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  • May 14, 2014
  • • 8:30 PM
  • • Sporting Park, Kansas City, Kansas
  • Referee: R. Salazar
  • • Attendance: 19073
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MLS Preview: Sporting Kansas City - Philadelphia Union

MLS Preview: Sporting Kansas City - Philadelphia Union

Eric Bolte

The reigning champion and Conference leader will be hoping for a routine three points when struggling Philly limps into town.

The pressure is beginning to build on John Hackworth as he takes his Philadelphia Union team into the lion's den that is SPorting Park to face reigning MLS Cup champion Kansas City (8:30 p.m. ET, MLS LIVE).

Philadelphia, despite a number of expensive offseason acquisitions, is struggling mightily and hasn't won a game since its 1-0 victory over New England on Mar. 15, a run of nine matches. What's more, that win remains the Union's only maximum-points haul in 2014, and they now sit ninth in the 10-team Eastern Conference and are 18th out of 19 in the Supporters' Shield standings. Only a dismal Montreal Impact side - which beat Philadelphia last month - prevents them from leading the race for the wooden spoon.

Kansas City meanwhile, sits atop the East with a strong 5-2-2 record. It has the stingiest defense in Major League Soccer, tied with the LA Galaxy with just six goals conceded - and Sporting has played two more games than LA. Coming into this game, Sporting has won three of its last four matches.

The Union isn't completely without hope, however. They picked up a surprise win on their last visit to Kansas last September, with Conor Casey's 36th-minute goal enough for a 1-0 win. Sporting got revenge though: the eventual MLS Cup winner won 2-1 at PPL a month later.

The Union could be missing Danny Cruz, listed as questionable last week with a foot contusion.

Kansas City faces a much longer injury list. Peterson Joseph (illness) and Ike Opara (R ankle surgery) were listed as out in a May 9 injury report, while C.J. Sapong (neck strain), Sal Zizzo (L groin strain) and Erik Palmer-Brown (sesamoiditis, R foot) were questionable.

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Available Squads
18Eric KronbergGoalkeeper
5Matt BeslerDefender
15Seth SinovicDefender
78Aurellien CollinDefender
6Paulo NagamuraMidfielder
8Graham ZusiStriker
10Benny FeilhaberMidfielder
11Salvatore ZizzoMidfielder
-Oriol RosellStriker
16Claudio BielerStriker
30Andy GruenebaumGoalkeeper
7Chance MyersDefender
13Lawrence OlumMidfielder
9ToniMidfielder
-Alex MartínezMidfielder
14Dominic DwyerStriker
37Jacob PetersonMidfielder
18Zac MacMathGoalkeeper
4Austin BerryDefender
25Sheanon WilliamsDefender
28Ray GaddisDefender
33FabinhoDefender
5Vincent NogueiraMidfielder
10Cristian Omar MaidanaMidfielder
14Amobi OkugoMidfielder
22Leo FernandesMidfielder
44Danny CruzMidfielder
33Andrew WengerStriker
1Andre BlakeGoalkeeper
15Ethan WhiteDefender
19Corben BoneMidfielder
6Conor CaseyStriker
11Sebastien Le TouxMidfielder
12Aaron WheelerStriker
29Antoine HoppenotStriker

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