Thursday, July 23, 2015

Match Day 19: Ready to Accept the Consiquences

Tomorrow night Sporting KC finish up their busy three games in seven day stretch with a game in Salt Lake. After a week that's seen them win against Montreal and advance to the US Open Cup semifinals, the team ends their stretch with one of the more difficult road trips in MLS. Salt Lake has never been an easy place to play, and KC is already 0-1 there this season. In fact, since the beginning of May, the trip to Salt Lake back in June is KC's only loss, they've gone 10-1-2 across all competitions since the beginning of May, which is when Tim Melia took over in goal for KC.

Salt Lake comes into the game currently six points outside a playoff spot in the competitive Western Conference. Just recently, they traded the clubs all time leading scorer, Alvaro Saborio to DC United for midfielder, Luis Silva. Saborio's possession has become less needed with Sebastian Jaime rounding into form for Salt Lake. Even though he missed last week's game due to suspension, he's stil been a major threat for Salt Lake in recent weeks. They've also welcomed back Joao Plata, who has been out with injury for a good portion of the season. They also have the ever dangerous, Jaiver Morales, who will cause KC plenty of problems.

The main issue for KC in this game is going to be tired legs. KC just doesn't have the bodies right now to handle rotating the full squad after many have already played 180 minutes this week. Some of them are going to have to go 270 with tomorrow's game. But who does rotate in for the game? Does Amobi Okugo make his debut for KC less than a week after joining the club? Does Peter Vermes rest one of his central midfielders and insert Paulo Nagamura? Does Marcel de Jong get his first start since returning from the Gold Cup? I think a number of these answers are probably yes. I think Vermes is going to come into this game with a more conservative strategy after having to exert so much energy having to fiht back on Tuesday against the Dynamo.

Abdul-Salaam - Okugo - Besler - de Jong
Nagamura - Feilhaber
Peterson - Dwyer - Nemeth

Number to Remember - 4 - That's the number of games in a row KC has technically gone without a win against Salt Lake. KC's last win was back in 2013 when Ike Opara scored in stoppage time to "drench" Rio Tinto in sorrow. MLS Cup 2013, while KC won, technically goes down as a draw while two 0-0 draws in KC in 2014 and 2015 and a loss in June in Utah get us to the 4 games.

Key Match Up - Soni Mustivar vs Javier Morales - The Salt Lake player continues to be a danger man every single game. Operating behind the strikers, it'll fall on Mustivar to really make sure he doesn't get enough space, while at the same time not giving Salt Lake dangerous free kicks around the top of the box, cause he'll make KC pay.

PREDICTION- After Tuesday and getting the win on the road, I'm not sure that there's a Sporting KC game I've worried less about losing. While getting a win here would be huge especially with the games in hand, I'm not worried as much as I should be if KC loses the game. KC threw out their best 11 on Tuesday to get the win, I understand Vermes line of thinking there and applaud it. I now fully accept the consiquences of those actions with a quick turn around on the road, at altitude against a strong opponent.

SKC - 0
RSL - 2 (Morales, Garcia)

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