Friday, June 21, 2013

Back to Action

After two weeks off, Sporting KC is heading back to league play tomorrow when they take on FC Dallas at FC Dallas Stadium.  Sporting KC's form has been a huge question for KC lately. Kansas City has won just one of their last five league games, and just two of their last seven.  At the same time they've been knocked out of the US Open Cup by affiliate club, Orlando City.

Dallas on the other hand is coming into KC in some good form.  Yes they dropped their last game on the road against Portland, but Dallas as a whole has been extremely strong this season. They are undefeated at home and are allowing just .5 goals per game in those eight home games.  Not the sort of situation that will fill KC fans with confidence after Sporting's ineffectiveness in the offensive third lately. New goalkeeper, Raul Fernandez has done an extremely good job in the Dallas net.  He's been helped by the likes of George John and Matt Hedges in front of him.  Offensively, Dallas should have both Kenny Cooper and Blas Perez back for the game tomorrow.  Cooper missed last week's game due to family issues, while Perez was with the Panamanian national team.  They will be without Jair Benitez, who was suspended by the disciplinary committee for his headbutt on Frederic Piquionne in last week's game.

Peter Vermes has his healthiest roster of the season.  There's no one on the current injury report for Kansas City for the first time this season. Although that may not be totally true, as Chance Myers has not appeared on the injury reports for a few weeks, but has been dealing with a quad injury. But on paper it would appear that Sporting is missing only one player, Mikey Lopez, who is with the US U20 team.  Kansas City will welcome back Matt Besler and Graham Zusi who have returned from national team duty with the US. The question is whether those two will help Kansas City to reverse their current poor form that has seen them win just two of their last seven in all competitions.

Jerome - Collin - Besler - Sinovic
Nagamura - Rosell
Kamara - Bieler - Zusi

Number to Remember - 0 - That's the number of losses that Dallas has at home this season. They're 7-0-1 in league play this season. In fact, Dallas hasn't lost at home since a 1-0 loss to the Galaxy on July 28th of last year.

Key Match Up - Paulo Nagamura vs David Ferreira - Ferreira is one of the most fouled players in the league, while Kansas City has committed close to the most.  Ferreira makes Dallas go, Sporting is going to have to stop him and try to force someone else to beat them tomorrow.

PREDICTION - Dallas' home record and KC's current form does not fill me with confidence heading into this game. The gave the Portland Timbers all they could handle at Jeld-Wen Field this past week. With Besler and Zusi back in the lineup I think Kansas City will be better off than they were without them.  And Kansas City will have 600+ traveling supporters there to support them, but I just don't feel like KC is going to turn their form around tomorrow.

SKC - 1 (Bieler)
FCD - 3 (Cooper, Perez, Ferreira)

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