Peter G. Aiken
A new opponent, finally!
Sporting KC v FC Dallas (#SKCvFCD)
When: Wednesday, September 2, 2020 at 7:00 PM CT
Where: Children’s Mercy Park
How to Listen: Sports Radio 810 WHB | La Grande 1340 AM (Spanish)
Sporting Kansas City enter the Dallas game coming off a relatively tough week. They leaked in six goals in two games (five against Houston) and only managed a single point. FC Dallas had a very different week — having their Colorado Rapids home game postponed and then they crushed Minnesota United on the back of quick goals from Fafa Picault and Jesus Ferreira about a minute apart from one another.
Dallas has two games in hand on SKC but they trail by seven points. They need to pick up a win to close the gap between first and sixth place.
The last time these teams met Dallas trounced Kansas City 6-0 on Decision Day 2019. That game included lots of SKC Homegrown players starting and the one and only MLS start for Eric Dick in goal. It also was at a time when the season was long over for Kansas City. A mix of veterans with “kids” this time out by KC should be enough to keep the game close.
Something to watch for is that Dallas have some real speed on the wings in players like the above-mentioned Picault and Michael Barrios, who famously was so fast he had a hat-trick against an Ike Opara led defense in 2018. Tactically, it’s something to watch. Peter Vermes probably needs to not push the fullbacks too far up the field.
- These clubs are tied all-time with 25-25-12 records in the regular season.
- Sporting KC haven’t beat Dallas since October 2018.
- While FCD have won twice in a row in Children’s Mercy Park, prior to that dating back to 2012, they hadn’t won in 10 trips.
- Salloi scored four times in the last five appearances against Dallas. Should Daniel Salloi play against Dallas?
What’s Changed for Dallas Since 2019?
The first new opponent of 2020 since waaay back at that Philadelphia Union game. Let’s take a look at who is in and who is out for Dallas.
IN: Dallas added three players internationally: midfielder Thiago Santos via transfer from Palmeiras (Brazil), midfielder Andres Ricaurte on loan from Independiente Medellin (Columbia) and GK Phelipe Megiolaro on loan from Gremio (Brazil). Megiolaro and Ricaurte were just signed in mid August.
FCD also traded for the aforementioned Fafa Picault from the Philadelphia Union for up to $375,000 in allocation money. And of course they added more Homegrown signings: defender Eddie Munjoma, GK Carlos Avilez and midfielder Tanner Tessmann who passed up being a kicker at Clemson to go pro in soccer.
OUT: Most famously the team released goalkeeper Jesse Gonzalez over allegations of domestic violence. They also traded midfielder Jacori Hayes (Minnesota United) and forward Dominique Badji (Nashville SC). They declined the contract option of failed forward signing Cristian Coleman and loaned out failed Mauro Diaz replacement Pablo Aranguiz (to Universidad de Chile).
*This will be updated with the official injury report, though this feels pretty accurate.
Vermes said that Espinoza or Reid cramped early and came off to avoid further injury, neither one too serious and are “day-to-day”. #SportingKC
— Thad (@TheBackpost) August 31, 2020
OUT – None
Sporting KC – Gadi Kinda (red card)
Dallas – None
ASSISTS: Pulido (4), Kinda, Luis Martins,
Crossbar^ (2), Roberto Puncec, Gerso, Johnny Russell, Shelton, Jaylin Lindsey (1)
^Pulido put two off the crossbar against Houston and they ultimately were put in. They don’t count as assists, but it’s another way he’s impacting the game.
GOALS: Zdenek Ondrasek (2), Ricardo Pepi, Jesus Ferreira, Paxton Pomykal, Fafa Picault, Reto Ziegler (1)
ASSISTS: Pepi, Tanner Tessmann, Ondrasek, Bryan Acosta, Ferreira, Reggie Cannon (1)
Sporting KC – W / W / W / L / D (10 points)
Dallas – D / L / D / D / W (6 points)
**in league play
Starting XI Predictions
Go check that out over here. I try to break down a few questions:
- What’s the status for Espinoza, Reid and Ilie?
- Luis Martins is back (not a question, I know)
- Who replaces a suspended Gadi Kinda?
Plus we tally your fan votes to see if you guys cumulatively agree with me. It was close and I was surprised.
Sporting KC typically go for the win at home. The 2-5 loss to Houston was a disaster and showed they can’t just push forward blindly. If they do in fact not have Ilie Sanchez, Roger Espinoza and Winston Reid, that’s a lot of veteran leadership not on the field and a lot of kids replacing them. I’ve long advocated for “playing the kids” but they will inevitably make some mistakes. If Sporting KC can score early and often, they can run away with this. However, their finishing (and xG) have been poor lately. They need to find their scoring boots to have a chance.
What do you think? Predictions in the comments are welcome. Let’s chat about it.
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