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Match Preview: Sporting Kansas City tries to halt winless skid against New York Red Bulls

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In an abnormal Tuesday evening match, Sporting Kansas City welcomes New York as they try to wash away the pain of the last couple weeks.

John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

About the Teams

Sporting Kansas City

From the darkness of the past few weeks, there is finally light tonight for Sporting Kansas City. It is very likely Aurelien Collin will be ready to go tonight, meaning Sporting Kansas City will have a legitimate centerback on defense for the first time in three games. He'll likely be paired with Ellis or Palmer-Brown, though I would hazard a guess at Ellis since he has more experience and New York has a strong attack. Rosell is not likely to be back, so Alex Martinez will likely be starting in the midfield.

New York Red Bulls

The Red Bulls are coming in to this match on a similar skid to Sporting Kansas City, losing their last three matches to Chicago, Toronto and Portland respectively. They now sit in sixth in the Eastern Conference with the majority of the teams above them having a game in hand against the Red Bulls. They have a strong attack spear-headed by Bradley Wright-Phillips, who is tied with Dom Dwyer for the league lead in goals. New York will also have Peguy Luyindula back in the midfield, but he may not be 100%.

Who to Watch

Sporting Kansas City- Aurelien Collin

With the news of Collin training yesterday and looking to be good to go tonight, Sporting Kansas City fans can breathe a sigh of relief. It will give Sporting Kansas City some semblance of a back line, and not a moment too soon after Chance Myers learned he would be out for the season this weekend. Collin will be charged with stopping the attack of Bradley Wright-Phillips and anchoring the back line. It will be interesting to see if he is 100% again or if he was brought back too quickly in order to salvage these points.

New York Red Bulls- Bradley Wright-Phillips

Wright-Phillips has been a bright spot on the New York campaign in 2014, scoring ten goals so far this season to tie Dom Dwyer for the 2014 lead in goals. He will be licking his lips at the thought of going against Sporting KC's defense that will have Igor Juliao and Kevin Ellis/Erik Palmer-Brown alongside Collin and Sinovic. It will be an inconsistent line that will have a higher probability of giving up goals and Wright-Phillip's recent form makes him a dangerous target for tonight's match.

Why They Will Win

Sporting Kansas City

New York has had a leaky defense so far this season, especially on the road where they have a -5 goal differential. They've given up eleven goals on the road in seven matches, although that has been exaggerated by a 4-1 loss in Vancouver opening day. Regardless, New York has poor form and a 1-3-3 record on the road. They have a tendency to give up goals and Dom Dwyer has been on fire as of late. Sporting Kansas City is going to be able to score tonight and will probably outscore the Red Bulls.

New York Red Bulls

The Red Bulls figured out Sporting Kansas City last year at home when they played a high line and scored three goals on the counter to shut down Sporting KC's high-pressure system. This year, they have the ever present threat of Thierry Henry plus the insane form of Bradley Wright-Phillips gives New York a huge attacking presence if they play a high line. Igor and Ellis are fast but we saw last week against Toronto what can happen if they get caught on the counter. New York will give up goals but they should be able to push Sporting KC back so they cannot play the game they want to play.

Predictions

Lineups

Sporting Kansas City: Kronberg - Juliao, Collin, Ellis, Sinovic - Nagamura, Martinez, Feilhaber - Toni, Dwyer, Zizzo

New York Red Bulls: Robles - Convey, Armando, Olave, Duvall - Bover, Alexander, McCarty, Sam - Wright-Phillips, Henry.

Scoreline

Sporting Kansas City 3-1 New York Red Bulls

I see New York's poor road form and leaky defense being taken advantage of by Sporting KC tonight with their high-pressure system being too much for the Red Bulls.