Right smack-dab in the middle of a playoff slugfest, Sporting Kansas City will play host to Mexican giants Chivas Guadalajara at Livestrong Sporting Park.
While the timing isn't exactly great, the atmosphere should be outstanding. Omar Bravo, now KC's designated player and co-leading scorer, is a Chivas legend. Many Chivas (and Mexican) fans are expected to turn out for this one.
Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m. If you can't make it, the only TV for the game will be ESPN Deportes and ESPN3.com (both will be broadcast in Spanish). Callum Williams will be calling the game via an audio stream atSportingMembership.com
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ONE QUESTIONWill Peter Vermes play his regulars?
Well, the KC boss told The Star yesterday that he expects to use his full roster for this game -- with the exception of Teal Bunbury, Peterson Joseph, Craig Rocastle, Roger Espinoza and Shavar Thomas (all out for international leave); Matt Besler and Julio Cesar will sit this game out to rest.
KC's first team hasn't played a competitive since Oct. 1. I could see Vermes trotting out many of his regulars for 45 minutes, then overhauling the lineup in the second half. With such an important game coming up in just three days, I can't see any normal starter going 90 minutes in a meaningless friendly.
KEY FIGUREOmar Bravo
The fiesty Mexican is playing his old team. I expect he'll go the longest of any KC regular (maybe 60 minutes?). He'll also likely be the center of attention for both sets of fans -- though, I do wonder how his reception will be from the Chivas supporters.
INJURY REPORTKansas City
OUT: DF Daneil Cyrus (L foot fracture); MF Luke Sassano (R knee sprain); MF Konrad Warzycha (R knee surgery); PROBABLE: DF Matt Besler (L knee inflammation)
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCESKansas City
Teal Bunbury (USA), Roger Espinoza (Honduras), Peterson Joseph (Haiti),
, Shavar Thomas (Jamaica). UPDATE: Rocastle is back from international leave and should be available tonight.
This is a total and complete guess at the starting 11. With Besler and Cesar already ruled out, I expect Kei Kamara (who just got back from South Africa on Monday) to play a limited role if any.0" alt = "football formations"/>
I expect that every available player will be on the bench -- including some trialists/academy players. I would hazard that Michael Harrington, Kevin Ellis, Birahim Diop and Soony Saad will feature as subs for sure.
SCORE PREDICTIONChivas 2, Kansas City 1
It won't matter what the result is, as long as no one gets hurt.