Sporting Kansas City are back in action with nearly a full weeks rest and are set to travel and take on 11th place LAFC. This isn’t an Los Angeles FC injury/availability update, but I’d be remiss not to mention they are without 14 players! KC need to take advantage in Los Angeles.
OUT - Felipe Hernandez (personal reasons), Jaylin Lindsey (hamstring), Remi Walter (red card), Daniel Salloi (International Duty - Hungary), Gadi Kinda (International Duty - Israel)
QUESTIONABLE - Nicolas Isimat-Mirin (hamstring)
#SportingKC Injury / Availability Report:— Chad Smith (@PlayFor90) September 3, 2021
OUT - Jaylin Lindsey (hamstring), Felipe Hernandez (personal reasons), Daniel Salloi (Int. Duty), Gadi Kinda (Int. Duty)
QUESTIONABLE - Nicolas Isimat-Mirin (hamstring)
That's two additions (the call-ups) and Isi is upgraded. #LAFCvSKC
The international call-ups (who will probably miss at least one more game between travel and possible quarantines with their games ending no later than Wednesday of next week) were expected but Isimat-Mirin was updated to questionable. I personally don’t expect PV to take a chance on him getting re-injured, but moving off the ‘out’ position is a plus.
Starting XI Predictions
It’s always something. This week, the team needs to overcome international absences, including their leading scorer Daniel Salloi.
Int. Call-Up Part 1: Who Replaces Kinda?
This one is pretty easy for me. Remi Walter returns from red card suspension so that allows Roger Espinoza to move back forward in the midfield and Cam Duke to slide over to Kinda’s spot. There are basically three healthy midfielders if you don’t count Ilie Sanchez, who will probably start at center back again. That’s not completely fair as Ozzie Cisneros and Jake Davis are healthy, but neither have played an MLS minute, though I’m all for Davis getting some sub minutes as he’s shown he’s talented with SKC II.
There is a possibility new midfielder Jose Mauri slots into the midfield somewhere as he’s with the team, but based on Peter Vermes’ presser from this week it seems unlikely. Maybe a sub appearance?
#SportingKC new midfielder Jose Mauri has been doing a lot of individual work as #SKC looks to bring him up to speed. Looks like we still won't be seeing him this weekend in LA.— Shaun Goodwin (@ShaunGoodwinKC) September 1, 2021
Int. Call-Up Part 2: Who Replaces Salloi?
This is much tougher for me. Well, not really, it’s going to be Khiry Shelton, but I’m not sure it should be. He’s clearly the fourth forward on the roster but I think we can all agree left wing is Shelton’s worse spot (RW being his best and CF being his second best in my opinion).
Grayson Barber has played on the wing a bit, but he’s mostly been on the right. There is basically no one else besides maybe Kinda (who’s gone) or Duke (who’s needed in the midfield) that can play that spot. So it’s Shelton...
It’s Alan Pulido. Here me out! He’s right footed and could cut back in on that dominant foot and work a little Salloi magic. That frees up Wilson Harris to play center forward and Shelton to come off the bench. We all know this won’t happen, but I think it would be interesting. Pulido is just too good at center forward. Not to mention if it did happen, Shelton would probably start at CF.
However, I could see Shelton and Pulido flipping in game as Pulido moves all over the pitch.
No Other Changes
With nearly a full weeks rest, I imagine the rest of the starters will keep their same role. Eventually you’ll need to look at rotating players like Graham Zusi and Espinoza, but I’ll settle for PV actually using a few subs after only using one or fewer in the last four games. That’s a long-term recipe for more injuries.
Rest of the 20: Pulskamp, Harris, Puncec, Davis, Dia, Barber, Pierre, Rad, Isimat-Mirin
SKC II played on Wednesday, but it was at home so the boys should return to the first team and be available to travel with the team. Pulskamp, Pierre and Smith all played 90 minutes while Cisneros played for 79 minutes. I wouldn’t expect to see any of them play anyways, unless it’s an emergency.
Well that’s not exciting but of course you all agree with me 100 percent. With the five players missing and Mauri likely not yet available, there just isn’t much to choose from that you’d probably start. With injuries and international call-ups, it just all feels obvious.
I’d be interested in your over/under on number of subs used since that’s still up for debate. I’ll set it at 1.5. Are you taking the under or the over (under meaning one or less sub)? Vote below! (Remember, PV can use five subs!!)
Over or Under 1.5 subs used in the game?
This poll is closed
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 (100%)
Defenders: Fontas (97.7%), Martins (90.7%), Zusi (88.4%), Ilie (81.4%), Isimat-Mirin (16.3%), Dia (12.8%)
Midfielders: Walter (95.3%), Espinoza (93.0%), Duke (86.0%), Ilie (19.8%)
Wingers: Russell (97.7%), Shelton (83.7%), Barber (15.1%)
Strikers: Pulido (96.5%)
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