About the Teams
Sporting Kansas City
Like a breath of fresh air, Sporting Kansas City saw several players return from international duties or suspensions and now are looking at their strongest starting lineup since May. Matt Besler and Graham Zusi are back from the World Cup and are likely starters today. Toni Dovale is back from his two game suspension, which stretched out to nearly a month due to lack of games. They did lose Eric Kronberg this week to a fractured fourth metacarpal, but Andy Gruenebaum has loads of starting experience and should be decent in goal. Against this opponent this year, Sporting KC has won two games by a combined score of 7-0 so they are hoping for similar results tonight.
The Impact haven't made much progress in the standings since the last time these two teams met, but they have been able to make some progress on the field. In their last five matches, they've shutout their opponents three times and and allowed only one goal to Chivas USA. They've gotten results in their last three matches as well. They'll be missing Sanna Nyassi, Eric Miller and Adrian Lopez for this match, but they will have the nice attacking combo of Marco Di Vaio and Andrew Wenger up top.
Who to Watch
Sporting Kansas City- Dom Dwyer
Every time Dom Dwyer has played against a Canadian team this season, he has ended up with a brace. Those six goals currently account for his half of his season total and he could very well do it again tonight. Despite doing well their last few games, Montreal can still give up a lot of goals against a good offense as evidenced by their 4-2 loss to DC United a few weeks ago. With Zusi and Dovale back on the wings to serve the ball to Dwyer, he should be a nuisance all game long.
Montreal Impact- Jack McInerney
McInerney has been the Impact's greatest offensive asset since he was traded to Montreal for Andrew Wenger. He's scored six goals in 11 games and has really started to mesh well with Justin Mapp and Andres Romero's service from the midfield. Him and Di Vaio create a nice one-two punch at the top where Di Vaio is working on getting behind the defense while McInerney is there to poach.
Why They'll Win
Sporting Kansas City
Sporting KC's attacking style does not bode well for Montreal, who has a tendency to fold under teams that send a lot of men forward. They have their front line intact for the first time in two months, plus a healthy Benny Feilhaber and Paulo Nagamura in the midfield. The full lineup should be enough for Sporting KC to control the game like they have the first two games this season and to make it an offensive showcase for 90 minutes.
The running joke is how many times Marco Di Vaio will be called offside in a single game. While he does have a tendency to get offside, when his run works, it works. It's one of the most beautiful plays in MLS and now that he has McInerny to poach behind him, the Impact can score when they are firing on all cylinders. As long as Montreal's defense can hold like they have been in the past few games and if McInerny and Di Vaio can work something out on the attack then the Impact can definitely pull this one out.
Sporting Kansas City: Gruenebaum; Juliao, Collin, Besler, Sinovic; Olum, Nagamura, Feilhaber, Zusi, Dwyer, Dovale.
Montreal Impact (From Sofiane Benzaza): Perkins - Camara, Ferrari, Pearce, Krol - Larrea, Bernier, Romero, Felipe, Mapp- McInerney.