Match Preview: Sporting Kansas City @ New England (Match #23)

July 21, 2012; New England Revolution midfielder Kelyn Rowe (11) and Sporting KC defender Matt Besler (5) fight for the ball during the first half of the soccer match at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-US PRESSWIRE
Is it Wednesday yet? Is it Wednesday yet? Is it Wednesday yet? That's the question that seems to be on everyone's minds as Sporting KC fans look ahead to the US Open Cup final against Seattle on Wednesday.

But there's one more match that Sporting KC has to play before they go to the US Open Cup final, and the pesky New England Revolution is looking to knock off a distracted Sporting Kansas City.

It's still an important match for Sporting KC, given that they could move into first place in the east with a win tonight.

Read more after the jump...


The Basics
Who: Sporting Kansas City (11-7-4, 37 pts, 3rd in East) at New England Revolution (6-10-5, 23 pts, 8th in East).
What: Matchday #23
When: 6:30 pm central
Where: Gillette Stadium, Foxboro, Massachusetts.
TV: KSMO 62

Injury Report

SPORTING KANSAS CITY
OUT: DF Cyprian Hedrick (L fibula fracture); GK Jon Kempin (R ankle fracture); DF Chance Myers (groin strain); FW Jacob Peterson (R shoulder sprain); FW C.J. Sapong (R hip flexor strain)
PROBABLE: DF Aurelien Collin (facial fracture)

NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION
OUT: FW Alec Purdie (L ankle sprain); GK Bobby Shuttleworth (L knee sprain);
DOUBTFUL: MF Blair Gavin (L hamstring tightness); DF A.J. Soares (R hamstring strain);
QUESTIONABLE: DF Kevin Alston (L hamstring soreness)

Key Matchup: Teal Bunbury vs. Stephen McCarthy
Revolution CB Stephen McCarthy is potentially going to have more responsibility thrust upon him on the New England back line if his usual partner AJ Soares is not able to play because of a hamstring strain. Teal Bunbury is also missing his forward partner in CJ Sapong, who is out with a strained hip flexor.

Both of these men are going to have to step up if their team is going to win. It all depends who steps up more in this battle to which team is going to have an advantage in the match.

Revolution player to watch for: Saer Sene
In two contests with Sporting Kansas City (Both at LSP), New England has failed to score a goal. New England is going to be counting on their team leader in goals Saer Sene to try and break that streak for the first and only contest between these two teams in Boston.

Sene has scored nine goals on the year, including one last match against Philadelphia. He's going to be dangerous in this match.

Sporting KC player to watch for: Aurélien Collin
Aurélien Collin is listed as probable for the match tonight after suffering a facial fracture in the MLS All-Star Game. Since he won't be able to play in the US Open Cup final because of the yellow cards he accumulated throughout the tournament, I expect Peter Vermes to turn him loose tonight.

Facial fractures hurt, but Collin is a warrior. It'll be interesting to see how well he can help anchor the back line with a mask on his face and his face hurting.

SKC Lineup Prediction
Nielsen
Harrington, Collin, Besler, Sinovic
Nagamaura, Zusi, Aiyegbusi,
Kamara, Bunbury, Convey.

Prediction

Sporting KC 0-0 New England

This will be another match where the SKC back line holds well, but the forwards fail to finish. It's going to be frustrating, but at least they'll get a point out of it.

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