MLS Preview and Prediction: DC United vs Sporting Kansas City

Competition: Major League Soccer – DC United vs. Sporting Kansas City

Venue: RFK Stadium – Saturday, May 9th 19:00 ET (00:00 BST)

Match Odds: DC United 7/5 – Draw 23/10 – Sporting KC 15/8

Match Preview

DC United host Sporting Kansas City on Saturday night in what is expected to be a tight affair at RFK Stadium.

DC come into the clash unbeaten in their last six in MLS and have to be considered strong favourites to extend that streak to seven in front of their own fans.

Embed from Getty Images

It has been a very strong to 2015 for DC as they haven’t been in a losing position at home all season, a stat unlikely to change on Saturday night.

DC United’s 2015 MLS record: P8 – W5 – D2 – L1

Sporting Kansas City have endured a stuttering start to 2015 and will hope to find a run of form soon as they look to push for a playoff spot in the Western Conference this term.

Embed from Getty Images

With only one win in their last four this is a team that is lacking consistency, and with only one victory away from home, they are outsiders to even pick up a point here.

Sporting KC’s 2015 MLS record: P9 – W3 – D4 – L2

Especially when you consider they failed to score against DC on three occasions last term, with United winning two of those clashes.

Team News

DC United will be without Eddie Johnson, Markus Halsti, Steve Birnbaum and Collin Martin again as they will all sit out of this one. Andrew Dykstra is a doubt but Bill Hamid is expected to start in goal again anyway.

Sporting Kansas City have two major worries as Ike Opara and Chance Myers are both long-term absentees. Marcel De Jong is a doubt as it looks like SKC could field an unchanged team from the 1-0 win against Chicago Fire last week.

Key Points

DC United’s last five: W/D/D/W/W

Sporting KC’s last five: W/D/L/D/W

Key Stat: Sporting KC last won away at DC in March 2012 and have only won one of the last five meetings.

Key Player: Fabian Espindola – DC United’s star man has returned from suspension with a bang, with a goal and an assist in his past two, and will look for another impressive display in front of his own fans in this one.

Embed from Getty Images

Score Prediction

DC United 1-0 Sporting Kansas City – DC United to extend their unbeaten run to seven with another home victory in what looks set to be a low-scoring affair. Sporting Kansas City have struggled to find consistency and will struggle to break down a resilient DC side that look to be flying.

Advertisements

MLS Preview and Prediction: Sporting Kansas City vs Chicago Fire

Competition: Major League Soccer – Sporting Kansas City vs Chicago Fire

Venue: Sporting Park – Sunday, May 3rd – 17:00 ET (22:00 BST – Live on Sky Sports)

Match Odds: Sporting KC 3/4 – Draw 13/5 – Chicago 18/5

Match Preview

The live Sunday night game on Sky Sports is at Sporting Park this week as Sporting Kansas City host the Chicago Fire in what could be a testing affair for both sides.

Sporting KC have had a stop-start campaign so far and losing star centre-back Ike Opara would hurt any defence, and that was seen as they shipped four goals in last weekend’s crazy 4-4 draw with the Houston Dynamo.

A shadow of the side that won the MLS Cup in 2013, Sporting Kansas City will need to dramatically improve if they are to make the playoffs and a surge towards MLS Cup again this season in a highly competitive Western Conference.

Embed from Getty Images

One thing that is certain is that Dom Dwyer needs to start replicating his goalscoring form from the previous season pretty soon as he only has two so far.

Sporting KC’s 2015 MLS record: P8 – W2 – D4 – L2

Chicago had the worst start to the season of any MLS side but are now the most in-form team, with three wins on the bounce. What a turnaround!

Embed from Getty Images

They are the team to beat at the moment and they will be confident of getting a result from Sporting Park this week as the hosts haven’t won in three now.

Chicago Fire’s 2015 MLS record: P6 – W3 – D0 – L3

The performances of star men Shaun Maloney and Harry Shipp have guided the Fire into a playoff spot at this early stage and now Frank Yallop’s team must maintain their position in the Eastern Conference’s top six for as long as possible.

Team News

Sporting Kansas City: Ike Opara has been ruled out for the season so Kevin Ellis will continue to partner Matt Besler in defence. Chance Myers is a doubt, though Graham Zusi is back so could start from the left.

Chicago Fire: Mike Magee and Patrick Nyarko both remain out. David Accam could play as part of a three man attack involving Shaun Maloney and Quincy Amarikwa.

Key Points

Sporting KC’s last five in MLS: W/W/D/L/D

Chicago’s last five in MLS: L/L/W/W/W

Key Stat: Chicago haven’t won away at SKC since June 2012 in the MLS regular season.

Key Player: Benny Feilhaber – The man of the moment at Sporting KC as he has racked up five assists already and is providing a core to their midfield that they can build on. Huge asset to Kansas City and will be important in this one too.

Embed from Getty Images

Score Prediction

Sporting Kansas City 1-1 Chicago Fire – Although form suggests a Fire win, it’s tough to see SKC losing at home here. Score draw the most likely outcome in what should be an intriguing clash.

MLS Preview and Prediction: Sporting Kansas City vs Portland Timbers

Competition: Major League Soccer – Sporting Kansas City vs. Portland Timbers

Venue: Sporting Park – Saturday, March 21 – 20:30 ET (00:30 GMT – Sunday 22)

Match Odds: Sporting Kansas City 1/1  – Draw 12/5 – Portland Timbers 11/4

Match Preview

Sporting Kansas City welcome Portland Timbers to Sporting Park on Saturday evening with both sides still on the hunt for their first win of the 2015 MLS season.

Both sides need to get that first win to avoid any psychological issues setting in and to relieve any early pressure.

Sporting Kansas City have had a tough start to the season so could be forgiven for being at the foot of the Western Conference at this early stage, but there are still a couple of positives from their results.

Embed from Getty Images

Drawing in the opener to New York Red Bulls with ten men was a good point. Losing away at FC Dallas, but still managing to get on the scoresheet, shows they are capable of breaking down stronger sides and had Dom Dwyer scored his penalty, they could have got more from the game.

Portland Timbers’ opening two fixtures have been no easier, so their two draws against Real Salt Lake and MLS Cup holders LA Galaxy are not to be frowned upon.

The Timbers were so close to upsetting Galaxy after scoring late on and were desperately unlucky to concede in the last seconds of the game.

Sporting KC will need to make their home advantage count and they cannot afford to lose to sides close to them in the table as they will be further distanced from the pack in what is a highly competitive Western Conference.

The quicker they can get points on the board, the less chasing they’ll have to do in an attempt to make up the difference. Head coach Peter Vermes will have players aware of the importance of winning this game despite it being just their third of the year.

Embed from Getty Images

The Timbers will be hopeful of another fine performance in front of goal from Fanendo Adi and after his brace against Galaxy his confidence will be sky high.

Kansas City will be hopeful that last season’s goal machine, Dom Dwyer, can get off the mark this weekend as his goals will play a vital part to how their campaign unfolds.

Team News

Sporting Kansas City will still be without Chance Myers although Matt Besler is available after his suspension and should slot back into the heart of defence.

Embed from Getty Images

Portland Timbers have three major injuries to worry about as Will Johnson, Diego Valeri and Ben Zemanski are all still out. Michael Nanchoff has a hip flexor strain and could also miss the trip.

Key Points

Sporting Kansas City’s form: D/L

Portland Timbers’ form: D/D

Key Stat: Sporting Kansas City haven’t beaten Portland Timbers in their last three meetings at Sporting Park and will be looking to put an end to that run.

Key Player: Fanendo Adi – The Timbers forward will be hopeful of kicking on after netting his first two of the campaign last week and SKC will be fully aware of his threat in and around the box.

Score Prediction

Sporting Kansas City 2-1 Portland Timbers – Sporting KC have a great chance for that first win of their season here and need to work their way up the table to the top five as quickly as possible. Portland will be disappointed not to have got three points last weekend and face a tough task in getting a result from Kansas City this Saturday.