KANSAS CITY, KS - MAY 05: Mid fielder Roger Espinoza #15 of Sporting Kansas City goes air born over mid fielder Sinisa Ubiparipovic #28 of the Montreal Impact during the first half on May 5, 2012 at LiveStrong Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kansas. (Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images)
Sporrting KC hasn't exactly lost gorund, but they haven't made any up either and today they have a chance to do so. However, if the previous meeting is any indication there may be struggles involved in besting the expansion Montreal Impact.
A week of work from dawn til dusk leads one to believe nothing changes, but there are exceptions. I missed an entire game where a wild shooting Sporting KC team lost to an opportunistic opponent, which is nothing new. On the other hand, the team did dominate another game's possession leading us to believe that there is some hope for the future. On the other hand, the confidence which defines the fanbase in Kansas City has eroded as the team continues to falter despite their inherent strength,
If you look back to May 5th, another Independence day of sorts. Sporting KC was riding high, only defeated by themselves. Then a somewhat down Montreal team came to town and ruined theur party, The ibjective he is the same but the upper hand is on the other foot.* Instead of a struggling expansion team looking for a boost Sporting KC meets a Montreal team in a "new" stadium and one who has gained confidence and ground in the East from that day in LSP where they handed out a decisive defeat to our previously unbeaten at home club, Here are some keys to the match:
*Learned all my expressions from Lloyd Bridges.
All My Kingdom For A Shot On Target
It's not a lack of shots or possession that fails this team, but rather a lack of both that supplier on offense and a destroyer on defense. Lacking two players suited for these roles, the inevitability is that a team can create long chances but never crack through while the opponent has one good chance and finishes it.
One almost needs to take a wait and see approach to it and hope that sometime one and one equal two for this team. They obviously are good at creating chances, eventually they need to finish some. If not, then there is a larger problem which needs to be addressed and how they are defended is probably the main cause. When possession is conceded, it usually results in one team constantly probing the other's defense for that breakthrough, and perhaps Sporting lacks both the quality and patience for such affairs. Sometimes they would prefer just to press and counter constantly.
Montreal Is A Better Home Team
This one is scary considering the 2-0 defeat at Livestrong two months ago. Montreal, whether playing at the cavernous Olympic Stadium or newly renovated Stade Saputo, has taken the majority of their points at home going 4-2-2. While it certainly isn't going to be as easy as we figured in the off-season, there are many reasons Sporting should be positive heading in. Most notably, while being a high scoring expansion team they still possess an expansion defense, making them the polar opposite of Sporting KC's 1-0 or bust play this year. The chances of this game ending 4-2 in either favor are much better than 0-0, 1-0 affairs that plague the non-soccer fan's thoughts. It should at the least be exciting and at the worst be exciting and telecast completely in French thus rendering all excitement completely incomprehensible to a majority of MLS fans.
Sporting KC Is Getting Healthy
Maybe we should be happier. Sporting KC has gone a month without many of its starting 11, while depth has always been an issue for this club. The results haven't been pretty, but they haven't been disastrous either (save the final score in Philly). For the first time in a month, the best center back pairing should be on the field for SKC, which should alleviate some of the concern appearing in both fan's minds and Aurelien Collin's game. Later this week when Houston visits Bobby Convey should be on the field, and despite mixed opinions about his season to date, this team is dying for a more conventional winger.
The problem lies in is that enough as essentially our first team was run out of town in Philly and poached in Kansas City against Chicago last week. The problems there did not lie with Lawrence Olum, but rather with team issues either on effort or pure luck in some instances. Sometimes, there are seasons where nothing falls quite like it should and MLS provides many more of those than any other league.
Myers Collin Besler Sinovic
After the 2-0 loss at home expecting a win here is a bit much. Call it patriotism, bias or whatever, but I don't see a loss either. Neither team is playing well lately, but Sporting KC has more reasons to hope given their dominance in every facet except their final third. I can't really justify Montreal scoring twice, but they did last time when I doubted them so there's that.