Preview: Sporting KC vs Colorado Rapids

Sporting KC travel to Dick’s Sporting Goods Park to face the first place Colorado Rapids in their second meeting of the season.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016 at 8:00 PM CST (SKCTV/MLS Live), Sporting Kansas City travel back to Colorado to face the best team in Major League Soccer. That wasn’t a mistake, the Colorado Rapids sit at first in the Western Conference and first in the Supporter’s Shield race.

Sporting KC on the other hand have fallen to sixth in the West and are currently riding a six game win less streak that includes a loss to Colorado about one month ago. That game marked the third consecutive time the Rapids beat Sporting KC and the second consecutive time KC lost to Colorado at home.

The Rapids are on the complete other end of the spectrum. They are on a five game steak without a loss, including four wins. In that time Jermaine Jones has returned from suspension and already put in three goals as an attacking midfielder, as we detailed in our scouting report.

Want to be a little more depressed about the odds tomorrow? I’m sure you answered yes. Sporting KC are 5-15-8 all-time on the road against Colorado. It all seems pretty grim. Let’s brighten things up. The injury report looks great!

Suspended:  

– Sporting KC: None

– Rapids: None

Suspended Next Yellow Card:

– Sporting KC: None

– Rapids: None

Injuries:

– Sporting KC:

OUT: Kevin Ellis (groin injury)

QUESTIONABLE: Soni Mustivar (hamstring strain)

– Rapids:

OUT: Sean St. Ledger (knee injury), Eric Miller (groin injury), Marco Pappa (sprained knee)

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

Colorado’s Last Five: W/W/W/D/W

Goal Leader(s):

– Sporting KC:  Dom Dwyer (4)

– Rapids: Jermaine Jones, Luis Solignac (3)

Starting XI Prediction:

Kann

Abdul-Salaam – Coelho – Besler – Sinovic

Feilhaber – Olum – Espinoza

Davis – Dwyer – Medranda

Rest of the 18: Melia, Dia, Rubio, Mustivar, Mapp, Nagamura, Zusi

I have no idea who will start. Peter Vermes has made it clear that he is unhappy with the work ethic of some of the players. I wouldn’t have suspected Zusi was one of those players, but Vermes’ face says otherwise.

I would say Benny Feilhaber has been pretty disappointing recently, but if Zusi isn’t going to take his role as attacking midfielder (and Jordi Quintilla is still on loan at the Swope Park Rangers) then it’s got to be Feilhaber starting. Davis came out early on Saturday so he should be good enough to go, but Connor Hallisey or Justin Mapp could jump into the action.

Diego Rubio started on the previous Wednesday meeting against Colorado, but he never got going. Taking Dwyer off the pitch isn’t really a good way to get goals (though he hasn’t scored in quite a while). Basically, it’s really up in the air as to what 11 players will end up on the pitch. That said, it may not matter.

Much has been written and said about the state of Sporting and their current slide. The main issue is the lack of goal scoring. Sporting are now tied for 19th in goals scored per game at only one per game. They are fourth best in goals conceded. The Rapids aren’t great at scoring goals, coming in a 10th but they are good at stopping goals, allowing the second fewest.

It only gets better for Colorado at home where they have only conceded two goals all season across five games. All three of their shutouts are at home as well. It all adds up to a situation that is unlikely to work out for Sporting.

Prediction: 1-0 Colorado Win

If there is any positive, Sporting KC are legitimately the underdog and they perform better in those situations. It’s the games they are supposed to win that they forget to win. If they can score a goal (preferably early), it’s anyone’s game. Is it weird to hope for a 0-0 draw?

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