While Sporting Kansas City could see some new blood on the field (defender Aurelien Collin) and are likely to see the services of Ryan Smith (knee inflammation) return, New England could get a boost from its newest player too. Reports from MLSsoccer.com say U.S. national team midfielder Benny Feilhaber will be a factor.
“We'll decide between now and tomorrow,” Revs coach Steve Nicol told MLSsoccer.com after the Revs trained on Friday morning. “He hasn't trained all week. Obviously, he's had a long flight. We'll see how he feels tomorrow morning. I'm sure he'll be on the field at some stage, if not from the start.”
Said KC coach Peter Vermes: “They’ve been playing a 4-3-3 as of late, and they had a completely different team on the field in their last game because of red cards and things. And now with Benny entering the field, he can play a couple different formation and positions and I don’t know what they’re gonna do with him at the moment. We’re just gonna have to go with what I know Stevie has done over the years and how his teams play. They play with a lot of fire. They play pretty direct. And they try to get after it. Because of those question marks, I think this game really becomes about us and how we’re gonna go at it."
"If he's available, I'd say they'd throw him right in the fire, unless for some reason he's not fit. But all my information says he's fit."
Feilhaber is a Brazilian-born midfielder who was acquired this week by New England via the MLS Allocation Draft. Many teams sought the coveted attacking player, including Kansas City.
Vermes told reporters this week when asked that they did make an effort to acquire him. Were they close?
"That's a really tough question, because I've been through so many deals where you think they are done, and they're aren't. But we were definitely in the mix. We were for sure in the mix. He was a guy we actually targeted prior to the season. But because of the allocation ranking, that was the only way that he was able to come back to the league, so we already knew where we were in the pecking order. And I tried a couple different ways to get hire in the allocation ranking, but it's just whether or not you can accomplish or solidify the deal, and it just wasn't happening."