Saturday, October 24, 2015

Match Day 34: Put Up or Shut Up Time

Tomorrow at Sporting Park, Kansas City will have another opportunity to clinch a playoff berth. This one is again at home against the LA Galaxy on national television. KC has been limping into the finish line this season, and this is the third straight game that a result would see Kansas City clinch a playoff berth. In their last two games KC has lost on the road to San Jose and at home against Colorado and have put themselves into this situation.

Here are all the ways that KC can make the playoffs tomorrow:
  • KC win
  • KC draw and San Jose draw or loss OR Seattle lose
  • KC loss and a San Jose loss
The Galaxy don't come into tomorrow's game without something to play for themselves though. The Galaxy can secure second place in the Western Conference behind FC Dallas with a win. LA had a midweek game as well in the CONCACAF Champions League, but having already clinched a spot in the knock out round next spring, many of LA's starters and head coach Bruce Arena didn't even travel to Guatemala for the game that the Galaxy tied 1-1. So LA will have their best 11 ready and rested for tomorrow's game

Kansas City heads into the game on short rest having gone out against Colorado and controlled play but been unable to create good chances against the Rapids. It was an offensive that hearkened back to KC's attack in 2012 and 2013 when KC would completely dominate a team but do very little with the offensive chances they created. Against a much stronger LA Galaxy team, KC will need to be much better in taking their chances. KC needs to get Dom Dwyer more involved in the play as he has become extremely isolated again. KC should have their best 11 available, but the question may be who starts at left back, whether Peter Vermes sticks with Seth Sinovic or let's the rookie Saad Abdul-Salaam get another start.

Nemeth - Dwyer - Zusi
Nagamura - Feilhaber
Sinovic - Besler - Ellis - Myers

Number to Remember - 2 - While LA can clinch second place in the West tomorrow, their away form has not been good at all. They've won just two games on the road this season. The only team with fewer wins away from than the Galaxy's two this year is the Chicago Fire who didn't win on the road this year at all.

Key Match Up - Kevin Ellis vs Robbie Keane - The Galaxy's leading forward will be another in the long list of good forwards it seems like that Kevin Ellis has had to mark up in games. It'll be another big challenge for the home grown center back.

PREDICTION - I'm just not overly optimistic about this one. Yeah Kansas City is playing one of the worst road teams in the league, but their form has been a lot less than stellar lately. I just don't see Kansas City getting all three points tomorrow, and I'm not sure they get one point either. That said I think KC still squeaks into the playoffs as I don't think that San Jose is going to get any points in Dallas.

SKC - 1 (Dwyer)
LA - 2 (Keane, dos Santos)

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