Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Match Day 6: A Day 20 Years in the Making

Tomorrow Sporting Kansas City will celebrate the 20th anniversary of their first game on the exact date the game took place. In fact they'll take on the same opponent, the Colorado Rapids at Children's Mercy Park tomorrow. The two teams are current separated by five points in the standings at this early stage with Kansas City on 12 points and Colorado on seven through five games.

The Rapids come into the game having lost their last match up 1-0 against Real Salt Lake on the road after a major miscommunication between their back line and goalkeeper Zac MacMath. The confusion ended with Joao Plata having an easy finish for the game's lone goal as Salt Lake won 1-0. The Rapids are 2-2-1 on the season at this point, and have scored just three goals in those five games. Of course they have only conceded three goals as well as their defensive showing last year has continued to the 2016 season. Their defense has once again been their strong point, and as the season goes on they will add more as the season progresses. New midfielder, Jermaine Jones will serve the last of his six game suspension from last season tomorrow night and will return. Then this summer, Tim Howard will come to join the Rapids and take over in goal for them. Tomorrow though the Rapids will have neither and will hope that designated player, Shkelzen Gashi can finally get going.

Kansas City is welcoming back a couple players that have returned to practice from concussion with Matt Besler and Brad Davis both being involved in practice this week. That'll be a boost for the team, although I'm not sure that either starts tomorrow. KC has other injury issues though as Chance Myers and Kevin Ellis both look set to miss tomorrow's game due to injuries they picked up against New York. Soni Mustivar also looks set to miss another game as well meaning Lawrence Olum would likely fill in again. I wouldn't expect much in the way of changes from last week's game in New York, other than the injuries suffered.

Zusi - Dwyer - Hallisey
Espinoza - Feilhaber
Dia - Opara - Coelho - SAS

Number to Remember - 4 - Through 20 years of games between the two teams, Kansas City has lost just four times against the Rapids. Last year's 2-0 loss in a make up game from earlier in the season was the first loss in KC to the Rapids in league play since 2002.

Key Match Up - Dom Dwyer vs Axel Sjoberg - Sjoberg at 6'7" makes tall forwards look small, he's going to match up very strongly against Dwyer. KC can't rely on the long ball to Dwyer, at least long ones over the top. In their last home game against Salt Lake, Dwyer Island was in full effect because KC couldn't get him the ball. If they plan on a lot of route one balls tomorrow Dwyer Island will return.

PREDICTION - KC is the better of the two teams based on what I've seen of Colorado this year. Their offense struggles to put away the chances that they create, and is really carried by their defense. Kansas City has shown an ability to play a much more balanced style, although their defense is probably still the stronger of the two. Twenty years ago KC won this game by a scoreline of 3-0. Honestly I don't expect that score tomorrow night, I expect a 1-0 win for KC, but it's the anniversary of the first game and there's only one way this game should end.

SKC - 3 (Dwyer, Feilhaber, Dwyer)
COL - 0


Unknown said...

Sporting should try starting Rubio. Hallisey passing the ball backwards is getting old.

Unknown said...

Sporting should try starting Rubio. Hallisey passing the ball backwards is getting old.

hartley said...

Dwyer Island will continue until Benny gets his head out and starts controlling the middle of the field.