Sporting KC will face Eastern Conference opponents D.C. United for the second time in as many months on Sunday afternoon. Let's take a closer look at D.C. ahead of the match.
Lewis Neal and Marcelo Saragosa are listed as out for Sunday while Chris Pontius, Carlos Ruiz, and John Thorrington are all questionable. Pontius has not played in the last three matches but could be in line to return, at least as a second half sub. Goalkeeper Bill Hamid did not play at Dallas due to a coach's decision but is expected to be available.
D.C. United are currently on a seven match losing streak (which includes SKC's 1-0 win on April 5) and only scored four goals in that stretch. The team has struggled but were projected by many to make the playoffs in 2013 and still a side with plenty of talent. MLS is a league where it's always tough to get results on the road and Sunday should be no different at RFK Stadium.
Dwayne De Rosario - One of the best attacking players in MLS who will be the main focus for the Sporting KC defense.
Perry Kitchen - A steady presence in central midfield who has started every match this season for D.C. United.
|May 8th vs Houston||May 11th at Dallas|
Sporting Kansas City will face D.C. United for the second time this season as the two teams meet on Sunday afternoon at RFK Stadium. What matchups and players will be crucial for each team to get a result from Sunday's match? Check out the video below to find out featuring MLSSoccer.com's Greg Lalas and Matt Doyle.
Sporting Kansas City defender Matt Besler joined The Border Patrol on Sports Radio 810 WHB this morning, chatting with show hosts Steven St. John, Nate Bukaty and Jake Gutierrez. The 15-minute segment touched on several topics, including the win in Houston last Sunday and Besler's eagerness to return to the lineup after missing the last three matches with a knee injury. Listen to the audio archive here.
Besler is also in the national discussion today as U.S. Men's National Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann revealed his roster for the team's five upcoming matches. Besler and Zusi are two of five MLS field players on the list and SportingKC.com caught up with both players after today's Sporting KC training session to get their reaction:
Photo by Graham Green
Sporting KC midfielder Benny Feilhaber joined hosts Callum Williams and Andy Edwards on this week's edition of The Sporting KC Show on Sports Radio 810 WHB last night live from Em Chamas Brazilian Grill. The playmaker is second on the squad with three assists this season, one behind League leader Graham Zusi, and he shared his thoughts on the team's start to the 2013 season, the emergence of Peterson Joseph in the midfield and his U.S. Men's National Team hopes for the CONCACAF Gold Cup this summer. His 10-minute interview comes from 2:30-12:30 in the audio archive.
The show also spoke with D.C. United midfielder and Canadian international Kyle Porter. The 23-year-old has started each of D.C. United's last four games, pairing with fellow Canadian Dwayne De Rosario in the midfield, and he provided the view from the opposition's side ahead of Sporting Kansas City's trip to RFK Stadium on Sunday. That segment can be found from 30:45-36:30 in the podcast.
Or, of course, you can listen to the full show online at 810whb.com.
Paulo Nagamura stepped up in Sunday's match and now it's time once again for #VoteSporting.
The midfielder's goalline clearance in the second half against the Houston Dynamo has been nominated for this week's MLSSoccer.com Save of the Week. The save was in the 80th minute and prevented a Jason Johnson header from crossing the goalline.
Voting is open until Thursday evening with the winner to be announced on Friday.
You can view the full list of nominees below and submit your vote using the poll on the right or on MLSSoccer.com.
Kei Kamara's back in Kansas City and was recently on MLSSoccer.com's Extratime Radio. Kamara spoke about his time with Norwich City, Sporting KC's win at Houston, and of course his favorite restaurant, Chipotle. You can listen to the full interview below, which starts at about the 6:00 mark.
The Sporting KC Show will air on Sports Radio 810 WHB from 7-8 p.m. CT on Tuesday, live from Em Chamas Brazilian Grill (6101 NW 63rd Terrace, Kansas City, MO). Hosts Callum Williams and Andy Edwards will be joined by Sporting KC midfielder Benny Feilhaber to catch up listeners on all the latest discussion around Sporting Kansas City and Major League Soccer, including analysis from the team's 1-0 victory over the Houston Dynamo last night and thoughts on their next match at D.C. United on Sunday.
Earlier today, Callum was a guest on The Program with Soren Petro, while Andy Edwards joined Between the Lines with Kevin Kietzman later in the afternoon. Click the links for their full interviews and follow both hosts on Twitter at @AndyEdSKC and @CalWilliamsSKC. They'll take your questions on Tuesday night via Twitter or through the phone at 913-3-810-810.
Sporting Kansas City snapped the Houston Dynamo's 36 match home unbeaten streak with a 1-0 victory at BBVA Compass Stadium. It was a physical match between two sides that are expected to be battling it out in the Eastern Conference playoffs next fall.
Man of the Match
Aurelien Collin had a solid match offensively (game-winning goal) and defensively (clean sheet). The Frenchmen scored his second goal of the season and continues to be a threat on set pieces. Defensively, Collin made a very important tackle late in the match that prevented the Dynamo from having a breakaway on goal. Collin and the rest of the Sporting KC backline were tested by a tough Houston side throughout the 90 minutes and responded with a clean sheet.
Collin's header in the 73rd minute was clearly the crucial part of the match. It was a long throw-in by Seth Sinovic that Collin headed back towards goal and past the goalkeeper. The goal came at the perfect moment as Houston was beginning to gain momentum and get consistent scoring chances. It allowed Sporting KC to play a bit more cautious and put the emphasis on Houston to take chances.
A few stats
- Ike Opara led all players in clearances with 13
- Both of Collin's goals this season have come in 1-0 victories on the road (at NY & at HOU)
- In his last two matches against Houston, Seth Sinovic has a goal (second leg of 2012 playoffs) and an assist (tonight's match)
Graham Zusi joined Glenn Davis on Dynamo All-Access ahead of Sporting KC's trip to Houston for tonight's showdown between the Eastern Conference contenders. Hit play below to hear from the reigning MLS Player of the Week for his thoughts on renewing the rivalry...
Speaking of Zusi and the radio, MLSSoccer.com talked musical tastes and compiled a Spotify playlist with some of the National Teamer's favorites.
Need more noise? Jake Yadrich, color commentator for the Sporting KC Television Network, joined T.J. Carpenter on Sports Radio 810 WHB for a SportsNight segment on Thursday. Listen to the full interview online at 810whb.com.
Sports Radio 810 WHB will simulcast tonight's match with The Final Whistle: Sporting KC Postgame Show immediately afterward. Call 913-3-810-810 to join the discussion with hosts Dave Borchardt and Andy Edwards.
What has been the main reasons for the increased rivalry between the two sides?
"Success. Two managers that have an intense desire to win and compete. Familiarity now and past history. All of these things come into play. Of course they've competed in conference championships and playoffs. I clearly believe that this is the Dynamo's number one rivalry."
What sort of match do you expect to see on Sunday?
"That's the thing I like about Sporting Kansas City on the road. They go after teams and quite frankly most of the teams that have come into BBVA Compass Stadium have tried to open up and play against the Dynamo. Vancouver did, Colorado did to a degree, San Jose did to their detriment. I think people realize that you can't come into BBVA Compass Stadium and think you're going to sit back for an entire course of a game and let them come at you and pressure you and get out with a result. That's going to be a rare, rare luxury if it ever happens even at all this year."
"I think it's going to be an open and entertaining game."
"I think fatigue could play a part in this match. It seemed to be a highly emotional game for Sporting Kansas City against Seattle. You have to wonder if that maybe slows the pace down on a game that might have normally been a lot faster and give people a little bit more time on the ball."
What match-ups will be important for Sunday's match?
"I think there's great match-ups all over the place. It's kind of like take your pick because of quality of the players and the way the two teams play. For me, how do the Dynamo adjust to the Sporting Kansas City midfield. Who controls the middle third of the field. There's a lot of strength there with the players. And of course you got a lot of energy out wide on both teams as well."
"This could be an incredible midfield match-up here on Sunday. I think two of the best midfields in MLS are going head to head on Sunday."
What's been the key to the Dynamo's long home unbeaten streak?
"I really think it down to a few factors. One, I think they just have a lot of confidence there (at BBVA Compass Stadium). There's something to be said about having momentum and having a thought process that you're not going to lose in a certain place."
"Weather here plays a very big factor for teams who are coming from the North, even the Midwest in Kansas City. The humidity, even in those months when it's not 'hot', is still something after 60-70 minutes. It's very very tough to deal with and there's no coincidence that the Dynamo get a lot of their results (at home) with goals after the 70th minute. They're conditiioned to deal with heat. They're conditioned to deal with the humidity."
What are the expectations for the Dynamo this season?
"Supporters Shield talk doesn't really come up here much. They really do focus on the MLS Cup. Honestly, I think its weird because they've been to MLS Cup the last two years but there is a sense that this is probably their best team (in the last three seasons). Of the three years, on paper, this is the best team they've had. I really do think that for Dominic Kinnear and that group, the goal really is to win MLS Cup."
What do you expect to see from Sunday's match?
"I expect to see what we've seen the last six or seven times between these two sides, an all-out battle."
"I think personally it's going to be a game that a lot of soccer fans want to watch. It's two teams that go hard. They don't lay on the ground. They don't dive. It is really two honest teams going at it."
"I think this is going to be Houston's biggest challenge. I think Sporting Kansas City are Houston's biggest threat to end the streak (home unbeaten streak). I really do because the style of play and the condensed schedule this week. I expect to see a battle and an honest to goodness fight this weekend."