Sporting Kansas City are looking to bounce back from a controversial mid-week performance against Club Leon (Liga MX). They head on the road (yet again) for the third-straight league road game, this time against FC Dallas.
OUT - Felipe Hernandez (personal reasons), Nicolas Isimat-Mirin (hamstring), Jaylin Lindsey (hamstring)
QUESTIONABLE - Khiry Shelton (abdomen)
PROBABLE? - Johnny Russell* (unknown)
Availability report from the official game notes— Thad (@TheBackpost) August 13, 2021
• FWD - Khiry Shelton (Abdomen)
• DEF - Nicolas Isimat-Mirin (Hamstring)
• DEF - Jaylin Lindsey (Hamstring)
• MID - Felipe Hernandez (Personal Reasons)#sportingkc
*No Johnny Russell isn’t on the official injury report, but his name keeps coming up. On the Sporting KC versus Club Leon broadcast, they said he was hurt (Shaun Goodwin asked SKC PR and they said that wasn’t true). On the Sporting KC Show on 810 WHB, Nate Bukaty said Russell was hurt. Fans tweeted at me he wasn’t warming up to come on against Colorado. Our commenters have speculated that maybe Russell has a knock. It’s not bad enough to be questionable, but Peter keeps choosing not to play him. If he’s missing again, after missing three straight games, that’s just weird.
As for the official injury report, the last one had Cam Duke, who’s obviously appeared in both games and seems good. But new additions are the hamstring injuries to Isi and Lindsey. Apparently, Lindsey’s is much worse.
Vermes: Isi not out too long but Jaylin could be out weeks, or a couple months #SportingKC— Thad (@TheBackpost) August 13, 2021
Starting XI Predictions
It’s back to full strength, basically.
Who Replaces Isimat-Mirin?
It’s Ilie Sanchez, right? When Isi went down against Orlando City in the home opener, it would cause him to miss over two months of soccer. He played against Orlando on April 23rd and didn’t make his first appearance until a July 4th one minute sub spot against the LA Galaxy.
Things started out rough without Isi, with SKC going 1-2-0 in the first three games after. Then, something clicked. The team would go 5-1-1 after the loss against the Houston Dynamo. Ilie started at CB in that game too, but the rhythm was struck after. The only missing piece is that Gianluca Busio won’t be at the defensive midfielder spot. It’ll be interesting to see if PV goes this direction and if it works as well without Busio. No Busio probably means it’s Remi Walter at the 6 until someone like Jose Mauri gets his P1 Visa and has a chance to break into the lineup.
This is what that rest was for
When Sporting Kansas City played less than ideal lineups against both the Colorado Rapids and Leon, it was to prepare for the second half of the season, but in the short-term, for FC Dallas. Dallas are 5-0-1 against KC in their last six regular season meetings, but one player who hasn’t play in any of those games is Alan Pulido. That’s surprising right?
Well he should be rested and ready to go alongside (hopefully) Johnny Russell and Daniel Salloi. Plus the team’s new #10, Gadi Kinda, Roger Espinoza, Andreu Fontas, Luis Martins, Graham Zusi and Tim Melia.
How Does SKC II Impact this Lineup?
Minimally. In the midweek loss to the Birmingham Legion, only 4th string goalkeeper Brooks Thompson was on loan with the second team. He is likely on loan to the USL side for the whole season, so that means basically nothing.
However, SKC II also play just before Sporting KC. That will be a lineup to look at to see if anyone else is on loan or if they are needed to fill out the first team roster.
Rest of the 20: Pulskamp, Harris, Rad, Puncec, Dia, Barber, Pierre, Duke, [empty]
Cam Duke is my first guy off the bench, but Grayson Barber may have played himself into some more first team minutes. He got his first assist with the first team (in just his second appearance) and he generally seems dangerous and like he’s a good choice to get some closeout minutes on the wing. There is another three game week coming so PV should look to use subs and bring on guys like Duke, Barber, Harris and others.
Our vote matches 100%. There is a possibility we are all wrong and Ilie is at d-mid and someone else, like Kaveh Rad, plays CB. But I think Ilie going 90 minutes against Leon was because he was going to play a less taxing role against Dallas by moving to CB. And Walter came off at the half to save his legs for FCD.
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 (96.0%)
Defenders: Fontas (92.0%), Martins (90.7%), Zusi (89.3%), Ilie (50.7%), Isimat-Mirin (38.7%), Rad (9.3%), Dia (8.0%), Smith (5.3%)
Midfielders: Kinda (92.0%), Espinoza (73.3%), Walter (65.3%), Duke (33.3%), Ilie (28.0%)
Wingers: Salloi/Russell (90.7%), Shelton (9.3%)
Strikers: Pulido (92.0%)
What do you think? Did I get the lineup right? If you voted for something different, tell us in the comments. Knowing what you know now, how would you change your lineup? What is your ideal Starting XI? Let’s talk about it!
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