Friday, April 19, 2013

From One Coast to the Other

Only a few days after Sporting KC walked out of Red Bull Arena with 3 points, Sporting will take the field again on the opposite coast against the defending MLS Cup champion, LA Galaxy. 

The Galaxy have spent much of the early season focused more on the CONCACAF Champions League, where they went out in the semifinals to Monterrey from Mexico.  Now they're focused strictly on league play.  Along with the focus on league play, they also have the return of Landon Donovan. Donovan took an extra long sabbatical from the game, but has now returned to LA.  The Galaxy defense has also been playing well, only two teams have allowed fewer goals than the Galaxy's 4.  Omar Gonzalez is the anchor of the Galaxy defense, but with veteran goalkeeper, Carlo Cudicini in net, the Galaxy have upgraded that position as well.

Sporting has arguably already had a successful roadtrip with the win in New York, and anything in LA is a bonus. KC though getting points out of LA would be a dream for KC. The question is how Peter Vermes is going to play the game.  Last year with the cross country road trip Vermes played some reserves in the game in Seattle and played the starters in Philadelphia.  If Vermes follows a similar strategy, we could see some reserves in this game as Vermes would be following the pattern of valuing the games vs the Eastern Conference more.  After having last week off though, I think Vermes is going to stick with the same 11.

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

Number to Remember - 52 - KC has played no other team in league play than the LA Galaxy.  Tomorrow will be the 52nd time in league play that the two teams will meet up.

Key Match Up - Aurelien Collin vs Robbie Keane - Collin got to match up with 1 World Cup veteran already this week in Thierry Henry and tomorrow he gets another one with Keane.  A different type of striker in many ways from Henry, Collin will need to keep Keane in check.

PREDICTION - Flying across country last year didn't do KC any favors in their 4-0 loss to Philadelphia, hopefully going the opposite way across the country will provide better results.  Already getting 3 points has made this road trip a success in some ways. LA's going to be tough and Donovan is rounding back to fitness and always seems to cause KC trouble.

SKC - 0
LA - 1 (Donovan)

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