Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Match Day USOC Round of 16: Route to the Final is at Home, it Starts Here

Sporting KC return to US Open Cup action tomorrow at home against FC Dallas. With the draw a couple weeks ago, the path to the US Open Cup final goes through KC, at least for the Western half of the bracket. So things are in KC's hands at this point, and it's something that they really need to take advantage of. With KC's home form this season at Sporting Park it's gotta be something that KC feel they can take advantage of.

FC Dallas comes into the game after beating the Oklahoma City Energy 4-1 in their last Open Cup match up and beating Houston 2-0 last Friday in league play. Dallas won't be an easy team, while they haven't always taken the Open Cup seriously, call ups for the Gold Cup leave them a little limited in numbers and may require them to play a number of starters during the midweek. They also have a league match this coming weekend at home against New England that they may be looking towards as well to help them move up the league table.

KC on the other hand is off this next weekend from league play and should be able to put out a primarily first team line up with the club having 11 days before their game on the 12th against Vancouver. The team is now without Graham Zusi and Marcel de Jong who have both departed for Gold Cup duty. The rest of the team should be available for tomorrow's game, although with Chance Myers playing close to 90 minutes on the weekend and still recovering from injury may need a break, but KC has Jalil Anibaba who can immediately come in and start. Meanwhile, with Jon Kempin out, I'd expect Tim Melia to get another start in goal ahead of loaned goalkeeper Alex Riggs.

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

Key Match Up - Soni Mustivar vs Mauro Diaz - Not sure if Diaz will play tomorrow with Dallas' schedule, but if he's on the field it's going to be a difficult match up. In the last match up between the two teams, Mustivar did a very good job of keeping Diaz under wraps, and KC will have a good chance of winning the game.

Number to Remember - 6 - That's the number of shutouts that KC has at home in their last seven home games. In those seven games, KC has allowed just two goals in their 4-2 win over the New England Revolution.

PREDICTION - This game is set up for KC to win, with Dallas having this game sandwiched between two league games and playing without three players that have been providing minutes for Dallas this year due to the Gold Cup. The way that KC has been playing lately and with their home form this is a game that KC should be able to win and advance in the Open Cup.

SKC - 1 (Dwyer)
FCD - 0

No comments: