Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Match Day 19 - Travel Woes Done, Time to Continue a Busy Stretch

Sporting KC had quite a bit of trouble getting to Columbus for tomorrow's game against the Crew. After a flight delay to DC, the team split up and headed to Chicago and New York. The Chicago crew, including the coaches made it to Columbus later in the day Monday. The group that went to New York though weren't so lucky. More delays and a cancellation later and that group was stranded in New York for the night. The team finally made it to Columbus early this afternoon. So they'll be on the ground a little more than 24 hours ahead of tomorrow's game against Columbus.

Columbus is coming into the game after a performance that was dubbed their "worst of the season." They were beaten 4-1 by the New York Red Bulls with Thierry Henry being involved in all four goals, scoring one and assisting on three. They also lost forward Jario Arrieta to an injury that will keep him out of tomorrow's game for the Crew. They will have defender Bernardo Anor available as his red card that he picked up against the Red Bulls was rescinded today by the Disciplinary Committee. The Crew will also be welcoming back their pair of Costa Rican World Cup veterans, Giancarlo Gonzalez and Waylon Francis for the game tomorrow which will be a boost to their defense.

Kansas City continued their current unbeaten run, which reached four games after the win against the Impact. It's also surprising to be writing a write-up for one of KC's games and really not mention much in the way of injuries. Other than Eric Kronberg's injury and Paulo Nagamura being questionable, Sporting appears to be as healthy as they are going to get at this point. That's certainly a good thing heading into a busy part of the schedule that will see them add another competition to their schedule in August. And while there hasn't been any more additions, there's still the talk of the international player Robb Heineman mentioned a few weeks ago.

Juliao - Collin - Besler - Sinovic
Feilhaber - Olum
Saad - Dwyer - Dovale

Number to Remember - 1 - That's the number of wins that the Crew have in their last 15 MLS games. That's right, they're 1-6-8 in their last 15 MLS games. That's after they started the season with a 3-0 record.

Key Match Up - Andy Gruenebaum vs Columbus attack - The former Crew starting goalkeeper returns to Columbus for the first time as a visitor. The Crew have been struggling offensively, scoring just three times in their last five games. Gruenebaum is sure to have a bit of a point to prove.

PREDICTION - This is a game that KC should be able to win. They are one of the best road teams in the league this year. Meanwhile the Crew have the 1 win in 15 run that I've spoken about. Even with the travel delays, KC should be able to get something out of this game. It might not be the win many are hoping for though. With Gonzalez back most likely in the center of defense, he's going to make it tough on Dom Dwyer and Kansas City to really get the chances they'll want. This also feels a bit like a trap game. Columbus has to bust out of this poor slump at some point, and they may have hit rock bottom with that loss to New York. The loss in particular scares me heading into tomorrow.

SKC - 1 (Collin)
CLB -  1 (Higuain)

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