Friday, August 30, 2013

Need to Start Hitting Form

Sporting Kansas City return home to Sporting Park after three straight games on the road in two competitions. From the MLS side of things, that road trip hasn't gone well at all. Kansas City lost both MLS games in the stretch, falling 1-0 in San Jose and Chicago. While they pulled out a win on the road in Honduras, the team really needs to start turning around their form. Kansas City has lost four of their last five league games, with just eight games left in the season, now is about the time that a team can get hot and ride the run all the way through MLS Cup.

Kansas City's opponent tomorrow, Colorado, is on the opposite end of the form chart right now. The Rapids are on a nine game unbeaten run. During that stretch the Rapids have played just three games on the road, a 4-3 win at Montreal that started the streak and draws in Seattle and LA against Chivas. The other six games of the unbeaten run have taken place at Dick's Sporting Goods Park. Not only has Colorado spent much of the streak at home unlike KC recently, they'll also be well rested. Colorado's last game will be 14 days ago tomorrow when they beat Vancouver 2-0. Colorado will have had more time to get new designated player, Gabriel Torres more integrated with the team with the extended break.

Sporting will play their third game in a little over a week tomorrow in their third different city. Kansas City desperately needs to get a win tomorrow night, most of the Eastern Conference teams around them in the standings have games in hand on Sporting. Losses and KC could find themselves slipping further down the table. Don't expect a lot of squad rotation, but Peter Vermes will be forced to make a decision in one position. Peterson Joseph is suspended for the game due to yellow card suspension. But with Paulo Nagamura returning on Tuesday in KC's win in Honduras, the Brazilian could step right into the starting lineup again in league play. The big question lineup wise for KC is whether Kei Kamara will be able to make a return to KC's lineup. Kamara's presence has been missed desperately on the field for Sporting KC in league play the last two games. Getting him back and his ability to create match up issues for Colorado's back line would be a big bonus for KC tomorrow. Another question that could be asked for tomorrow is whether Dom Dwyer has earned a start over designated player Claudio Bieler. Dwyer has been impressing off the bench lately and in the CCL, while Bieler has not scored since KC's 3-0 win against Toronto. Not sure it happens tomorrow, but much more struggles from Bieler and Dwyer will find himself starting.

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

Number to Remember - 3 - After tomorrow, Sporting KC will have just three league home games left in league play. KC has a number of winable games left this year, especially their home games. They can't afford the slip ups that they've had at home a number of times this year that have led to dropped points.

Key Match Up - Aurelien Collin vs Gabriel Torres - Sporting KC's French defender is one game away from another yellow card suspension, but will likely draw the duty of marking Colorado's designated player. Collin has to avoid a yellow tomorrow night, if he gets one, KC will be down both Collin and Matt Besler for next week's game against Columbus due to Besler's national team call up.

PREDICTION - This is basically a must win for KC tomorrow. They can't afford to drop any more points at home this season. KC needs to get maximum points from all four remaining league games at home. The Rapids are rested heading into the game and in a very good run of form. But KC has to get all three points. A return of Kamara would certainly help in that regard if KC can get the Sierra Leone striker back.

SKC - 2 (Dwyer, Zusi)
COL - 1 (Torres)

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