Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The Road Trip Begins

For the second year in a row, Sporting KC gets to make a "fun" two game road trip going from one coast to the other.  Last year Sporting played Seattle to a 1-1 draw before getting beat by Philadelphia 4-0 on a Wednesday/Saturday road trip that saw them on both coasts in a 4 days span.  KC gets to do that again this year starting tomorrow in New York.  Sporting will play the Red Bulls at Red Bull Arena before heading out to LA to take on the Galaxy at the Home Depot Center. Hopefully the road trip goes better than last year's that saw KC suffer their biggest loss of the season.

New York comes into the game on the back of a nice 2-0 win on the road against DC United.  While United has not been playing well at all lately, it is still a good win for New York to get them going.  It was their second win of the season.  Thierry Henry scored his second goal of the season while Jamison Olave scored his 3rd.  Luis Robles picked up the shutout, but this after a performance in Chicago that called the goalkeeper into question.  With Kevin Hartman on the roster if Robles doesn't play well Hartman could find himself starting again.

Kansas City had the weekend off, giving the team a chance to get over some knocks that the team's picked up over the past few weeks.  Meanwhile, Claudio Bieler has avoided any action from the league's disciplinary committee after his elbow/forearm on Brandon McDonald in KC's last game.  So let the Sporting KC/LA Lakers comparisons begin according to McDonald. So KC's leading scorer will be available for selection.  The question heading into the game is whether Peter Vermes is going to do a little squad rotation to rest a few guys with a cross country flight coming on Thursday for another game Saturday.  After having a week off though I'm not sure we'll see much rotation.

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

Number to Remember - 4 - Kansas City hasn't lost to New York in their last 4 attempts.  Kansas City has two wins and two draws against New York in that stretch.  A win and a draw in New York at Red Bull Arena.  Sporting will be looking to continue that streak.

Key Match Up - Aurelien Collin vs Thierry Henry - Henry has called the Collin/Besler partnership the best in the league.  Collin will be the one that will be looking to shut down Henry for most of the night tomorrow in New York.  He's done a good job previously for KC (he's also been helped by Henry not playing in one game and getting an early shower in another).

PREDICTION - With the cross country road trip starting, getting a point from at least the start of the trip would be a good thing.  With them on the road as well KC may actually get a bit more of an open game than they usually get when they're on the road. KC will be looking to continue they're shutout streak that they have going on currently, but I'm not sure KC gets out of New York without conceding a goal.

SKC - 1 (Bieler)
NY - 1 (Henry)

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