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Sporting KC Injury Update and Starting XI Predictions Versus San Jose

One more name is off the injury report.

MLS: Sporting Kansas City at San Jose Earthquakes Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Sporting Kansas City are back in action looking to string together eight straight wins to make an improbably playoff run after last weekend’s victory over the Portland Timbers. Up next, the Quakes.

MATCH PREVIEW: Sporting KC vs San Jose Earthquakes


  • How to Watch
  • Stats
  • Injury Updates for the San Jose Earthquakes
  • Roster Changes
  • and Predictions

Injury/Availability Updates

OUT - Alan Pulido (knee surgery), Gadi Kinda (SEI - knee surgery), Kortne Ford (suspension), Tim Melia (hamstring)

QUESTIONABLE - Ozzie Cisneros (hamstring)

The only change is an expected one. Khiry Shelton falls off the report after showing up on the bench and subbing into last weekend’s win over the Portland Timbers.

Starting XI Predictions

Let’s just get to it.

Does Anything Change?

At this point, with 11 goals in three games, it’s hard to imagine Peter Vermes is going to change anything. Even Ben Sweat picked up a nice assist that’ll probably earn him continued starts. I thought for sure Peter Vermes essentially calling Sweat out after the collapse against Austin FC meant for sure he’d be on the bench. Maybe it’s simply that Logan Ndenbe isn’t fit enough to start and Peter notoriously doesn’t like to sub defenders mid game (unless Graham Zusi is on the bench trying to get back to fitness).

I’m going to pick Ndenbe, but I admit it’s what I want, not what will happen.

The only other spots in real question is Roger Espinoza’s midfield spot and Zusi’s RB spot. Zusi is probably very safe. Espinoza maybe slightly less so. But until KC drop any points — which would not officially but essentially eliminate them from the playoffs — Peter probably doesn’t mess with anything.

Agada’s Spot is Safe, Right?!

Willy Agada has five goals in five games (four starts). The team has looked absolutely electric with him out there. But Khiry Shelton is officially available again. I saw it on Twitter and had the exact same thought... if Shelton starts, we riot. Obviously not really, but it would be madness. I might join the #VermesOut crowd if that happens. It can’t happen, right?

The Other Spots

  • I’ll be interested to see if Kortne Ford gets back on the field when his suspension is up on September 10th. KC only have three games left without Ford.
  • I think there is a case to be made that Johnny Russell could use a rest. He gave so much trying to lift this team all year. Shelton or Marinos Tzionis could get some time there with Russell coming off the bench for a burst. I doubt it happens, but I think it’s worth considering.
  • I see no reason to change anyone else.

Rest of the 20: McIntosh, Tzionis, Pierre, Hernandez, K. Rad, Rosell, Shelton, Voloder, Duke

There are actually too many players for the bench for the first time in a very long time.

Fan XI

The voting starts to feel more like what’s inevitable versus what we want. Zusi is getting starter votes. Sweat is climbing, though Ndenbe is still far preferred. Espinoza is climbing, though Hernandez is still preferred as well.

And for the record, Khiry Shelton had one vote to start at striker. Presumably it was him, his mom or his girlfriend. If not, defend yourself in the comments.

Here is the tally of your fan vote. Starters in italics and anyone over five percent is referenced here.

Goalkeepers: Pulskamp (94.6%), Melia (5.4%)

Defenders: Isimat-Mirin (91.9%), Fontas (89.2%), Zusi (67.6%), Ndenbe (64.9%), Pierre (37.8%), Sweat (27.0%), Voloder (16.2%), Rad (5.4%)

Midfielders: Thommy (97.3%), Walter (91.9%), Hernandez (56.8%), Espinoza (43.2%), Duke (12.5%), Zusi (7.5%)

Wingers: Russell (94.6%), Salloi (86.5%), Tzionis (13.5%)

Strikers: Agada (97.3%)

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