Sporting Kansas City host the New York Red Bulls in the first of their three Eastern Conference matchups tonight, with both sides desperate for a win after a run of poor form in MLS.
Kansas City come into the game in disappointing form, and are without a win in three, but Friday’s 2-2 draw with Toronto FC ensured that they did not fall to three defeats in a row.
New York however, have fallen to three losses on the bounce, and Saturday’s 2-1 loss to the Portland Timbers was another major blow.
Tonight’s game see’s the league’s top goalscorers go head to head as Englishmen Bradley Wright-Phillips and Dom Dwyer will look to add to their 10 goals and help them team earn a vital three points.
Sporting are still weak defensively, and may have to play without any recognised centre-back once again, with Chance Myers and Kevin Ellis expected to fill in again.
This will be a boost for the Red Bulls, whose firepower could certainly hurt the weakened Kansas City backline.
Thierry Henry and Bradley Wright-Phillips will lead the attack once more, and New York are strengthened by the news that midfielder Peguy Luyindula is fit for the game.
Sporting have conceded twice in their last three, and will be up against it tonight to stop the Red Bulls from netting.
However Kansas City will look to exploit New York’s defence too, as the Red Bulls have allowed eight in their last three, and are looking vulnerable.
Dwyer and Wright-Phillips will have plenty of opportunities to score in what should be a very entertaining game.
New York can move to a point behind Kansas City with a win, whilst Sporting will look to move just two points behind conference leaders New England Revolution with a victory at home tonight.
Key stat: The league’s joint top-goalscorers go head-to-head as Bradley Wright-Phillips and Dom Dwyer look to add to their 10 goals.
Key player: Thierry Henry – The Frenchman will look to exploit a weakened Kansas City defence, and his quality could be enough to get New York a much needed victory.
Prediction: 2-3 – A highly entertaining game that should see New York edge it, with their firepower set to be too much against a Sporting defence without any recognised centre-backs.