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Sporting KC Injury Update and Starting XI Predictions Versus LA Galaxy

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A suspension adds to the tally of unavailable players for Wednesday against LA.

MLS: Sporting Kansas City at Seattle Sounders FC Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

Sporting Kansas City are back in action on short rest against the LA Galaxy on Wednesday in what is likely to be a stormy night. The game is set to be a national broadcast, but thunderstorms are in the forecast for this evening. It’ll be interesting to see if the game goes off without a hitch. With just a week and a half left in the season, there is really no time to make up any games.

Injury/Availability Updates

OUT - Felipe Hernandez (suspension), Jaylin Lindsey (hamstring), Alan Pulido (knee surgery), Tim Melia (suspension)

QUESTIONABLE - Jose Mauri (ankle), Daniel Salloi (ankle)

Obviously the big news is Melia being suspended for his actions in last Saturday’s match.

Starting XI Predictions

Midweek game with no subs on the weekend, there has to be rotation, right?

Melia is Out, Who Plays Keeper?

Earlier this year when Tim Melia was injured, Homegrown goalkeeper John Pulskamp stepped into the starting role and performed admirably. I imagine he’ll get a chance to do it again but I do have a bit of pause. Over the weekend, SKC II suffered their worst defeat in club history by a 6-0 scoreline. Pulskamp was between the pipes that day. It’s possible, because of that, Kendall McIntosh gets the start. However, most of those goals were less of John’s fault and more failings of his defense or spectacular plays by their opponent.

Isi Should Get a Rest, Right?

Nicolas Isimat-Mirin just returned from his second injury of the season and up to this point has just 10 appearances (eight starts) for 679 minutes this year. You’d think that Vermes wouldn’t want to risk him on short rest heading towards the playoffs. Despite some missed passes against the Seattle Sounders, Isi played really well and was a needed presence on the back line.

I’ll guess, as some of you have predicted in the Predict the Lineup thread, Ilie Sanchez returns to CB and Remi Walter can take over the 6 position. That leaves a potential opening in the midfield if Gadi Kinda remains at the false 9 as he did against Seattle. Cam Duke is perfectly capable of stepping into that spot.

All the Rotation Pieces are Hurt

Outside of that, I don’t expect much change. The argument is clearly there for rotation but PV has shown he likes to play his main roster in the back-to-back games and if needed, he’ll rotate more heavily on the weekend games. Plus, if he does rotate more on the weekend, he can go in with a defensive strategy on the road, versus doing so at home. Kansas City always come to play and I suspect that’ll be the case Wednesday. I just hope they don’t run out of gas because the subs probably won’t be coming.

Rest of the 20: McIntosh, Harris, Dia, Barber, Davis, Rad, Isimat-Mirin, Puncec, Mauri

Ideally, I’d like to see these subs like Harris, Barber and maybe even Davis get into the game to close out what we hope is a nice lead. Additionally, I wouldn’t mind if Roger picked up a yellow card so he can rest over the weekend and get his suspension for yellow card accumulation out of the way.

Fan XI

The voting is all wonky because of the unknown nature of if Tim would be suspended. Additionally, Ilie being split between the backline and the midfield gets the votes crooked too. Finally, there is no consensus on striker as the highest vote was a tie at 36.1%. Weird week.

Here is your lineup and vote tallies (if a player gets at least 5% he’s listed) by category (with the starters in italics):

Goalkeepers: Melia (80.6%), Pulskamp (19.4%)

Defenders: Fontas (97.2%), Zusi/Martins (81.6%), Isimat-Mirin (80.6%), Ilie (19.4%), Smith/Dia (8.3%)

Midfielders: Walter (88.9%), Ilie/Kinda (52.8%), Duke (44.4%), Espinoza (33.3%), Mauri (27.8%)

Wingers: Russell (94.4%), Shelton (50.0%), Salloi (36.1%), Barber (8.3%), Duke (5.6%)

Strikers: Harris/Kinda (36.1%), Shelton (22.2%)

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