Saturday, April 30, 2016

Match Day 10: Returning Home

After a three game road trip that saw Sporting Kansas City take on three Western Conference rivals, Sporting Kansas City returns home on Sunday to take on another Western Conference opponent Sunday. Sporting KC welcome the LA Galaxy to Children's Mercy Park tomorrow in a game that will be shown on Fox Sports 1.

The LA Galaxy come into tomorrow's game on the back of a big win at home against the previous unbeaten Real Salt Lake. The Galaxy completely dismantled RSL, winning 5-2 at the Stub Hub Center. For the Galaxy though they look to have been dealt an injury blow though as Steven Gerrard's status for tomorrow is unlikely right now as the Liverpool legend did not train with the club on Friday. Add that to the fact that midfielder Nigel de Jong will be serving the third of a three game suspension tomorrow, and the Galaxy central midfield could be quite different than expected tomorrow. Even with those absences, the Galaxy have a bunch of fire power with the likes of Mike Magee and US national team player, Gyasi Zardes up top.

Kansas City has welcomed the likes of Justin Mapp, Chance Myers, and Paulo Nagamura back to training with the first team, but expecting any of the three tomorrow to start may be a bit of a stretch this early. Sporting's front line got a little bit of rest on Wednesday night in Vancouver, starting the game on the bench, before coming on when the Whitecaps went down to 10 men. The trio of Brad Davis, Dom Dwyer, and Graham Zusi seem a good bet to return to the starting lineup tomorrow. Elsewhere the only other big change is likely to be Tim Melia stepping back into the starting goalkeeping role for Kansas City.

Davis - Dwyer - Zusi
Espinoza - Feilhaber 
Sinovic - Besler - Coelho - SAS

Number to Remember - 7 - Sporting Kansas City is unbeaten in seven straight home games against the LA Galaxy. The last LA Galaxy win in Kansas City was a 1-0 win back in 2007 at Arrowhead on a goal by Gavin Glinton. The streak is made longer by KC being in the Eastern Conference for the entire streak and the Galaxy not playing in Kansas City every year.

Key Match Up - Roger Espinoza vs Giovanni Dos Santos - A pair of internationals will match up tomorrow with Espinoza likely having to be the main one looking to shut down the Galaxy's Mexican international Dos Santos. He's likely going to want to find space around Lawrence Olum to work against the slower of the two midfielders, but Espinoza's hard nosed tackles could make for an interesting match up.

PREDICTION - The Galaxy are flying high after the win last week against RSL and KC is coming in with some tired legs after three games on the road and the last two having been on the West Coast. It has the potential to not be a very pretty game for Kansas City with some tired legs going against a fresher Galaxy side. That said Peter Vermes has shown the ability in the past to get the most out of a side that has been worn by the road. I'm not sure that KC gets all three points tomorrow, but they'll certainly cause the Galaxy a number of issues in the middle, especially if Gerrard isn't there to play.

SKC - 1 (Dwyer)
LA - 1 (Zardes)

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