Friday, May 22, 2015

Match Day 12: Sporting Visit Their Bogey Team

Sporting KC come off a short week headed into Seattle to take on the Sounders at Century Link Field. After KC's 4-2 win over New England, KC headed to Seattle to take on a team that KC has beaten just one time since the Sounders began playing in the league. KC is 1-7-1 in league play and 1-8-2 in all competitions against the Sounders. KC has gone eight games in league play and now 10 in all competitions without a win against Seattle since taking the first ever meeting between the teams 1-0. That's the longest streak without a win against a team in club history.

Part of the reason that KC has always struggled with Seattle is that they're just consistently a good team, the defending Supporters' Shield champions have a front line that can cause any back line fits with the likes of Clint Dempsey and Obafemi Martins. And even with Martins set to miss out on the game this weekend due to injury, it doesn't make Seattle any less dangerous. They're also a strong defensive team with Chad Marshall enjoying a resurgence here after struggling his last year or two in Columbus. The Sounders are all around a solid team that will cause KC plenty of issues all over the field.

That'll be especially true of a KC team that is still short on players and coming off a midweek game.It appears that KC could get Graham Zusi back in the lineup this week as he has traveled with the team after missing Wednesday's game while recovering from a concussion. KC though will still likely be missing Marcel de Jong, Roger Espinoza, and Seth Sinovic all are still recovering from injury at this point. If Zusi can't start, and I'm not sure he will be able to, KC looks set to likely start the same lineup that started against the Revolution on Wednesday, simply because of a lack of options.

Anibaba - Ellis - Besler - Dia
Nagamura - Feilhaber
Peterson - Dwyer - Nemeth

Number to Remember - 0 - That's the number of games in this series decided by more than one goal. Every game in this series has seen either a one goal win or a draw.

Bonus Number - 5 - That's the number of game winners that Seattle has against KC in stoppage time since 2010. There's a reason that KC fans always dread the final minutes of the game against Seattle.

Key Match Up - Benny Feilhaber vs Osvaldo Alonso - Alonso has been one of the best defensive midfielders in the league since coming in with the Sounders. Doing so has earned him a designated player contract with the Sounders. He'll be matching up against arguably one of the league favorites in the early season for MVP in Feilhaber.

PREDICTION - KC has been playing better as of late, especially offensively, but with the short rest and the shorter bench right now, I'm just not sure that Sporting has the legs to go with Seattle over the course of 90 minutes tomorrow night. The Sounders, even without Martins are going to cause KC's back line a lot of problems tomorrow night. Going the other way, KC will get their chances, I just don't think the defense is strong enough right now to win this for KC.

SKC - 1 (Nemeth)
SEA - 2 (Dempsey, Barrett)

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