Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Short Turn Around

Sporting Kansas City is back at it tomorrow against the Seattle Sounders at Sporting Park in a rematch of last year's US Open Cup final. Both teams are coming into the game on short rest, Sporting at least will have not had to travel, although they'll have one less day of rest.  Seattle played in Philadelphia on Saturday earning a 2-2 draw while Kansas City took care of Chivas USA 4-0.

Seattle is coming into the match a little undermanned.  They're going to be without two of their designated players, Obafemi Martins and Sharlie Joseph are both currently injured as well as Steve Zakuani.  Then they'll be without two more starters who are suspended for this match.  Both Lamar Neagle and DeAndre Yedlin picked up red cards in their draw with Philadelphia and will be suspended for this match.  As I mentioned earlier today though, they will have Eddie Johnson available, he saw no suspension from the disciplinary committee for his knee to Antoine Hoppenot which had earned him a yellow in the game.  The Sounders will also have Osvaldo Alonso back, he missed the teams game in Philadelphia last weekend.  The Sounders have had a less than stellar season so far.  They currently sit in last place in the Western Conference, and 18th of 19 teams in the league with only 6 points from their first 7 games.

Sporting KC will have absences of their own for the game tomorrow.  Paulo Nagamura is suspended for his stepping on the hand of Edgar Mejia.  Kansas City though will also be without at least one if not two other starters. Matt Besler looks set to miss his second straight game with a minor MCL injury while Chance Myers could also miss the game after he missed the weekend game with a strain. Sporting comes into the game on the backs of their biggest league win in over 3 years since they beat DC United in the 2010 opener.  The offense has woken up and the defense looked solid without two starters in the lineup.  The question for Sporting KC is how they'll do against a team that's lineup to put up a bit more of a fight than Chivas did.

Jerome - Collin - Opara - Sinovic
Rosell - Joseph
Zusi - Bieler - Peterson

Number to Remember - 8 - While KC won the US Open Cup last year against the Seattle Sounders on a penalty kicks, the game officially goes down as a draw.  That means in all competitions, 6 league and 2 US Open Cup, Kansas City is 8 games without a win against the Sounders.  Since the team's first game against the Sounders KC has only picked up 2 draws against Seattle, both last year. KC has never gotten a win at home against the MLS version of the Sounders.

Key Match Up - KC attacking midfielder vs Osvaldo Alonso - The question of who is going to play in the attacking midfield spot tomorrow is still in question with the Nagamura suspension and the play of Peterson Joseph against Chivas. Whoever it is will have to deal with the returning Alonso in midfield for Seattle, without Roger Espinoza keeping him busy things will be different this year in the midfield.

PREDICTION - Seattle's form lately has been very bad, but Kansas City can't get complacent with the Sounders.  Seattle has never lost in regulation in Kansas City, and while KC may not play up that point, it's certainly something that's there. But with all the injuries and absences for Seattle, even with KC's own, Sporting should still have enough to take care of business against Seattle.

SKC - 2 (Bieler, Zusi)
SEA - 1 (Johnson)

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