Jun 28, 2013, 9:21 PM EST
In a match with major mid-season implications for either side, Sporting KC will head to Columbus with an opportunity to muddy the waters further in the Eastern Conference.
With table-watching still a bit irrelevant as we reach the halfway point, both teams have something relatively important riding on this match.
For Sporting, they will look to improve on their spotty home form. They’ve been fine on the road, but the dropped points at home have made this season that much harder for the squad, who’ve picked up just 2 points and netted just twice in their last three home matches.
It’s been a tough go recently for Kansas City both home and away, with just three draws and a loss to show for their last four matches. Much of that can be attributed to the losses of Graham Zusi and Matt Besler, who will return from international duty for the trip to Columbus. Zusi is fresh off signing his new contract extension with KC.
It’s been a season of good not great for Sporting, with results there but also much left on the table. That feeling was most evident their last time out, having taken a 2-goal lead on FC Dallas before before letting it slip away after falling a man down. While it’s typically a good result to get a point on the road at the league leaders, the manner of the defeat was more painful than anything.
In a bit of team news ahead of the match, Sporting KC have recalled striker Dom Dwyer from Orlando City FC. The 22-year-old soared in the USL, exploding for 15 goals in just 13 matches during his spell with OCFC. With the prospect of three matches in nine days as well as loss of C.J. Sapong to suspension and both Mechack Jerome and Peterson Joseph leaving early for Haiti Gold Cup duty, Peter Vermes thought it prudent to bring in the in-form Dwyer.
For Columbus, this match is the first of two tricky road ties, ones that give them the chance to not only gain ground on those above, but also to prove to the MLS community that the devastating injuries suffered in the last month can be overcome.
It will be their second match since Glauber became the second victim of an ACL tear on the Columbus squad this season. Without the Brazilian or Eddie Gaven, the Crew crumbled at home to the red-hot Chicago Fire, conceding two goals in three minutes early in the second half.
All is not lost for Columbus, who are within close range of the table’s playoff sector and can take advantage of Sporting’s recent woes. Federico Higuain is starting to find his real value as a set-up man rather than a goal-scorer, and his ability to strike from set pieces and particularly the penalty spot has been priceless.
Crew manager Robert Warzycha has a bit of a lineup decision to make. Jairo Arrieta has returned from international duty with Costa Rica, so it remains to be seen who will play in front of Higuain – Arrieta, or his placeholder during international duty Dominic Oduro. However, with Ben Speas also returning for selection from a bout with an illness, it remains to be seen who will be put up front and who will go out wide. Oduro made himself very clear this week, saying how he believes he’s most effective up front.
With points for the taking, both teams will look to put recent inconsistencies behind them and grab the bull by the horns.
Jan 27, 2015, 11:10 AM EST
Wembley final on the line: Premier League giants clash at the Bridge while Spurs head to third-tier Blades.
Jan 27, 2015, 10:15 AM EST
Are the Citizens heading to the Big Apple?
Jan 27, 2015, 9:20 AM EST
Madrid say they have “responded diligently” to requests from world soccer’s governing body.
Jan 27, 2015, 8:30 AM EST
As Sterling continues to stall on a new deal, will Chelsea tempt the youngster with a move back to London?
Jan 27, 2015, 7:36 AM EST
Casillas declares his intention to play in the USA one day. When will that be?
Jan 26, 2015, 9:45 PM EST
Hope Solo’s punishment for repeated alcohol-related incidents could extend much further than her initial 30-day suspension.
Jan 26, 2015, 8:22 PM EST
3-4 months on the sidelines means a massive hole to fill to start the 2015 season.
Jan 26, 2015, 7:10 PM EST
After two more places in the knockout rounds were booked on Tuesday, half the quarterfinal matchups are set.
Jan 26, 2015, 6:15 PM EST
Half the current USMNT roster was built with the Gold Cup in mind, while the other half is about next year’s Olympics. So, who’s who, then?
Jan 26, 2015, 4:05 PM EST
After eight months without a club, Juan Agudelo is reportedly returning to the place he should have been all along: MLS.
Jan 26, 2015, 2:59 PM EST
As the soccer world will no longer see the maverick skills of the Argentine playmaker, here’s a look at some of his best moments.
Jan 26, 2015, 2:38 PM EST
Here’s the draw for the last 16 of the FA Cup, as PL big boys get more tough tests.
Jan 26, 2015, 1:57 PM EST
Van Praag announces his intentions to run against Blatter, says he has the backing of five federations.
Jan 26, 2015, 1:00 PM EST
Betting on five underdogs away from home in the FA Cup will win you serious cash.
Jan 26, 2015, 12:32 PM EST
Fagundez explains why he couldn’t wait any longer to select his national team.
Jan 26, 2015, 12:00 PM EST
If Wolfsburg can agree a fee for Schurrle, should he leave Stamford Bridge?
Jan 26, 2015, 11:26 AM EST
Carver will take charge for the final 16 games of the season… but what then?
Jan 26, 2015, 9:55 AM EST
Red Bulls attacker heading to Abu Dhabi?
Jan 26, 2015, 9:20 AM EST
The signing of two Venezuelan youngsters could put Real in plenty of trouble with FIFA, as Barcelona-esque transfer ban could be on the cards.
Jan 26, 2015, 8:34 AM EST
The Koreans will face either Australia or the UAE in Saturday’s final in Sydney.
- Report: Manchester City to play New York City in Yankee Stadium friendly 1
- Iker Casillas to MLS? Real Madrid legend: “I would like to play in the United States” 0
- Chile vs. USA preview: Who’s here to stay as USMNT kicks off 2015? 0
- Report: Juan Agudelo close to signing with his former MLS team, New England Revolution 5
- Head of Dutch FA, Michael van Praag, will challenge Blatter for FIFA presidency 2
- Newcastle United name John Carver head coach until end of 2014-15 season 0