Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Match Day 12: How Many Changes Does Vermes Make?

Sporting Kansas City head coach, Peter Vermes did not mince words after Saturday's 2-0 loss to the Houston Dynamo. Vermes laid into his team in a post game interview about their lack of effort of certain players and their intensity of the field. He hinted at changes coming for the next game, changes he couldn't necessarily make against Houston because of players getting tired. His first chance to show those changes is tomorrow night in Colorado against the MLS leading Rapids.

The Rapids have gone from a team that was a laughing stock in preseason for barely having enough players to dress a full game day 18 to sitting on top of the Supporters' Shield standings with 20 points in the early going. The Rapids are also unbeaten in their last five matches, four wins and a draw, the latest result being a 1-0 win at home vs Real Salt Lake. The goal coming thanks to midfielder Jermaine Jones who has become a major goal scoring threat for the Rapids since joining the club after serving his six game suspension to start the season. Like Kansas City, Colorado has another game coming up this weekend, which could lead to some rotation of the lineup, but with their weekend trip being to Columbus, and tomorrow being a conference game, putting their best lineup out tomorrow should be a given for KC.

Vermes' quotes from the weekend loom large over tomorrow's game. The big question is who sits? Plenty of fan speculation has centered around the likes of Benny Feilhaber and Graham Zusi as both players have struggled at times during this winless run. The question though, if you see one or both of those players is where does the offense come from? Not that Kansas City's offense has been lighting the world on fire, but if you remove two of the top 10 goal providers in team history, where does your chance creation come from? Jimmy Medranda has played well this year and easy arguments can be made for him to start the game tomorrow, but he's not exactly been providing a ton to the offense when he's in. He's providing a spark and energy, but even that hasn't really helped to contribute to goals. In the end it'll be interesting tomorrow to see just how many changes Vermes makes to his team.

Davis - Rubio - Medranda
Espinoza - Feilhaber
Dia - Besler - Coelho - SAS

Number to Remember - 7 - Sporting Kansas City have not gone seven games without a win since their 10 game winless run in 2011. Nine of those 10 games were on the road in that stretch before then Livestrong Sporting Park opened.

Key Match Up - Roger Espinoza vs Jermaine Jones - The American international has made himself a big goal scoring threat for the Rapids since his suspension ended earlier this year. In the four games that he's played, he's scored three goals and had two assists with the Rapids have gone 3-0-1 in that stretch. He'll still play his defensive role, but when the Rapids get the ball he's going to go forward, and Espinoza is likely the one that will need to do the tracking.

PREDICTION - There could really not be two teams further apart in terms of form at this early point of the season, the Rapids have 13 points in the last five games, while Kansas City has two in the last six games. Both streaks started when the two teams last met in Kansas City back in April. In MLS terms, this is the classic trap game for Colorado, a team on a nice winning streak, at home against an opponent who just played very poor on the road, and on short rest. In those terms you'd put your money on Kansas City, especially since you can't expect a Peter Vermes coached team to play as badly as SKC did against Houston again. But I just don't have enough faith in the Kansas City offense right now to find the goal for shots, let alone goals, I think KC's winless streak will be extending to seven.

SKC - 0
COL - 1 (Jones)


Unknown said...

My starting XI for #SportingKC Melia/Opara-Coelho-Besler-Dia/Mustivar-Quintilla-Espinoza/Medranda-Dwyer-Rubio #COLvSKC

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mike said...

unless Quintilla is recalled today, he is still on loan to SPR and won't be available.

Unknown said...

Would like to see Quintilla back in midfield rotation. Quintilla, Mustivar, Espinoza were playing well together