Friday, August 12, 2016

Match Day 26: The Sporting KC North American and Caribbean Tour Begins

Sporting KC begin their brutal travel schedule this week with the start of their five games in 15 day trip. The tour will see them play in five different cities over those 15 days and in three different countries. It has already gotten off to a rough start as the team was unable to fly to Dallas tonight due to the weather there and will instead fly out tomorrow for their game tomorrow evening against FC Dallas.

It will be interesting to see what team FC Dallas puts out on the field tomorrow night as the club had their US Open Cup semifinal on Wednesday night in Los Angeles, a game they won 2-1 in the dying seconds of extra time. Head coach Oscar Pareja put out his strongest team against the Galaxy on Wednesday with the chance to host the US Open Cup final on the line. Fielding the likes of Mauro Diaz, Maximilliano Urruti, Matt Hedges, and Walker Zimmerman along with other starters for 120 minutes on Wednesday there could be some very tired legs for Dallas tomorrow against Kansas City. Of course that was the same thing thought last week when many of the players that took the field Sunday in Portland for the Timbers had played on the mid-week in the Champions League.

While Kansas City doesn't have the busy schedule behind them heading into tomorrow's game, it's instead in front of them with the long trip coming. After Dallas, Sporting KC will head to Trinidad to take on Central FC in their first game in this year's Champions League. Kansas City will be doing it with a very thin roster due to the club's injuries and suspensions. The biggest changes will happen in midfield where two-thirds of KC's starting midfield, Roger Espinoza and Soni Mustivar are suspended for the game. It'll be interesting to see which way Peter Vermes goes with the lineup, whether he inserts Nuno Coelho in the holding role as he played once earlier this year, or if he slots Coelho in on defense and slides Lawrence Olum up into the defensive midfield role. As for the box-to-box role Vermes could look to slide Benny Feilhaber back and insert Graham Zusi into the midfield position to play attacking midfield. Of course this depends on the health of Paulo Nagamura, if he is healthy then you put him into the box-to-box role and leave Feilhaber and Zusi in their normal roles.

Hallisey - Dwyer - Peterson
Zusi
Feilhaber - Olum
Medranda - Coelho - Opara - Abdul-Salaam
Kann

Number to Remember - 0 - That's the number of wins that Kansas City has in their last 10 road games, KC won their first two road games of the season, but have since gone 0-7-3 with only four goals (half of those in one game).  Meanwhile Dallas 9-0-3 at home so far this season and have gone 17 without a loss in league play. Dallas' last league loss at home came a year ago this coming Monday, August 15th. Dallas last lost 2-1 on 8/15 to the LA Galaxy.

Key Match Up - KC midfield vs Dallas midfield - With two-thirds of the starting midfield missing for Kansas City it's going to be an interesting match up through the middle. At the same time I'm not sure that Dallas starts Diaz after 120 minutes on Wednesday. Instead KC may get the other Mauro, Mauro Rosales. Rosales has already scored on KC once this season, on a free kick in Dallas' 2-1 win over KC earlier this year.

PREDICTION - Dallas may be tired and have heavy legs tomorrow, but KC's road form doesn't exactly fill anyone in KC with confidence, or opponents with fear in the game. The delayed flight certainly won't help mentally for the club as they prepare for tomorrow's game. While Dallas will be tired, KC isn't helped by being short handed, and KC's away form combined with Dallas' home form doesn't give too much confidence for tomorrow's game.

SKC - 0
FCD - 2 (Barrios, Akindele)

1 comment:

Imran Awan said...

It will be interesting to see what team FC Dallas puts out on the field tomorrow night as the club had their US Open Cup semifinal on Wednesday night in Los Angeles, a game they won 2-1 in the dying seconds of extra time.