Friday, August 09, 2013

Needing Some Home Form

After a 2-0 win on the road to open their CONCACAF Champions' League campaign, Sporting KC home to league play where they'll take on the New England Revolution. Home hasn't been a fortress for Kansas City as the team is just 5-4-3 in league play at Sporting Park this year. With the stretch run coming, Sporting is really going to need to start to turn around their home form.  To try to give the home form a kick, Sporting welcome the New England Revolution to town.

The Revolution come into the game tomorrow after having a disappointing result last week, lose 1-0 at home to Toronto FC. Even with the disappointing loss, the Revolution are still only three points out of a playoff spot, and only six points behind KC who currently sit in second. The Revs have had a good season out of home grown player, Diego Fagundez, who leads the team in scoring this season with six goals. They've also been getting good performances lately from Saer Sene who returned from a torn ACL earlier this year.

Sporting KC has a difficult balancing act ahead of them for the game tomorrow. Five players who started against New York last Saturday also started in KC's 2-0 win in Nicaragua on Wednesday. Three of those five, Aurelien Collin, Oriol Rosell, and Seth Sinovic all went 90 minutes in both games. For Collin, that's 3 full 90 minute games in 8 days if you include the All Star game last week. Getting a break for these guys at some point will be necessary. Ike Opara has shown to be quite capable on the back line when filling in, so maybe Peter Vermes gives Collin a bit of a breather tomorrow night. The other question is whether we'll see the return of Graham Zusi to the starting eleven. He's still listed as questionable for tomorrow night's game with his quad injury.

Myers - Opara - Besler - Sinovic
Rosell - Joseph
Kamara - Bieler - Saad

Number to Remember - 0 - That's the number of goals scored by New England in their last 4 meetings against Kansas City. It was also the score for each team when the teams met in New England earlier this year in what was a dreadful game to watch.

Key Match Up - Claudio Bieler vs Jose Goncalves - Goncalves has been putting in a defender of the year performance so far for New England so he'll be up to the task of marking KC's DP. On Bieler's side, he hasn't scored a goal since KC beat Toronto 3-0 almost a month ago. He needs to turn around his recent finishing.

PREDICTION - I don't want to call this game a must win, but a loss for KC puts them just three points clear of missing the playoffs, with a busy part of the schedule coming up. KC needs to get all three points out of this game. The defense needs to shore up their recent play lately and piggyback on the good defensive performance against Real Esteli. New England's a better team than Esteli though and KC will need to take advantage of their chance better than they did against New York last week.

SKC - 2 (Bieler, Opara)
NE - 1 (Sene)

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