The New York Red Bulls are coming to town. And they're bringing the lights and cameras of ESPN with them.
What's at stake? Oh, just first place in the Eastern Conference and a massive jumpstart on solidifying position in the race for home-field advantage in the playoffs.
What's more, this is the first of three games against the big-money Red Bulls over the next two months. (It's the only one in Kansas City to boot.)
Here's everything you need to know about the match.
• Kickoff is at 8 p.m. with ESPN2 handling the broadcast. The referee is MLS vet Hilario Grajeda.
• The Star's Tod Palmerdelved into how the pieces of KC's successful defense came together.
•Tod's also got a must read on Roger Espinoza.
• Kansas City's injury situation is still a bit of an issue. The only player ruled out for tonight's match is Cyprian Hedrick (fibula fracture). Jon Kempin (ankle fracture) and Jacob Peterson (shoulder sprain) are listed as doubtful. Bobby Convey (hamstring strain) and Kei Kamara (ankle sprain) are listed as questionable.
• New York will be without Thierry Henry, who is staying in New York for the birth of his son. The injury front, just Rafa Marquez (calf strain) and goalkeeper Ryan Meara (hip surgery) are listed as out.
• There are two warnings in effect for KC: Aurelien Collin and Chance Myers will be suspended after their next yellow card.
• In 43 meetings, the two teams have split 17 wins (two of them shootouts). KC has the advantage at home (14 wins).
• Playing the last match of the MLS weekend has a certain advantage at this point in the season: You've seen the rest of the results and know exactly what a win means to the standings. What we know: A win tonight would put KC five points north of New York and seven ahead of Houston (who drew 1-1 with Toronto on Saturday) and nine on D.C. United (who lost 3-0 to Montreal). Chicago, off this weekend, would be eight back.
I expect the Starting XI to duplicate the Starting XI from last week.
GK: Jimmy Nielsen-c; DEF: Chance Myers, Aurelien Collin, Matt Besler, Seth Sinovic; MID: Julio Cesar, Paulo Nagamura, Roger Espinoza; FWD: Graham Zusi, Teal Bunbury, Kei Kamara
SUBS: Eric Kronberg; Michael Harrington, Neven Markovic; Michael Thomas, Peterson Joseph/Oriol Rosell; Soony Saad, C.J. Sapong
Kansas City's offense is struggling; so is New York's defense. Kansas City's defense is stellar; New York's offense is humming.
Something will either give or it won't. This could have stalemate written all over it: New York 1, Kansas City 1. Goals from Kenny Cooper and Kei Kamara.
MatchDay Hype Song
There are three different types of "Hype" songs in my mind: The match-appropriate-mood-setting song (i.e. Wax's "Southern California" for a trip to LA or Chivas), the I-can't-stop-listening-to-this song (i.e.Down's "Ghosts of the Mississippi"
), or I-think-you-should-know-this-band songs.
That last one is what I've got for you this week. I think you should know about the band Schwervon! They are from New York, but have recently relocated to Kansas City. It's a two-piece couple (guitar and drums; both sing) who play extremely catchy and interesting rock.
Give a listen to"Lucky Rocks." Really great song/band. You definitely should check them out when they play around KC. (Their next KC show is Sept. 28 at the Riot Room.)