Already with a 3-2 loss and a 3-2 win notching in his belt in 2011, head coach Peter Vermes will look to have a close-to-full-strength squad for Sporting Kansas City’s first-ever trip to Vancouver. Points are always a possibility against an expansion team and, with the schedule getting tighter as April pours onward, probably a necessity for KC.
Kickoff is 6 p.m. from Empire Field in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.WHERE CAN I FIND KSMO-TV?
Time Warner: 10/1471 HD || Comcast: 10/231 HD || AT U-Verse: 62/1062 HD || DirecTV: 62/
* || Dish Network: 62/6382 8434 HD || Surewest: 10*I've got the plethora of English-language channels, I don't get Ch. 951 on DirecTV. The only feed for KSMO on DirecTV is Standard Definition.
THREE QUESTIONS FOR SKC?1. Who’s replacing Omar?
I think we’ll see CJ Sapong and Kei Kamara joined by Teal Bunbury up top. Which is a very young, very athletic, very flexible front four. But none of them have the experience of Omar Bravo.
The team is sorta healthy, but not completely. Roger Espinoza and Matt Besler are certainly starters (and in their normal positions). Is Julio Cesar fit enough to start centrally? Or does Shavar Thomas get his first start this season for Sporting KC? And, will Luke Sassano or Michael Harrington get the nod at rightback.3. How much can Teal Bunbury and Michael Harrington play?
The sooner they are 90-minutes fit, the better.
Sporting Kansas City have scored a league-high five goals (along with Real Salt Lake). However... Sporting KC haveallowed
a league-high 5 goals (which is tied with Los Angeles and Portland).
VANCOUVER SCOUTING REPORT
The ‘Caps press the ball and like to play open soccer out of a 4-4-2. Vancouver has its own selection issues with two promising youngsters Omar Salgado and Russell Teibert are both away for international duty. The ‘Caps best scoring threat is designated player Eric Hassli, who is suspended for this game. The creative force is Davide Chiumiento, who is nursing a hamstring issue. The speed of Atiba Harris could be an issue for slow-footed defenders like Shavar Thomas. Joe Cannon is a dependable goalkeeper, who KC fans should know well from his days with San Jose. U.S. defender Jay DeMerit picked up a groin injury on international leave and is questionable today. The most familiar face today should be Jonathan Leathers, who spent three seasons in Kansas City has a reserve defender. He starts at rightback for Vancouver.
HISTORY VS. VANCOUVER
There is none. However, in the 1968 North American Soccer League, the short-lived Vancouver Royals played Kansas City Spurs three times.
INJURY REPORTVANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC
-- OUT: MF Michael Nanchoff (groin strain); QUESTIONABLE: MF Davide Chiumiento (R hamstring strain); GK Jay Nolly (L shoulder sprain); MF Shea Salinas (R knee sprain); MF John Thorrington (R quad strain)SPORTING KANSAS CITY
-- OUT: MF Ryan Smith (L knee inflamation); FW Konrad Warzycha (R knee surgery); QUESTIONABLE: DF Julio Cesar (R lower leg laceration); PROBABLE: MF Luke Sassano (R ankle sprain); DF Michael Harrington (L groin strain); GK Jon Kempin (R quadricep strain)
-- VAN: Eric Hassli (through April 3) KC: Omar Bravo (through April 3)INTERNATIONAL ABSENCE:
VAN -- Russell Teibert (Canada U-20); Omar Salgado (USA U-20)
In 27 MLS games, has issued 29.2 fouls per game, 4.0 yellow cards per game, 5 red cards and 4 penalties.
I could really see it going either way and I could also see a game with a lot of goals. However, with both teams losing a primary offensive threat, I’ll keep the scoring low. I’ll take Bunbury and Harris on the goals. What’s your prediction for this game?
GAMEDAY HYPE SONG
This isn’t a hype song, just a song I really, really like. It’s by the band Pelican. Fair warning, this band could take over your brain and push all other music away.