This road trip is almost over for Kansas City, with the last leg coming in Toronto against a team that's in almost as much trouble as KC. Fresh off a 6-2 loss to Philadelphia, Toronto seems to have joined KC at rock bottom.
KC needs to win before opening Livestrong Sporting Park; Toronto needs to rebound to keep the season afloat.
To only add to the desperation -- it's likely that both of these teams likely had marked this game down as a win -- a loss would put either team into a hole that might be impossible to dig out of come playoff team.
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LAST FIVE GAMESToronto:
W-L-T-T-L (5 points)
L-L-L-L-T (1 point)
THREE QUESTIONS1. Is Aurelien Collin fit?
KC's rugged French defender is nursing an injury to his thigh that kept him out of training this week. That doesn't mean he's out for tonight -- Davy Arnaud missed the better part of two weeks of training but didn't miss a game. But it's a cause for concern, because his back-up is Julio Cesar.2. Can KC cope with the mounting loss of players?
Kei Kamara, Stephane Auvray, Roger Espinoza and Shavar Thomas are all gone on national leave. Seth Sinovic -- Espinoza's replacement -- is likely out with a hamstring issue.
After tonight's game, Craig Rocastle leaves to join Grenada.
KC's depth will be severely tested.3. Is this the worst possible matchup in MLS right now?
It's like getting stuck on a deserted island and the only two books you have to read are Miley Cyrus' auto-biography and"Forensic Examination of Rubber Stamps: A Practical Guide."
The teams have a combined goal differential of -17 and are the two worst teams thatdidn't
fire its coach last week. Toronto just lost a game 6-2 last week. Kansas City have earned just a point since April 2.
This is a game that will only be watched by people who care passionately about the teams involved.
KEY PLAYERGraham Zusi.
Toronto will be missing a key midfielder (Julian De Guzman) and both regular CBs (Adrian Cann and Dicoy Williams). If there was ever a chance for Zusi to show he's got the goods to be the fulcrum for the attack, it's this game.
TODAY'S REFEREEYader Reyes.
In 14 career MLS games, Reyes averages 26.2 fouls per game and 3.6 yellow cards. He's also doled out 3 red cards and just 1 penalty.
-- OUT: MF Elbekay Bouchiba (R knee surgery recovery); DF Adrian Cann (R knee sprain); MF Matt Stinson (R calf strain); QUESTIONABLE: FW Alan Gordon (adductor strain); MF Gianluca Zavarise (adductor strain); MF Jacob Peterson (L hamstring strain)
-- OUT: FW Konrad Warzycha (R knee surgery); QUESTIONABLE: DF Seth Sinovic (R hamstring strain)
-- Julian De Guzman (Canada), Dicoy Williams (Jamaica), Joao Plata (Ecuador)
-- Roger Espinoza (Honduras), Stephane Auvray (Guadeloupe), Kei Kamara (Sierra Leone), Shavar Thomas (Jamaica)
STARTING XI PREDICTION
GK: Jimmy Nielsen; DF: Chance Myers, Matt Besler, Aurelien Collin, Michael Harrington; MF: Craig Rocastle, Davy Arnaud, Graham Zusi; FW: Omar Bravo, Teal Bunbury, Ryan Smith
Subs: GK: Eric Kronberg; DF: Julio Cesar, Scott Lorenz, Korede Aiyegbusi MF: Milos Stojcev, Birahim Diop; FW: CJ Sapong
SCORE PREDICTIONKansas City 2, Toronto 0.
I'm thinking KC gets it rolling. Toronto is probably worse off than KC and are still smarting from a 6-2 stomping from Philadelphia. This will be KC's second road win.