Sunday, October 27, 2013

Sporting to Play New England in Playoffs

For about 45 minutes, it looked like Sporting KC was potentially going to pick up some silverware. New York and Chicago were level at 1-1 and that would have been enough to give KC the Supporters' Shield. Unfortunately the second half saw New York score four unanswered goals and win 5-2 to give themselves their first trophy in club history.

The result means that Sporting KC finishes as the second seed in the Eastern Conference. On one hand it's a blessing in disguise for Sporting KC as Sporting's playoff kryptonite, Houston, is the four seed and will host Montreal. They'll play New York if they win. Sporting instead will get the New England Revolution.

The Revolution will host the first leg this coming weekend. Gillette Stadium is apparently fully booked, as the Patriots play at home on Sunday the 3rd, and the University of Massachusetts play Saturday afternoon. That means the playoff game will be sandwiched between the two football games and we'll have lots of football markings on the field. Tickets for the game Saturday are being sold with the start time looking to be 8pm Eastern time, 7pm Central.

Of the match ups that KC could have, I think this fits best for KC. The way the Revolution plays matches up well with KC. The one x-factor for the Revs though is Juan Agudelo who didn't play in KC's matches against the Revs earlier this year. The way he's played he's going to cause KC some trouble, but on paper, Sporting should be able to take this series.

If you're worried about CCL qualification, Sporting can still qualify by just winning this series. If both Sporting and New York advance to the conference finals, Sporting will qualify for the CCL. The reason for this is that the four US CCL spots go to the Supporters' Shield winner, US Open Cup winner, and the two MLS Cup finalists. So if both KC and NY win and then NY wins the series with KC, they'd get two spots, so one would go to the next team in the single table standings, KC.

1 comment:

Nathan Martin said...

In the past 10 games, NE is 5-2-3 scoring 2.0 goals and allowing 1.5. Multiple goals scored in 6 of 10 and allowed in 4 of 10.

SKC is 6-3-1 scoring 1.1 goals and allowing 0.6 goals. Multiple goals scored in 3 of 10 and allowed 0 multiple goal games.

The left side for NE is the weaker link whether it's Tierney or Allston. Hoping that Saad on the left can again draw Farrell, Soares, Goncalves out and central opening space for weak side runs by Sapong or Peterson.

(Kamara's 2 headers account for half of header's NE allowed all season.)

NE has recovery speed on defense, pending Goncalves health. The possession savvy of Bieler as starter or bench option may be more valuable than Bunbury's speed.

Still favor PJ over Olum, especially against NE's mobile attackers coming out of the midfield.

Olum/Rosell concedes too much of the midfield and invites teams up to the back 6, athough clearly have been good a stonewalling teams once there. DC nor Philly had Rowe, Fagundez, Nguyen, etc...

I have enjoyed the comfort level from each guy and each lineup to come out and put own unique stamp on the game within the general system, but not limited to a singular position per se.

PJ is not Olum who is not Feilhaber but depending on the opponent and circumstance each can be very effective. Same with the center forwards Bieler/Dwyer/Bunbury and Sapong/Peterson on the wing.