You have to love a good ol' SKCvHOU matchup! The Lamar Hunt US Open Cup is very winnable for Sporting KC this year, but they will have to get through the Dynamo first. If they can do so, it will be another fun match at home against rival RSL.
We ask them...
1. Cubo Torres is now with the Dynamo after a loan to Liga MX. Are we going to see his debut Tuesday night? How exactly will he slide into the lineup with Will Bruin and Brad Davis up front?
Cubo has now had a few days of training and is one of the higher quality players with fresh legs. Cubo had made the trip to Rio Tinto so it's likely he could make his first appearance in Orange against SKC. However, Coyle could elect to hold off until he sees a bit more from him in training.
Cubo is a FW with some room to move around. If the Dynamo played a full first team for Open Cup given our current group, Cubo and Bruin would be up top with Davis at LM, Lopez at RM, and Garrido and Clark in the center. However, given the short turnaround and a game this weekend how the lineup will look is anyone's guess.
2. I know in KC, we can fall hard for our sports stars and it's difficult to see them leave sometimes. Corey Ashe was part of the MLS Cup team all the way back in 2007 and is 2nd in all time appearances for Houston. Was it tough seeing him sent away to Orlando City or do fans just see it as business?
We all loved Ashe here and he's still capable of being a top LB in the league. DaMarcus Beasley is one of the few that could beat him out of a starting slot. It was incredibly tough seeing a guy, a gem from the Dominic Kinnear era, gone, but the timing couldn't have been worse. With Beasley assuming duties with the USMNT we're now playing our rookie LB/RB Taylor Hunter so Ashe's departure is felt twice as hard.
3. Houston has several guys unavailable from international duties and injuries like Beasley, Barnes, and Garcia among others. How has Houston been coping? Who should KC fans watch for that they may no be aware of?
It hasn't been easy and with 3 games in a week (counting last Saturday's loss to RSL, Tuesday's Open Cup, and this Saturday's game against LA) the travel miles, tired legs and health has been hitting us hard. As mentioned above, Cubo will be 1 reinforcement for this match along with Kofi Sarkodie and Luis Garrido - 2 first teamers that saw limited minutes at RSL who will be suspended against LA.
A player that you might not be aware of that could hurt you would be Leonel Miranda. He's fast, clever, creative, and unselfish with the ball. Watch for him on the wings.
SKC win in over time 2-1 (no penalties please).
They ask us...
1 – Sporting Kansas City absolutely destroyed FC Dallas in their last Open Cup match in order to advance to the Quarterfinals in a 6-2 effort led by 4 goals from Dom Dwyer. SKC had the luxury of a bye week looming and was able to utilize mostly regular players in their win over FCD. With a game this past Saturday and a game this weekend at Rio Tinto Stadium, what kind of lineup or squad are we going to see in this round of the Open Cup?
It is likely we will see some changes to the lineup that started this weekend in MLS play, but it will still be a solid group. Peter Vermes has confidence in everyone in this lineup, so starting other players is not a sign of taking this tournament lightly. I would not be surprised to see Feilhaber and Espinoza get a break in the midfield for Nagamura and Medranda. Options are lacking on defense to switch things up, but hopefully Chance Myers will see his first full 90 minutes. With Zusi out and it being probable there is a rest for Feilhaber, you would have to think both Nemeth and Dwyer get starts. Without those two I don't where any offense would come from. But rookie Connor Hallisey could see a start on the right in place of Jacob Peterson (in place of Zusi). Peter can be very hard to predict, but everyone on this roster has played and shown they belong.
2 – SKC in general this year has performed well despite injuries to key players like Ike Opara and international call-ups to Graham Zusi. What or who has kept the team flowing together, or has it been a team coming together mentality?
This has been the case all the way back to last season. Injuries and call ups have just been absolutely relentless. This year hasn't been as bad, so this is a cakewalk for Peter's guys. It is definitely a team coming together mentality. They are a big group of friends who want to do well for each other and the coach. Everyone knows what Peter wants from his players, everyone knows their job, and everyone is confident.
Everyone on the team has stepped up obviously, but two guys in particular have been key. Soni Mustivar came in and locked down the ever important holding midfield position, and Tim Melia replaced Luis Marin in goal. Nobody ever thought somebody could compare to Uri Rosell for Sporting KC, but Soni is beginning to do so. Melia was an MLS pool keeper last season and was behind the highly touted newcomer Marin. Marin didn't work out so Melia came in and blew everyone away. The two of them taking the starting jobs precisely lines up with the great run of form that have this team in such a good spot right now. But as I said, everyone has stepped up. Kevin Ellis and his 5'9" self have been so big in the CB spot, and rookies like Amadou Dia have performed admirably as well.
3 – Orlando City SC seems to be loading up on former Dynamo players with Tally Hall, Corey Ashe, Tony Cascio, and now Servando Carrasco as the latest MLS trade featured Carrasco leaving SKC and Amboi Okugo arriving. The experienced Okugo provides coverage at multiple positions and could provide assistance in this game or Saturday’s match against RSL (with more training in a new system under his belt). What are the odds we’ll see Okugo with SKC against the Dynamo?
While another body is definitely needed with 3 games this week, I would be very surprised to see him debut. Vermes has never been the kind of guy to do that, no matter who it is. Okugo will have to work his way in, learn the system, and prove he is Sporting Fit. His versatility is welcomed, but based on the team needs right now, it looks like he is going to fill in at CB eventually. Kevin Ellis has probably done more than expected but he isn't a real center back. Okugo has played extended time in this league and seen success as a CB.
Too early to tell of course, but most of SKC Nation sees this as a very positive move.
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ (4-3-3) Jon Kempin, Chance Myers, Kevin Ellis, Matt Besler, Marcel De Jong, Soni Mustivar, Paolo Nagamura, Jimmy Medranda, Krisztian Nemeth, Dom Dwyer, Jacob Peterson
Sporting KC 3-2 Houston Dynamo