Jun 28, 2013, 9:21 PM EDT
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.
Sep 3, 2015, 9:39 PM EDT
As it turns out, Candy Crush was worth a lot of money. So much money, in fact, that Mel Morris bought his boyhood football club.
Sep 3, 2015, 8:37 PM EDT
The USMNT returns to action for the first time since finishing fourth at the 2015 Gold Cup. Their playoff vs. Mexico is 37 days away.
Sep 3, 2015, 6:45 PM EDT
This weekend, referees will begin dishing out green cards, which mean absolutely nothing.
Sep 3, 2015, 4:58 PM EDT
What did we learn from the young U.S. side at Deepdale?
Sep 3, 2015, 4:51 PM EDT
With Olympic qualifying less than a month away, final tune-ups are underway for the US U-23 squad.
Sep 3, 2015, 4:20 PM EDT
Jurgen Klinsmann’s latest comments confirm what we’ve assumed all along: he believes he is immune to criticism.
Sep 3, 2015, 2:00 PM EDT
Red Devils have ripped apart their title-winning team from 2013. Will things settle down anytime soon?
Sep 3, 2015, 1:10 PM EDT
Three options for the starting XI at RFK Stadium on Friday.
Sep 3, 2015, 12:07 PM EDT
JPW and Jenna dissect the Deadline Day dealings.
Sep 3, 2015, 11:20 AM EDT
German champs taking a stand to help the growing number of asylum seekers arriving in Munich.
Sep 3, 2015, 10:13 AM EDT
Who would’ve guessed it, the Gunners are short on strikers…
Sep 3, 2015, 9:36 AM EDT
After his game-winner from halfway last season, Cicerone is at it again.
Sep 3, 2015, 8:40 AM EDT
Klinsmann’s side move up, but remain out of the top 20.
Sep 3, 2015, 8:00 AM EDT
Chicharito has the following message for United’s fans after five years at Old Trafford.
Sep 2, 2015, 9:57 PM EDT
The NBC Deadline Day show is here in podcast form.
Sep 2, 2015, 9:32 PM EDT
A fraction of the transfer fee has made its way to the lower division team in France that helped mold Anthony Martial into the $55 million player he is today.
Sep 2, 2015, 8:18 PM EDT
Rog and Davo break down Chelsea’s loss to Crystal Palace and Swansea’s stylish win over Manchester United. Plus, a recap of transfer deadline day.
Sep 2, 2015, 6:56 PM EDT
Tim Howard looked good for Everton last weekend, but the U.S. coach says it’s too close to the Mexico game to make a change.
Sep 2, 2015, 5:42 PM EDT
The former Chelsea defender is no longer listed on the team’s website and was left out of both the club’s domestic and European squads.
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