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.
Nov 25, 2014, 6:03 PM EST
Recapping all the action from around Europe after a pivotal matchday in UCL play.
Nov 25, 2014, 5:55 PM EST
Berahino scored in the next match after his arrest, but has since gone cold.
Nov 25, 2014, 5:32 PM EST
Rogers talked about how working with gay and lesbian youth organizations made him realize the impact he could make as an openly-gay player.
Nov 25, 2014, 5:22 PM EST
City’s late show sets up pulsating clash in the Italian capital next month.
Nov 25, 2014, 4:46 PM EST
Citizens grab last-gasp win to boost their chances of making the last 16.
Nov 25, 2014, 4:33 PM EST
Five different players netted as Chelsea picked up its largest road Champions League win since 1999.
Nov 25, 2014, 4:10 PM EST
Suarez is off and running for Barca with a goal of exceptional class. What else did you expect?
Nov 25, 2014, 3:46 PM EST
The only other active players in the Top Ten are Chelsea’s Didier Drogba (44) and Thierry Henry (50), who obviously isn’t active with a UEFA Champions League club.
Nov 25, 2014, 3:10 PM EST
With top-quality players hardly ever available in January, the Portguese international could be a hot commodity in England.
Nov 25, 2014, 2:33 PM EST
A urinary infection has Pele in the hospital just 10 days after being released following surgery.
Nov 25, 2014, 1:55 PM EST
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Nov 25, 2014, 1:05 PM EST
To be completed in two phases,
Nov 25, 2014, 12:11 PM EST
“Air Marshall” not only earned his nickname, but helped to solidify an otherwise shaky back line.
Nov 25, 2014, 11:23 AM EST
Another major move in the world of money, which is clearly what FIFA is most concerned with.
Nov 25, 2014, 10:41 AM EST
While away with the team on a road trip, the Southampton midfielder’s house was ransacked and multiple valuables stolen, including his car.
Nov 25, 2014, 9:19 AM EST
Jack Wilshere will be out “for a few games” and will see a specialist after turning his ankle hard.
Nov 25, 2014, 8:26 AM EST
A fire broke out in the one building standing in the way of Tottenham’s proposed new stadium, a fishy situation indeed.
Nov 25, 2014, 8:03 AM EST
Back after steering the club to safety last season, Stevens has a taller task ahead of him this time around.
Nov 24, 2014, 11:23 PM EST
A rematch of the World Cup quarterfinals headlines the draw for the 2015 Copa America tournament.
Nov 24, 2014, 10:30 PM EST
After leading his club to their second straight win, it’s a Burnley man as Round 12’s Player of the Week.
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