Sporting will try to enhance its case for the Eastern Conference's top seed by dispatching of struggling Toronto.Sporting Kansas City remains very much in the race for the Eastern Conference's top seed, and Saturday's trip to face lowly Toronto FC offers a prime opportunity to help the club's cause.
Kansas City sits three points behind the New York Red Bulls for the top spot in the East, though Sporting has a game in hand. Toronto, meanwhile, is winless in seven and eliminated from playoff contention. With Tim Bezbatchenko named the club's general manager Friday, it's safe to say TFC's sights are firmly set on the future.
Although Sporting has won back-to-back contests in league play, Peter Vermes' side delivered a disappointing performance Tuesday in CONCACAF Champions League play, settling for a 1-1 draw at home against Nicaragua's Real Esteli despite playing a largely first-choice lineup.
After scoring Tuesday, winger Jacob Peterson could factor into Vermes' starting lineup as the coach continues to mix and match following the sale of Kei Kamara to English side Middlesbrough. If Peterson gets the start on the right, Graham Zusi could be switched to the left flank or positioned at the top of Kansas City's midfield triangle.
Toronto is coming off a 2-0 loss to the New York Red Bulls last weekend. With Robert Earnshaw battling a hamstring injury, Justin Braun and Andrew Wiedeman figure to start up top once again. But injury-plagued striker Danny Koevermans does seem poised to at least contribute minutes off the bench for Ryan Nelsen's side.