After the disappointing draw on Tuesday against Real Esteli, Sporting KC head back to league play and back on the road to face Toronto FC tomorrow afternoon. With six games left in the season, Sporting needs to quickly put the Esteli game behind them and get back to the league form that has seen them win their last two. With the Champions League, Sporting is now unbeaten in four in all competitions.
Toronto comes into tomorrow's game officially eliminated from the playoffs this year. They were officially eliminated last week with their loss to New York and other results going against them. It's been another year of turmoil for Toronto as just today they hired their second GM of the season after firing Kevin Payne a few weeks ago. Toronto will be without a few players, included designated player, Matias Laba with a broken toe and Jonathan Osorio who was suspended for two games. Against New York after Kosuke Kimura was fouled and fell to the ground Osorio went to clear the ball right after the whistle went. It appeared Osorio kicked Kimura in the head if only slightly. That will leave Toronto without tow young players who have been contributors for TFC.
Sporting comes into the game in relatively good shape. They will be without Paulo Nagamura again, who injured his ankle, he'd only just returned from an ankle injury. Chance Myers is no where on the injury report, which is a good thing. KC though does have three players that are in yellow card trouble, Claudio Bieler, Oriol Rosell, and Seth Sinovic are all one yellow away from suspension. Only Bieler has the ability to still get good behavior. While many starters got time on Tuesday against Esteli, I'd expect them all to be ready to go tomorrow against TFC. After having last week off, no reason to expect them not to.
Myers - Collin - Besler - Sinovic
Rosell - Joseph
Zusi - Bieler -Saad
Number to Remember - 11 - That's currently Kansas City's magic number to clinch a playoff spot. Eleven points gained by KC or lost by 6th place Philadelphia and KC is in the playoffs.
Key Match Up - Claudio Bieler vs Steven Caldwell - Bieler got back on the scoring sheet in KC's last league game against Columbus. It was Bieler's first goal since he scored against Toronto back in July. With Kei Kamara gone, more pressure is back on Bieler to be the goal scorer that KC wanted him to be when they signed him.
PREDICTION - Kansas City really needs to take maximum points tomorrow. If they want to end up one of the top two seeds in the East, taking out an opponent at the opposite end of the table is a must. Toronto isn't that good of a team. The Reds are winless in their last 7 MLS games. Their last win was a month and a half ago against New England on the road. Toronto has won just two home games this season, one of which was their 2-1 win over KC in their home opener back in March. I don't think KC falters in Toronto this time.
SKC - 2 (Bieler, Zusi)
TFC - 0