Competition: Major League Soccer – Sporting Kansas City vs. DC United
Venue: Children’s Mercy Park – Friday, May 27 – 21:30 ET (02:30 BST)
Match Odds: Sporting KC 3/4 – Draw 5/2 – DC United 4/1
Both sides have endured slow starts to the 2016 campaign and know that Friday night’s game offers a fantastic opportunity to take three points and start to climb their respective conferences.
Sporting KC have only won one of their last nine and are in real trouble. They fell 3-1 at home to Real Salt Lake last weekend and have now lost three of their last four.
Peter Vermes and his players need to bounce back very quickly. The home fans will see Friday’s game as a winnable fixture and they will likely see nothing other than three points as success.
DC United have four less points than SKC at this stage but they have not lost back-to-back games all season and their biggest problem seems to be putting the ball in the net.
They lost 1-0 at Philadelphia last time out and have now failed to score in three of their last six. They have yet to win away from home and don’t look like a side ready to make a charge up the table.
Both sides are really struggling but that should make for an entertaining game as neither can afford to take this game lightly.
This will be the 35th MLS meeting between the two established sides. DC are unbeaten in four-straight games against SKC and will hope to extend that run to five come the end of play on Friday.
Sporting KC will be without Roger Espinoza as he will serve a one-game suspension. Kevin Ellis remains out injured, while Seth Sinovic is a doubt and is unlikely to make the starting lineup.
DC will be without five players through injuries. Andrew Dykstra, Bill Hamid, Chris Korb, Collin Martin and Chris Rolfe are all sidelined and so Ben Olsen is without a couple of key men at a crucial time of the season.
Sporting Kansas City’s last five: D/L/L/W/L
DC United’s last five: W/D/L/W/L
Key Stat: Road block – DC United are averaging just 0.55 goals per game away from home since the start of last season – the worst record in MLS.
Key Player: Dom Dwyer – Dwyer has scored two of SKC’s last three goals and looks to be the side’s only chance of success during this tough spell. If he is on form, the home side will likely leave with three points.
Sporting Kansas City 1-1 DC United – There is very little to choose between these out-of-form sides. Both are expected to go for all three points but with neither in good shape, they could well cancel each other out. A draw won’t really help either side, but that looks the most likely result.