Thursday, May 22, 2014

Match Day 12: Who Needs Center Backs Part 2: Electric Boogaloo

Sporting Kansas City is back at it in league play tomorrow night when they'll take on Toronto FC at Sporting Park. Like Sunday against Chicago, Kansas City continues to have issues with the center back position, and they've been multiplied now by the red card that Erik Palmer-Brown picked up against the Chicago Fire. KC heads into the game without a single true center back available for the game.

Sporting KC's opponent, Toronto comes into the game having picked up their first win since April 5th last week when they beat the New York Red Bulls 2-0. While they'll be without midfielder, Michael Bradley who is with the US national team, and Julio Cesar who has left to join the Brazilian national team, they still have Jermain Defoe up top and his four goals. Toronto has improved their roster from last year when they once again missed the playoffs, but there is still improvement that is needed in their squad.

Sporting's defensive issues look like they'll once again leave KC playing a 3-5-2 on Friday. With Aurelien Collin and Oriol Rosell set to miss out again KC will likely be playing three outside backs in the defensive positions. Chance Myers and Seth Sinovic are two of the three most likely. The third will probably be either Kevin Ellis or Igor Juliao. Ellis was recalled from his loan to Oklahoma City ahead of KC's game in Chicago, and with the Energy not playing until Sunday, Ellis staying with KC through tomorrow's game at least seems likely. And with Juliao seeming more comfortable on the wing Ellis in the middle seems likely. I'd expect the rest of the team to look similar to the team that took the field against Chicago.

Myers - Ellis - Sinovic
Juliao - Nagamura - Peterson
Feilhaber - Dovale
Dwyer - Bieler

Number to Remember - 0 - That's the number of available players for tomorrow that won't dress. Looking through KC's roster, of the 29 players currently listed, four are out injured, three are with their national team, three are currently on loan, and one is suspended.

Key Match Up - Sporting KC defense vs Jermain Defoe - Defoe has to be licking his chops ahead of tomorrow's game against a depleted, makeshift back line. Defoe will punish the mistakes that the back line makes and really hurt KC much worse than Chicago did on Sunday.

PREDICTION - I wasn't expecting much out of last weekend's game in Chicago with the way the back line was. Tomorrow I'm not sure I feel much better. Defoe is a much better forward than Quincy Amarikwa. He won't blow a 1v1 the way that Mike Magee and Dilly Duka did on Sunday. While I think KC's offense can score against the TFC defense, I feel it's going to be one of those games where they're going to have to score multiple goals to win the game cause the defense is going to give up some.

On the other hand Peter Vermes has had more than two days of preparations with the team to get them ready for this game. Including training with the formation that they'll be using and the players in those positions. I'm just not sure KC break their winless streak tomorrow.

SKC - 1 (Dwyer)
TFC - 1 (Defoe)

No comments: