Sporting KC vs. Toronto FC Match Preview

KANSAS CITY, KS - JUNE 16: Roger Espinoza #15 of Sporting KC competes with Torsten Frings #22 of the Toronto FC for the ball during the MLS game on June 16, 2012 at Livestrong Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kansas. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

In the past week and a half Sporting Kansas City have experienced very few lows. From winning the highly coveted US Open Cup, to regaining top spot in the Eastern Conference, to seeing three of their players called up for their respective national teams, little has caused Sporting KC to stumble while atop cloud nine. As Saturday approaches Sporting KC will gear up to face Toronto FC. A team that is also located in the Eastern Conference, but is of a much different caliber compared to Sporting KC, at least in the standings department.

With first set to face worst will Sporting KC put a flurry of goals into the Toronto FC net, or will Toronto prove to the rest of the league and maybe even the planet that they are not the "worst team in the world"?

The Basics
Who: Sporting KC vs. Toronto FC
What: Week 24, MLS Game #227
When: 3:30 CT
Where: BMO Field, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
TV: GolTV Can, KSMO

Injury Report

TORONTO FC – OUT: GK Stefan Frei (L lower leg); FW Danny Koevermans (L knee ACL tear); DF Matt Stinson (R quadriceps strain); DF Jeremy Hall (L ankle sprain)

SPORTING KANSAS CITY – OUT: DF Cyprian Hedrick (L fibula fracture); FW Jacob Peterson (R shoulder sprain); DOUBTFUL: GK Jon Kempin (R ankle fracture); QUESTIONABLE: MF Bobby Convey (R hamstring strain); MF Peterson Joseph (R hamstring strain); PROBABLE: DF Lawrence Olum (L groin strain); DF Seth Sinovic (R ankle sprain)



Key Matchup: Eric Hassli vs. Aurelien Collin

Whether he's playing for the Vancouver Whitecaps, or Toronto FC, Eric Hassli has consistently been one of the most dangerous strikers in the MLS. However, while playing against Kansas City, the 6'4 striker has been kept relatively quiet by fellow Frenchman, Aurelien Collin. On Saturday night Collin will again be assigned the task of man marking the former Zurich player, who despite having only recently come into the side, will be a lethal target for TFC. If Collin can keep Hassli out of the game, Sporting KC will have essentially silenced the Toronto attack completely.


Toronto player to watch for: Ryan Johnson

While a lot of the attention will be on one of Toronto's newest signings, Eric Hassli, few will forget the performances of front man Ryan Johnson. Johnson has started and played 22 games for TFC(2nd best on the squad) and has logged 1980 minutes with the team. Those minutes have not been wasted with the Jamaican notching 5 goals and 4 assists for the Canadian side.

So while neither of Toronto's two forwards are especially amazing playing up top by themselves, together with Johnson's crazy pace, and Hassli's technical and target man abilities, they combine for a lethal combination.


SKC Lineup Prediction

Michael Harrington, Aurelien Collin, Matt Besler, Neven Markovic

Prediction: Sporting KC 3 - Toronto FC 1
Although this is an away game, on-fire Sporting KC should have no problem dispatching a lack luster Toronto side. TFC's forward line may cause some problems for the USOC Champions (I LOVE being able to write that) but SKC are just in too good of form to mess up this one.







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