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Match Preview: Sporting Kansas City vs. Real Salt Lake

Sporting KC looks for their third straight win as they welcome Real Salt Lake to Sporting Park.

Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

About the Teams

Sporting Kansas City

Sporting KC escaped the Philadelphia Union with two goals at the end of the match to snatch away a 3-2 victory. It was a nice result after a poor performance in which they could not stop Philadelphia set pieces and any build-up was negligible. Still, they've won two straight and they're looking to continue that. They'll be without Seth Sinovic and likely without Graham Zusi; Zusi will definitely not start and is only a possible bench option. Other than that, they should have a full lineup for this match.

Real Salt Lake

After a couple of draws to start the season, Real Salt Lake has accrued a two-game winning streak of their own, knocking off Toronto FC at home and then dispatching of San Jose on the road. They've been a very similar team to Sporting KC in 2015 with their goals coming from other players than their forwards and a 4-3-3 offense that is able to play at a frenzied, high-pressure pace.

Who to Watch

Sporting Kansas City- Dom Dwyer

Dom Dwyer got his first goal of the 2015 season last week against Philadelphia and also put the the ball in the back of the net a couple of extra times but the goals were waved off. The question now is whether the game against Philadelphia was enough to solve some of the problems he's had finishing this season. It won't solve the issues of him being isolated in the middle but when he does get his chances, can he put them home?

Real Salt Lake- Javier Morales

The majority of Real Salt Lake's offense this season has come through Javier Morales. He has two goals and three assists in four games and has just been incredible for RSL this season. Sporting KC has a midfield where they focus more on possession and distribution from the back rather than attacking, so if Morales can still find a way to create offense through that then Real Salt Lake will have a good night in Kansas City.

How They'll Win

Sporting Kansas City

Sporting Kansas City has to do a couple of things. The first is to contain Javier Morales in the middle of the pitch and the second is to isolate Alvaro Saborio up top. These two are not mutually exclusive. If Sporting KC can disrupt the middle and force the visitors' attack to the flanks then they're going to have a better time defending them. Sporting KC hasn't exactly been the best at defending set pieces this season, but they've been better than trying to defend counters down the middle. Clogging the middle is the best way to contain Real Salt Lake.

Real Salt Lake

The best way to beat Sporting Kansas City this season has been to do two things. The first being isolate Dom Dwyer up top, and considering what Sporting KC's midfield looks like this might not be the most difficult thing to do. The second is to limit set pieces, which has been a large part of Sporting KC's goal scoring abilities this season. That will be more difficult considering the physical nature of both clubs, both if Real Salt Lake can keep Ike Opara's head away from goal, then they'll have a better chance of claiming three points.



Sporting KC: Marin; de Jong, Besler, Opara, Anibaba; Feilhaber, Espinoza, Nagamura; Nemeth, Dwyer, Medranda

Real Salt Lake (From RSL Soapbox): Rimando; Beltran, Olave, Schuler, Phillips; Morales, Beckerman, Mulholland; Gil, Saborio, Garcia.