Thursday, September 26, 2013

Sporting Take on Philadelphia

Sporting Kansas City return home to Kansas City for their second to last home game of the season. With just five games left in the season (two at home three on the road), KC really is in a strong position in the final run in for the season. They're on the verge of a playoff birth and could be within a point of clinching if they win tomorrow and get other results to go their way this weekend. But the first thing they have to do to get to that point is top the Philadelphia Union at Sporting Park.

Philadelphia come into this game on a slide that has seem them fall out of a playoff position. The Union haven't won in five league games. In that stretch, the Union have lost three times and drawn twice, they've also scored just a single goal in that stretch (in a 5-1 loss to New England). They're fighting for their playoff lives though, they're currently one point behind fifth place New England in the last playoff spot. Their leading scorer Jack McInerney has actually had some issues finding the net lately.

Sporting KC form wise is the opposite of Philadelphia lately. KC has won their last three league games and are unbeaten in their last five when including the Champions League games. While the last two games haven't shown the best the team has to offer they are getting results. The team looks set to welcome back Claudio Bieler and Oriol Rosell who both missed the game this past weekend in Toronto with different injuries. Both though look set to be back in the 18, if not the starting lineup tomorrow. Paulo Nagamura though will not be back. Meanwhile, the question on whether Aurelien Collin will be allowed to play appears to have been answered with silence. While Toronto fans won't be happy about it, the lack of an announcement today regarding Collin seems to point to him being eligible. Since the disciplinary committee started up, I don't recall a situation where a suspension has been "publicly" handed down the day of the game. Usually the DisCo makes the public announcement of the suspension a day or two in advance. With that window gone I'd be surprised if Collin isn't available for selection tomorrow.

Myers - Collin - Besler - Sinovic
Feilhaber -Zusi
Sapong - Bieler - Saad

Number to Remember - 1 - The number of goals that Philadelphia have scored in their last five games, that one goal came in a 5-1 dismantling by New England. It's also the number of league shutouts that KC has in the last five league games.

Key Match Up - Aurelien Collin vs Conor Casey - The physical match up tomorrow is going to once again fall to Collin. Him and Casey have matched up in the past and they've been fun match ups to watch. Collin though is one game away from another suspension due to yellow card suspension.

PREDICTION - This is a game that KC should really win this game, there's no reason not to. KC is on form right now while Philadelphia is in a slump at the moment. Their offense hasn't been doing well at all lately. Meanwhile KC looks like they might be getting another goal scorer into form as CJ Sapong has three goals in his last two league games. With Kei Kamara gone, the goal production needs to pick up from somewhere so hopefully Sapong can keep it up.  Down the stretch though, KC is going to need their designated player, Bieler to get back on the scoreboard regularly. But for tomorrow, the two teams are headed in opposite directions and KC should be able to continue moving up at home.

SKC - 2 (Saad, Sapong)
PHI - 0

1 comment:

Nathan Martin said...

So it is Nagamura's ankle: worrisome.

The injury report is now on page 15 of 63 of the media guide: previously was in match preview.

Shouldn't be a problem for Feilhaber & Zusi in the midfield at home against Philly.

However, top teams, especially on the road, will be able to exploit the space behind a non-Nagamura 2nd midfielder.