Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Back in Action

Sporting Kansas City have a quick turnaround as they're back in action at Sporting Park when they'll take on the Vancouver Whitecaps tomorrow. It'll be the second of three games in a little over a week for Sporting as after this game they'll head to Chicago to take on the Fire. 

But first they'll have to take on the Whitecaps.  Vancouver comes into the game as the second game of a road trip.  They were in DC on the weekend, earning a 1-0 win at RFK Stadium thanks to a goal from Camilo. The PK certainly had it's questions on whether it was a penalty or not. Vancouver has a nearly identical record to KC, currently 7-5-4 on 25 points, having played one less game than Kansas City has. Camilo is their leading scorer with 9 goals in league play so far this season. Vancouver will be missing two players who will be away representing Canada in the Gold Cup.  Third string goalkeeper, Simon Thomas wouldn't have played a role tomorrow, but forward Russell Teibert has been getting a number of games lately for the Whitecaps. Defender Carlyle Mitchell has been called up by Trinidad and Tobago but according to the preview he'd be available for the game.

KC has to have at least some offensive confidence back after the 3-2 win over Columbus on the weekend.  They finally got back in the win column at home with the win as well. While the offense clicked against the Crew, the defense has surprisingly started to leak goals more. Both goals against the Crew were due to defensive mistakes that need to be cleared up.  CJ Sapong is back from his suspension, but with the way Soony Saad played against Columbus I wouldn't give him his starting spot back. Paulo Nagamura could also return from his injury that kept him out this weekend. But like Sapong I am not sure that Nagamura should get his spot back from Lawrence Olum.  The one other question for tomorrow is whether Seth Sinovic will play. He was subbed out for Kevin Ellis in the 63rd minute against Columbus.  If he can't go, the question of who will replace him falls to two players, Ellis, or Josh Gardner.  After finding himself on the bench ahead of Gardner, if Sinovic can't go, I'd think Ellis is the one who makes the start. Sinovic though has been removed from the injury report.

Myers - Collin - Besler - Sinovic
Olum - Rosell
Kamara - Bieler - Saad

Number to Remember - 2 - This is only Vancouver's second trip to Kansas City.  With the schedule set up in MLS now, Vancouver only comes to KC every 2 years.  The last trip to KC saw Sporting win 2-1.  Both of KC's goalscorers in that game, Omar Bravo and Julio Cesar.

Key Match Up - Matt Besler vs Camilo - Sporting's defense as late hasn't been great, and Camilo is an opportunistic striker.  Mistakes by Kansas City will absolutely be punished by the Brazilian striker.  Besler is going to have keep an eye on the striker.

PREDICTION - Kansas City needs to find consistency, especially at home.  The second home game in a week is a great opportunity for Sporting to do that. They get the Whitecaps in their second game of a two game road trip, certainly tired legs could come into play.  Sporting need to hope the offense continues to produce.

SKC - 2 (Bieler, Kamara)
VAN - 1 (Camilo_

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