About the Teams
Sporting Kansas City
Injury woes continue this week for Sporting KC as they will be without DP Graham Zusi, who suffered a concussion in last week's match. In addition to Zusi, Paulo Nagamura, Marcel De Jong, and Chance Myers are also unavailable this week. With Zusi out, it looks like The Answer, Jacob Peterson, will get a start on the right wing. The club has kept youngster Erik Palmer-Brown for an extra few days before he leaves for the U-20 World Cup, so expect to see him on the field today. Although injuries have hurt SKC, they have weathered the storm thus far and find themselves in a playoff position. Now, the last place team in the West comes to visit and the home side will be looking for all 3 points.
The Rapids are sitting in last place with just 1 victory thus far. However, they're only 4 points from a playoff spot and they grinded out a result all but two of their games. They are a tough side to beat on the road and they have already taken points away from some of the best teams in MLS. The trouble though, has been finishing. Colorado is 3rd in chances created in all of MLS, but only have 9 goals to show for it.This week, it looks like the club's new Argentine striker, Luis Solignac, will be available for reinforcements. Despite being in last place, the Burgundy Boys are confident they can pull out another result against KC.
Who to Watch
Sporting Kansas City - Dom Dwyer
The first 10 games of the season did not go at all according to Dom Dwyer's plan. Some of his missed opportunities have had all of KC collectively facepalming. Despite struggling, his work rate has never come close to fading. Dwyer's hold up play and the pressure he puts on defenses for the full 90 minutes, cannot be ignored. He does have 3 goals to his name so far, one of which came last week. It was by no means an easy finish, nor did he look like a striker lacking confidence. Last season, he came off the bench and scored an emphatic winner against Colorado, and they now come to The Blue Hell in last place. The KC frontman will be hungrier than ever.
Colorado Rapids - Luis Solignac
The 24 year old Argentine literally just joined the team earlier this week, but he has asked to be thrown into the mix already. The Rapids can create opportunities and can get the ball on target, but have lacked a lethal finisher. If Solignac doesn't start, he will likely get his first crack at MLS off the bench. He is very excited to be in America and is impressed so far. It will be interesting to see how he handles the tough environment at Sporting park, but a questionable SKC back line gives him the chance to get on the score sheet.
Why they'll win
Sporting Kansas City
Although this team has been ravaged by injuries again this season, the talent is there to beat any team. The defense is sure to get exposed several times; but if they can weather the storm, you can count on a moment (or five) of brilliance from Benny Feilhaber. Between him and Espinoza in the midfield, the front 3 are sure to get their looks on goal. Krisztian Nemeth has been dangerous every time he has been on the ball, but SKC will need their striker to capitalize on when he gets the opportunity.
The Rapids have been very good away from home and they don't give up many goals. They are in last place but have been getting results against very good teams. With the Sporting KC defense vulnerable, Colorado will be looking to take advantage of counter attacks. If they are able to get a lead, they can stay back and continue the stingy defense they've shown all season. This is a team that knows how to grind out results and now they have some reinforcements in the front to finish all the chances they create.
Sporting KC: Tim Melia, Jalil Anibaba, Erik Palmer-Brown, Matt Besler, Seth Sinovic, Soni Mustivar, Roger Espinoza, Benny Feilhaber, Krisztian Nemeth, Dom Dwyer, Jacob Peterson
Colorado Rapids (from Burgundy Wave): Irwin, Harrington, Moor, Burling, Riley, Pittinari, Cronin, Ramirez, Powers, Torres, Solignac
Sporting Kansas City 3 - 1 Colorado Rapids