Saturday, July 23, 2016

Match Day 23: A Desperate Opponent

Sporting Kansas City welcome a desperate opponent to Children's Mercy Park tomorrow. The Seattle Sounders come to Kansas City tomorrow desperately seeking a league win trying to get their season back on track. Kansas City isn't in a great position themselves, but the Sounders sit eight points behind Kansas City, currently in ninth place in the Western Conference.

The Sounders and head coach, Sigi Schmid are so desperate for a win in league play that they basically tanked their US Open Cup game on Wednesday against the LA Galaxy putting out a far less than first team lineup in a 4-2 loss to the LA Galaxy. The Sounders started only a couple players who had made regular first team appearances for the Sounders, choosing to rest many starters for Sunday. They did throw on a few first team players like Brad Evans and Jordan Morris as substitutes, but for the most part the Sounders players got the night off. With that happening though the pressure is squaring on them to preform tomorrow with a team that is rested. They will have to play tomorrow without midfield destroyer, Osvaldo Alonso though as the Cuban is suspended for tomorrow's game due to yellow card accumulation. They will welcome back Clint Dempsey though who missed last week due to suspension.

While Seattle is certainly the team more desperate for a win, Kansas City can't say they don't need a win either. KC returns home after losing a pair of games on the road both on 1-0 scoreline. KC needs a win for themselves to try to keep pace in the Western Conference. A loss now could see them start to really slip out of the playoff picture as a busy August approaches and KC jumps back into two competitions with the CONCACAF Champions League. Peter Vermes will have his favored 11 available, specially on the back line, although the depth has taken a big hit. Vermes has been preferring the pairing of Lawrence Olum and Ike Opara, but at this point he's almost stuck with them as Nuno Coelho and Matt Besler are both battling injuries, leaving just Kevin Ellis as a back up central defender.

Davis - Dwyer - Zusi
Espinoza - Feilhaber
Medranda -Olum - Opara - Abdul-Salaam

Number to Remember - 1 - This series has never seen a win by a team by more than a single goal. Every game in the series between Sporting KC and the Seattle Sounders has seen a one goal winner. KC is 2-7-3 all time against Seattle and all nine games with a winner have been decided by the single goal.

Key Match Up - Dom Dwyer vs Chad Marshall - Dwyer again is matched up against a center back a head taller than him. Kansas City will need to try to find a way to get Dwyer service, something that they've struggled to do over the past two games.

PREDICTION - Given the forecast tomorrow for the day in Kansas City this game feels like it will be anything but a free flowing game. The high pressure that Kansas City likes to use is either going to be put on hold for the game, or have to be used more sparingly because of a forecast that will see temperatures in the mid 90s and heat indexes over 100. With the way that both teams have been playing combined with the heat I just don't feel like this will be a game that will be on anyone's highlight films once the season ends and it'll be a result that neither team wants.

SKC - 0
SEA - 0

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