About the Teams
Sporting Kansas City
Sporting KC finally got to take a breather this week after the start of the season feature five matches in a fourteen day span. They will come into this match with a full week of rest and minimal injuries to speak of. The only missing starter will be Chance Myers, who is yet to play so far in 2014, though he may make an appearane in the 18. Sporting KC comes into this match riding high after their first win of the season last weekend, upending San Jose 1-0. They will look for their first road result in this match, having lost all road games in all competitions in 2014.
The Rapids have had an impressive start to their 2014 campaign, drawing their opener against New York Red Bulls and winning last weekend in their home opener against Portland. In both matches they have outpossessed, outshot and simply outplayed two very good offensive teams. They will be missing Jose Mari on a red card suspension this match and he will likely be replaced in the midfield by Nathan Sturgis, who played that spot in 2013. This team can create a lot of chances and will likely be a nuisance to Sporting KC all evening.
Who to Watch For
Sporting Kansas City- Benny Feilbaber
Benny Feilhaber has been on a tear so far in 2014. He has been a metaphorical bull in a china shop around the midfield, winning balls, disrupting attacks and creating chances. He is always at his best when he is hungry and with a spot on the 2014 World Cup roster possibly hanging in the balance, Feilhaber has a lot to play for. He has had a lot of playing time to start the season so the full week off can only help Feilhaber as he is handed the duty of stopping the Rapid's midfield in their tracks.
Nathan Sturgis will be the one stepping in for Jose Mari and will give fans a chance to see the Rapid's midfield of 2013 again. While a step below Mari overall, Sturgis should be able to step right back into the deep midfield role and will direct the attack from there. He will be able to use his passing ability to direct the Rapid's midfield and will be the man in charge of making sure Benny Feilhaber cannot make any significant gains for the away side.
Why they will win
Sporting Kansas City
Sporting KC will win this match by overpowering the Rapids using their back line. The Rapid's greatest strength is their ability to create multitudes of chances, leading to goals after a certain amount. Sporting KC will win this match by using their strength in central defense to cut down the aerial attacks, forcing the Rapids to go wide and to lose the battles out on the wing instead of in the middle. Sporting KC should also be able to use their midfield to dispossess and stop the Rapids before the attack even starts.
Regardless of the strength of Sporting KC's back line, Colorado is likely going to create a lot of chances. Because of Besler and Collin in the middle of the defense, Colorado is going to have to go out wide to create their chances. Luckily for the Rapids, Chance Myers is out for this match and his likely replacement Kevin Ellis has been shredded so far this season against good teams on the wing. They will have to overpower the right side but they should create plenty of chances and should convert a couple of those as the game goes on.
Sporting KC: Kronberg; Ellis, Cmollin, Besler, Sinovic; Rosell, Nagamura, Feilhaber; Zusi, Bieler, Zizzo.
Colorado Rapids (From Chris White): Irwin; Burch, Moor, Wynne, O'Neill; Sturgis, Labrocca; Brown, Powers, Serna; Torres
Sporting Kansas City 2-2 Colorado Rapids
Sporting KC will benefit from a full week's rest and Benny Feilhaber will have himself a marvelous but Colorado's midfield will create a ton of chances on the wing, leading to a high scoring draw.