cesar looks set to make his TFC debut against his former team tomorrow and should help bring a calming influence to the midfield for Toronto.  The game could also see the return of Stefan Frei who suffered a broken bone in his nose in preseason and hasn't been able to play since.  They also have had a week of practice to help integrate Rober Earnshaw with the team after he started against Vancouver a day after officially signing for the club. The 31 year old former Wales international is likely to be the focal point of the TFC attack.

At the other end the question for Kansas City will be which of the two teams that took the field will show up on Saturday.  Will it be the team that started the game and got out played for the first 30 minutes and was lucky to be down just 1-0?  Or will we see the team that started playing around the 30th minute and really came on in the second half, controlling Philadelphia and grabbing the win? The team hasn't had some of the early injury issues that Toronto has had.  The only injuries really affecting lineup selection at this point are the long term injuries of Teal Bunbury and Jacob Peterson.  I'd expect the exact same lineup to start the game on Saturday in Toronto.

Myers - Collin - Besler - Sinovic
Rosell - Nagamura
Zusi - Bieler - Convey

Number to Remember - 1 - Of the 7 league games KC and Toronto have played in Toronto, all but one has been decided by a single goal.  There are been 3 0-0 draws, 3 1-0 wins for one side or the other, and 1 2-0 win for Toronto. Both teams have never scored in the same game in Toronto.

Key Match Up - Benn Feilhaber vs Julio Cesar - Sporting's new midfielder matching up against their old midfielder.  Cesar is probably going to play a role quite similar to his one with KC sitting right in front of the center backs, which will be the spot that Feilhaber will look to operate in.  Feilhaber will need to try to exploit Cesar's lack of pace and get him pulled out of position which could allow for Paulo Nagamura or Oriol Rosell to get forward into the attack.

PREDICTION - The X-factor in this game is going to be the turf at the Rogers Centre and how that's going to effect the team.  Sporting left for Toronto yesterday so they'll get a training session in Toronto today at the stadium to hopefully give them a chance to learn the field a little bit before the game. Overall while Toronto's improved their team, they still don't impress me a whole lot.  While it is their home opener and I'm sure they'll come out ready to play, this is a game that Sporting should be able to take care of business.  A point is good, 3 points is great. 

SKC - 1 (Bieler)
TFC - 0


Anonymous said...

I think you mean Cesar's lack of "pace" not space.

hartley said...

Whenever Cesar has the ball at his feet, we should pressure him. He gives the ball away many times.

And we should try to pull him away from the back line. He doesn't track back well.

Go Sporting!!