Friday, March 21, 2014

Match Day 3: Full Focus on League Now

With KC's departure from the CONCACAF Champions League, Sporting KC turn their full focus to the MLS season and Saturday's opponent, San Jose. The Earthquakes like Sporting bowed out of the competition, falling on penalty kicks to Toluca.

San Jose, like Sporting has had a full schedule early in the season. While they were off the first weekend of the season, they'll be playing their 4th game in 12 days, while KC plays it's 5th in 15 days. The Earthquakes rested a few of their regular starters, including center back, Victor Bernardez. The question may be who starts up top for the Quakes. All three of their main forwards, Chris Wondolowski, Alan Gordon, and Steven Lenhart, all played a role in Wednesday night's game and Wondolowski is coming off an injury. So the forward line for San Jose tomorrow could be interesting.

Sporting has their own team selection issues to deal with tomorrow after the trip to Mexico City. So far Matt Besler, Benny Feilhaber, and Eric Kronberg have started every game, with Besler and Kronberg playing every minute. Resting any of them wouldn't be a surprise heading into the game tomorrow. A few names that should be expected to play though are Aurelien Collin and Seth Sinovic, who both did not play in Mexico City. Another question though is the health of Chance Myers, who is still listed as quesitonable, if he can't go, that leaves Kevin Ellis who went 90 minutes in Mexico City and Mechack Jerome who went 47 and started last weekend against Dallas as well. That could make for some very tired legs on the right hand side of KC's defense tomorrow. But there could be another debut for KC tomorrow as Antonio Dovale's ITC card has arrived and he's available for selection now as well.

Ellis - Collin - Besler - Sinovic
Olum - Rosell
Zizzo - Dwyer - Sapong

Key Match Up - Aurelien Collin vs Steven Lenhart - This is a match up that a few years ago was a heavy weight fight at Sporting Park. It was fun to watch. I'm not sure Lenhart starts tomorrow after starting on Wednesday for the Earthquakes, but if he gets on the field, this match up should be just as fun to watch again.

Number to Remember - 8 - That's the number of straight home games in all competitions KC has gone without a loss against the Earthquakes. The last loss was August 14, 2004, which is the last time that either of these two teams have won away from home in this series.

PREDICTION - With both teams heading into KC on the backs of grueling games in Mexico at elevation, it doesn't bode well for tomorrow to be an exhibition for the "beautiful game." This game is likely to be a slow, plodding game as both teams are finishing up a very busy stretch of their season. This game is going to be decided by one goal if there's a goal at all.

SKC - 0
SJ - 0

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