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Match Preview; Sporting Kansas City vs. D.C. United ; DC Will Look To Play the Role of Spoiler

18 year old DC United midfielder Andy Najar could pose problems for Sporting KC's defense. (Photo by Larry French/Getty Images)
18 year old DC United midfielder Andy Najar could pose problems for Sporting KC's defense. (Photo by Larry French/Getty Images)
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Sporting KC vs. D.C. United

October 22, 2011
RFK Stadium
Washington D.C. 
6:30 PM CDT
TV- KSMO Channel 62

Last Meeting
August 21, 2011
Sporting KC 1, DC United 0
Goal- Kei Kamara 19'

Last Five Match Results
Sporting KC L-T-W-T-W
DC United L-L-L-L-T

Stat Leaders
Goals- Sporting KC, Kei Kamara, Omar Bravo, Teal Bunbury- 9
DC United- Dwayne De Rosario- 16

Assists - Sporting KC, Graham Zusi- 7
DC United- De Rosario- 12

Yellow Cards- Sporting KC, Aurelien Collin- 10
DC United- Brandon McDonald, Marc Burch- 4

With the New York Red Bulls coming through with a 1-0 win over the Philadelphia Union last night, Sporting Kansas City still remain in the drivers seat in the Eastern Conference. If they can pull out a win against DC United tomorrow at RFK Stadium, then they'll finish first in the East to finish the regular season.

Many are wondering, including myself, which DC United team will show up to play Saturday night. United, coming off of a 1-1 draw with the Portland Timbers that saw DC officially eliminated from playoff contention, could come out looking for something to prove. They very well could play the role of spoiler for Sporting KC. If DC United were able to defeat Kansas City, then Sporting KC's fate would be in the hands of the Houston Dynamo and the Columbus Crew. Houston take on the LA Galaxy, and Columbus face Chivas USA

This is a DC team that hasn't quite looked the same since forward Chris Pontius went down with a fracture of his right tibia on September 14th. Since then, DC United has only won a single match, a 4-1 win over Real Salt Lake on September 24th. 

One would have to think that United midfielder Dwayne De Rosario will come out with guns blazing in the final game of the regular season. De Rosario is currently sitting on 16 goals, and 12 assists on the season, and will most likely be looking to solidify his Golden Boot, and MLS MVP numbers.

However, De Rosario isn't the only threat facing Sporting KC on Saturday. Midfielder Andy Najar has contributed 5 goals and 6 assists. The 18 year old Honduran appears to be one of the young future stars of MLS. 

Josh Wolff, the former Kansas City Wizard, has had a good year statistically, adding 5 goals, and 7 assists, although he's been known to be rather inconsistent at his time with United.


Projected Sporting KC Starting XI


The only change I could see Vermes going with might be switching out Roger Espinoza with Davy Arnaud. Espinoza did a admirable job playing higher up in the Sporting KC midfield than his usual holding midfield role that Julio Cesar has played so well in as of late. 

For what it's worth, I was also impressed with Roger's play in the United States vs. Honduras international friendly on October 8th. Well, minus all of the embellishing of contact Espinoza did during the course of the match.


Prediction- Sporting KC 2, DC United 1  

I think DC will come out flat. I'm hoping they are demoralized after they were eliminated from the playoffs on Wednesday. (knock on wood)


Injury Report

Sporting Kansas City - OUT: DF Daneil Cyrus (L foot fracture); MF Luke Sassano (R knee sprain); MF Konrad Warzycha (R knee surgery); MF Peterson Joseph (R knee contusion); PROBABLE: FW Kei Kamara (R ankle contusion)

DC United- OUT: MF Branko Boskovic (L ACL tear); MF Chris Pontius (R tibia fracture); DF Jed Zayner (L knee sprain); PROBABLE: DF Dejan Jakovic (R hamstring strain)