thumbnail Hello,
Live

MLS

  • May 28, 2011
  • • 9:09 PM
  • • Dick's Sporting Goods Park, Denver, Colorado
  • Referee: H. Grajeda
  • • Attendance: 16439
1
FT
1

Head to Head Preview: Colorado Rapids - Sporting Kansas City

Head to Head Preview: Colorado Rapids - Sporting Kansas City

Getty Images

Struggling Sporting KC heads to Colorado seeking its first points since April 2.

On Form

Sporting KC: For a unit that’s been much-maligned this season, Kansas City’s defense turned in a pretty respectable performance against Seattle last weekend. After shuffling through various central defensive pairings, it appears that Matt Besler and Aurélien Collin have solidified their first choice spots. Besler, in particular, was solid against Seattle, so the team can be hopeful their days of shipping two or three goals every game are behind them.

Colorado Rapids: New additions to the Rapids are finally looking like they belong on the defending champion's roster. Sanna Nyassi, Ross LeBauex, Andre Akpan, and Quincy Amarikwa looked confident and contributed to a dominant performance against the Red Bulls. As always, the veterans on the defensive side cannot be shaken.

Off Target

Sporting KC: Teal Bunbury was expected to receive a call to Bob Bradley’s Gold Cup squad, but his omission this week wasn’t just an indictment of his play, but also a sign of how starved he’s been for service. Sporting Kansas City has lacked the kind of midfield playmaker that can unlock an opposing defense with a killer pass, and the rotation of Stephane Auvray, Craig Rocastle, Davy Arnaud and Milos Stojcev have all proven unable to fulfill that role thus far.

Rapids: With Omar Cummings and Caleb Folan still out due to injury, it will be another test of the forwards' ability to turn possession into results. Jamie Smith is also questionable with an injury, which leaves the creativity in the hands of the entire squad.


Rocastle | Part of Sporting KC's central midfield rotation

Tactics

Sporting KC: Omar Bravo made his long-awaited return to the starting lineup against Seattle, and he was joined by Ryan Smith, who made his first start of the season. With both players seemingly healthy, Peter Vermes can use Bravo as the de-facto playmaker in his 4-3-3 formation, with Bunbury up top flanked by Smith on the left and Kei Kemara on the right.

Rapids:
The last time the Rapids won at home was on April 3 against D.C. United. Look for the team to come out strong and aggressive, finishing plays with goals instead of turnovers.

Intangibles

Sporting KC: The team can take solace in their performance against Seattle, but they are still rock bottom in the league with just four points from eight matches. The task doesn’t get any easier, as they travel to the thin air of Denver to face the defending champions. Mental toughness will be the main factor in securing their first points since April 2.

Rapids: This is the defending champion's third match in six days. Exhaustion may be a factor, but being at home may bring the infusion of adrenaline needed to walk away with three points.

Outcome

Seth Vertelney: Colorado continues to heap the pressure on head coach Peter Vermes with a 2-1 win.

Stephanie Gardner: Playing as a thriving unit, the Rapids will continue that stride and defeat Sporting KC 2-0.

For more on Major League Soccer, visit Goal.com's MLS page and join Goal.com USA's Facebook fan page!

Related

Field Report
Reader's Predictions
Top 3 Predictions
Head to Head
USA - Major League Soccer ‎(MLS)‎ Mar 29, 2014 Colorado Rapids 2 - Sporting Kansas City 3
  • Player Ratings
  • Match Report
  • Play by Play
  • Preview
USA - Major League Soccer ‎(MLS)‎ Aug 31, 2013 Sporting Kansas City 2 - Colorado Rapids 1
  • Player Ratings
  • Match Report
  • Play by Play
  • Preview
USA - Major League Soccer ‎(MLS)‎ May 19, 2012 Colorado Rapids 2 - Sporting Kansas City 2
  • Player Ratings
  • Match Report
  • Play by Play
  • Preview
USA - Major League Soccer ‎(MLS)‎ Nov 2, 2011 Sporting Kansas City 2 - Colorado Rapids 0
  • Player Ratings
  • Match Report
  • Play by Play
  • Preview
USA - Major League Soccer ‎(MLS)‎ Oct 30, 2011 Colorado Rapids 0 - Sporting Kansas City 2
  • Player Ratings
  • Match Report
  • Play by Play
  • Preview
Last Five Matches
Odds
Team News
Available Squads
-Matt PickensGoalkeeper
27Kosuke KimuraDefender
-Tyrone MarshallDefender
22Marvell WynneDefender
3Drew MoorDefender
-W. ThompsonMidfielder
25Pablo MastroeniMidfielder
16Ross LaBauexMidfielder
20Jeff LarentowiczMidfielder
-Sanna NyassiMidfielder
6Conor CaseyStriker
-Steward CeusGoalkeeper
-Scott PalgutaDefender
-Anthony WallaceMidfielder
-Joseph NaneMidfielder
24Quincy AmarikwaStriker
9Andre AkpanStriker
18Caleb FolanStriker
1Jimmy NielsenGoalkeeper
78Aurellien CollinDefender
5Matt BeslerDefender
5Michael HarringtonDefender
15Seth SinovicDefender
7Chance MyersDefender
1Craig RocastleMidfielder
8Davy ArnaudMidfielder
8Graham ZusiStriker
17C.J. SapongStriker
-O. BravoStriker
18Eric KronbergGoalkeeper
27Birahim DiopMidfielder
-Miloš StojčevMidfielder
32Luke SassanoMidfielder
-Julio CésarMidfielder
-Ryan SmithMidfielder
10Teal BunburyStriker

From the web

From the web