-Setting the Stage- Tonight's game certainly won't be marked on the MLS calendar of highly anticipated match-ups. In fact, the league is probably happy to have the game covered up directly by the Gold Cup finals, featuring the United States and Mexico. As these two foes meet up at the Rose Bowl, battling for glory, the two worst teams in MLS (in terms of points) will be squaring off at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park.
-The Breakdown- Both of these teams clearly are not where they want to be at this point in the season. Having said that, merely just looking at the table in soccer doesn't always tell the full story. Each of these teams has decent talent and potential, but they'll need to rack up some points through the final stretch of the season if they want any hope of making the playoffs.
[Sporting Kansas City] is definitely on the best stretch of form they've seen all season. Through the last six matches, SKC has gone unbeaten. Peter Vermes' side will want to continue the good run of form, and maybe add some more drive to the offense, which was fairly dull the last two matches. The defense has been solid as of late, and this will only improve because Aurelien Collin, (A.K.A the Ferocious Frenchman) will be back in the side after having to sit out at Philadelphia because of accumulated yellow cards. As Sporting take the pitch at LSP, traces of the third game of the season -- when the team traveled to Vancouver and gave up a three-goal lead -- will be in the back of their mind.
[Vancouver Whitecaps] just recently dismissed their head coach Teitur Thordarson, and appointed Tom Soehn, who has experience coaching in Major League Soccer. Since Soehn's hiring, the Whitecaps have looked better, only losing one game in their last four. The team's last match was home to the Philadelphia Union, and surprisingly, they pulled out a victory. Vancouver will be looking to keep the confidence going tonight (7:30 central time, at LSP).
Anticipated Starting 11
Zusi | Arnaud | Kamara
Auvray | Diop
Harrington | Collin | Besler | Myers
These two are sure to go at it all night long, as both have tremendous physicality. Collin will be hoping he can get into the head of Hassli as he did Steven Lenhart last week.
On paper, this match looks the opposite of marquee. But when two teams are desperate for points, something has to give. I think there will be plenty of offense coming from both sides. If Sporting Kansas City wants to contend realistically for post-season, they'll have to win games such as this, especially at home. I do have
confidence in Sporting, I would just feel better if they had a thoroughly convincing victory tonight.
Sporting KC 2-0 Vancouver Whitecaps