Preview: Sporting KC versus FC Dallas

Sporting KC try to rebound against the top team in the league, FC Dallas.

Tomorrow, April 17, 2016 at 6:00 PM CST (Fox Sports 1), Sporting Kansas City hit the road again to face Supporter’s Shield leading FC Dallas at Toyota Stadium. Heading to Texas isn’t necessarily good news for Sporting KC as they lost 3-1 the last time they played Dallas on the road.

Sporting did play quite well against Dallas in 2015 as long as the game wasn’t on the road. That said, Dallas doesn’t really seem to have a home field advantage as the games are poorly attended. Over the last season these teams combined for 20 goals in four meetings last season. The goals could keep coming as both teams have been finding the back of the net a lot in 2016, especially Dallas.

Maximiliano Urruti, Michael Barrios and Tesho Akindele all have scored three goals already. That with Mauro Diaz having already missed several games. Combined they lead the league with 13 goals across just seven games.

Suspended:  

– Sporting KC: None

– FC Dallas: Carlos Cruezo (yellow card accumulation)

Suspended Next Yellow Card:

– Sporting KC: None

– FC Dallas: None

Injuries:

– Sporting KC:

OUT: Justin Mapp (left toe), Soni Mustivar (hamstring strain), Kevin Ellis (groin injury), Chance Myers (hamstring injury)

QUESTIONABLE: Paulo Nagamura (calf strain), Matt Besler (concussion), Brad Davis (concussion)

– FC Dallas:

OUT: Alex Zendejas (osteitis pubis), Mauro Diaz (hamstring sprain)

QUESTIONABLE: None

Sporting Kansas City’s Last Five: W/W/L/W/L

FC Dallas’ Last Five: W/W/D/D/W

Goal Leader(s):

– Sporting KC:  Dom Dwyer (4)

– FC Dallas: Maximiliano Urruti, Michael Barrios and Tesho Akindele (3)

Starting XI Prediction:

Melia

Abdul-Salaam – Coelho – Besler – Dia

Feilhaber – Olum – Espinoza

Davis – Dwyer – Zusi

Rest of the 18: Kann, Sinovic, Rubio, Quintilla, Medranda, Opara, Hallisey

Nothing feels good about this game. Sporting KC have won lots of games (four) in just a short period of time, but they haven’t looked amazing (besides against Vancouver). If not for the great goaltending of Tim Melia, the record for Sporting KC would be much worse. That said, they might not be the offensive dynamo we want them to be, but they are finding ways to win games.

Usually they find a way to win when others think they should not. Both against the Colorado Rapids and Real Salt Lake they were the favorites and they found a way to lose. All their other games they were arguably the underdogs. They again return to underdog status tomorrow in Dallas.

Dallas has a very potent offense as we covered in the scouting report. The Portland Timbers probably regret letting Maxi Urruti slip away for zero compensation. He looks to be a star in Dallas with all the other playmakers around him. We haven’t even covered Fabian Castillo, who outside of his injury, has looked fantastic as well.

Sporting are still dealing with a series of injuries and could still be without Matt Besler and Brad Davis, though they could return. Davis made it into the game Wednesday and Besler looked ready to go in when Olum was down.

Speaking of Olum, if he is starting (which he shouldn’t in my opinion over Quintilla, but Vermes seems to prefer Olum) and Mustivar is out (which is reported) Sporting have shown an inability to stop opposing offenses. Combine that with the dynamic Dallas offense and it’s a recipe for disaster. If Besler is back, there is a chance. There is always a chance that he’ll just rest though to be safe.

Prediction: 3-1 FC Dallas Win

If it’s any consolation I’ve yet to predict the correct outcome in a game. Let us all just hope I’m wrong yet again.