MLS Preview and Prediction: Colorado Rapids vs Sporting Kansas City

Competition: Major League Soccer – Colorado Rapids vs. Sporting Kansas City

Venue: Dick’s Sporting Goods Park – Wednesday, May 11 – 21:00 ET (02:00 GMT) 

Match Odds: Colorado 19/20 – Draw 12/5 – Kansas City 3/1

Match Preview

Colorado Rapids welcome Sporting Kansas City to Dick’s Sporting Goods Park on Wednesday evening in the first outing of a double gameweek for both of these sides.

Colorado are in fine form as they sit top of the Western Conference and lead the way in the Supporters’ Shield standings by two points.

Pablo Mastroeni will be delighted with how his side have performed so far this season. They come into this tie off the back of their 1-0 home win against Real Salt Lake, which was their 5th consecutive home win of the 2016 campaign. They have scored eight goals in that run and only conceded two.

The Rapids will be full of confidence heading into the game. They are unbeaten in their last six games and have won the last three meetings between the sides, including their 2-1 win over SKC earlier in the season.

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Sporting Kansas City are experiencing a difficult patch of form. They come into this tie off the back of their 2-0 away loss to Houston.

SKC won their first two away games of 2016 but are winless in four on the road since then, losing three and drawing one. They have scored five goals in those six away games.

Peter Vermes will be disappointed with how recent results have gone and his side now sit 6th in the Western Conference, which is disappointing considering they had won four of their first five games in the 2016 regular season.

Sporting Kansas City haven’t won any of their last six games, their longest winless run since 2011 where that tally extended to ten games, something the SKC fans will be fearing could happen again.

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Team News

Colorado Rapids have three injury concerns ahead of this tie as Sean St Ledger, Eric Miller and Marco Pappa all look set to miss out.

Sporting Kansas City have just the two injury concerns. Kevin Ellis is out, while Soni Mustivar is a doubt. Neither of the sides have any players suspended or nearing suspension.

Key Points

Colorado Rapids’ form: W/W/W/D/W

Sporting Kansas City’s form: L/L/D/D/L

Key Stat: Colorado have won all five of their home games so far this season, which is the same amount they managed in all of their home games in the 2015 campaign.

Key Player: Jermaine Jones – The Rapids midfielder has been a great addition to their squad. He has netted three goals in his four appearances so far this season and is one of the league’s most complete midfielders.

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Score Prediction

Colorado Rapids 2-0 Sporting Kansas City – The Rapids are in a fine run of form and face a SKC side who seem to be lacking confidence. Given how good Colorado have been at home this season it would be surprising to see anything other than three points once again at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park for Mastroeni’s side.

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MLS Preview and Prediction: Sporting Kansas City vs Colorado Rapids

Competition: Major League Soccer – Sporting Kansas City vs. Colorado Rapids

Venue: Sporting Park – Wednesday, April 13 – 20:30 ET (01:30 BST)

Match Odds: Sporting KC 5/6 – Draw 12/5 – Colorado 7/2

Match Preview

Sporting Kansas City welcome Colorado Rapids to Sporting Park in an all-Western Conference clash on Wednesday evening. 

SKC are leading the way in the Supporters’ Shield standings after their impressive start to the season which has seen them lose just the once. They take on FC Dallas this coming weekend and will be hoping to continue their run of form by taking maximum points in this double gameweek.

Peter Vermes’ side come into this one off the back of their solid 2-0 away win over New York Red Bulls on Saturday and will be brimming with confidence. SKC have been solid at the back so far this season and opponents have struggled to breach their defence.

Last season’s meeting at Sporting Park saw Sporting Kansas City’s suffer their first home loss to Colorado since 2002, ending a 15-game unbeaten streak against the Rapids.

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Colorado have had a solid start to the 2016 regular season and are sitting sixth, in a playoff spot, in the Western Conference as a result.

Pablo Mastroeni’s side have won two, drawn one and lost two of their five fixtures so far. They come into this one off the back of their 1-0 loss away at Real Salt Lake last time out and will be hoping to bounce back immediately.

The Rapids won two of the three meetings between these sides last season, but as previously mentioned they have historically struggled away against SKC. If Mastroeni’s side can take a win from this game it will go a long way to showing Rapids fans they are capable of putting their away struggles against SKC to an end.

Colorado’s next fixture sees them take on New York Red Bulls at home. Rapids fans will be optimistic about taking two positive results out of this double gameweek and continue building towards a push for the playoffs.

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Team News

Sporting Kansas City could be without up to five players through injury. Justin Mapp, Matt Besler, Brad Davis and Soni Mustivar are all expected to miss out, while Paulo Nagamura is a doubt.

Colorado Rapids are also expecting to be without five through injury. Sean St.Ledger, John Berner, Kevin Doyle, Jared Watts and Marlon Hairston are all out. Jermaine Jones is serving the final game of his ban he picked up in last season’s playoffs and so his debut is not too far away.

Key Points

Sporting Kansas City’s last five: W/W/W/L/W

Colorado Rapids’ last five: L/W/D/W/L

Key Stat: Sporting Kansas City and Colorado Rapids have the joint best defensive records so far this season, with both sides only conceding three goals in their five outings respectively.

Key Player: Dom Dwyer – The SKC forward has got off a strong scoring start this campaign, with three in five. He netted in his side’s win last weekend and will be looking to cause the Rapids trouble in this midweek clash.

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Score Prediction

Sporting Kansas City 2-1 Colorado Rapids – Despite Colorado ending their winless run away against SKC they are likely to struggle here considering how strong the home side have been at the start of this season. As the saying goes, old habits die hard.

MLS Preview and Prediction: Sporting Kansas City vs Vancouver Whitecaps

Competition: Major League Soccer – Sporting Kansas City vs. Vancouver Whitecaps

Venue: Children’s Mercy Park – Saturday, March 12 – 20:30 ET (01:30 GMT)

Match Odds: Sporting Kansas City 19/20 – Draw 12/5 – Vancouver Whitecaps 3/1

Match Preview

Sporting Kansas City take on the Vancouver Whitecaps in an all Western Conference MLS clash at Sporting Park on Saturday night.

SKC picked up an excellent 1-0 away win against the Seattle Sounders in their opening game last weekend thanks to an unlikely debut goal from centre-back Nuno Coelho.

Although the Sounders were reduced to ten men after 41 minutes, Peter Vermes will still be delighted to see his side pick up an extremely valuable three points at a ground where few teams tend to win in MLS.

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It should mean that SKC will be heading into this game full of confidence, and will be looking to win their first two games of an MLS season for the first time since 2012.

Vancouver Whitecaps provided one of the most entertaining games of the opening weekend, although they will be disappointed to be on the wrong end of a five-goal thriller as they lost 3-2 at home to Montreal Impact.

Goals from defenders Jordan Harvey and Kendall Watson couldn’t prevent a disappointing defeat, and the Whitecaps players have to quickly dust themselves down in preparation for a tough away game.

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Carl Robinson’s side have won just one of their last nine games in MLS (D3, L5), carrying over results from 2015, so he will be hoping they can find some form, starting here.

Sporting Kansas City won both games against Vancouver Whitecaps in 2015, with the most recent clash ending 4-3 in a pulsating contest at Sporting Park in August – the other victory was a narrow 1-0 success at BC Place in July.

Team News

Sporting Kansas City have a whole host of injury concerns. They are likely to be without defenders Ike Opara (thigh) and Seth Sinovic (neck), while midfielders Justin Mapp (toe), Brad Davis (groin), Benny Feilhaber (abdomen) and Paulo Nagamura (leg) are also expected to miss out.

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Vancouver Whitecaps won’t be able to call upon the injured Christian Dean (foot) and Russell Teibert (calf). Octavio Rivero was the club’s top goalscorer in 2015 and will be looking to open his account for 2016. He managed six shots, with four on-target last weekend, but to no avail.

Key Points

Sporting Kansas City’s MLS form: W

Vancouver Whitecaps’ MLS form: L

Key Stat: Vancouver Whitecaps have never won away at Sporting Kansas City (D1, L2).

Key Player: Dom Dwyer – SKC will be desperate for their striker to start firing on all cylinders this year. He was the leading goalscorer at the club last season with 12 goals, but you feel that any true success this year could hinge on what Dwyer can produce for his side. They’ll be hopeful he can contribute a number of goals closer to the 22 he scored in 2014. The first home game of the new season may provide the perfect platform.

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Score Prediction

Sporting Kansas City 2-2 Vancouver Whitecaps – SKC have never lost a game at home to the Whitecaps and will be full of confidence after their opening day win. But Vancouver have a potent attacking force and will believe they can take at least a point from this one. Whatever the outcome, this should be an entertaining clash.

MLS Preview and Prediction: Sporting Kansas City vs FC Dallas

Competition: Major League Soccer – Sporting Kansas City vs. FC Dallas

Venue: Sporting Park – Friday, September 18 – 19:00 ET (00:00 BST)

Match Odds: Sporting KC 5/4 – Draw 5/2 – Dallas 2/1

Match Preview

Sporting Kansas City host FC Dallas in a crucial Western Conference clash on Friday night with both sides looking to take a huge stride towards sealing an MLS Playoff place.

Sporting KC come into the game in abysmal form, despite looking so strong through most of the season. They are without a win in six and have lost four in their last five league outings.

It must be noted that they have played four-straight road games, however, and so an improved showing is expected when they return to home comforts on Friday. They fell 3-1 to Orlando City last weekend and will need to up their efforts.

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Their last league game at Sporting Park saw the team collapse to a shocking 5-0 defeat at the hands of San Jose and supporters will be desperately hoping a repeat performance to that night is not seen again.

Sporting Kansas City’s MLS record: P27 – W11 – D8 – L8

FC Dallas travel to Kansas City just one point behind Supporters’ Shield leaders Vancouver Whitecaps and have won their last three on the bounce, so spirits will be high in their camp.

A 2-1 home win over NYCFC last week saw them pick up three more points and a playoff spot looks to be all but guaranteed. A win in this one would seem them move to the top of the standings for 24 hours at least and that could act as enough motivation to see Dallas win a fourth game on the bounce.

FC Dallas’ MLS record: P27 – W14 – D5 – L8

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SKC are hanging on to fifth place in the Western Conference, but have seventh-placed San Jose just one point behind with just a few weeks of the regular season left to play.

This will be the fourth meeting between the two sides this season. The last clash saw SKC beat Dallas 6-2 at Sporting Park in the US Open Cup, while a 4-0 home win came before that in the league. Dallas won the game at Toyota Stadium 3-1.

Team News

Sporting Kansas City are still without Ike Opara and Roger Espinoza, while Amobi Okugo and Chance Myers remain doubts for this one.

FC Dallas have three concerns as Mauro Diaz, Dan Kennedy and Bakary Soumare are all doubtful.

Key Points

Sporting Kansas City’s last five: L/L/L/D/L

FC Dallas’ last five: L/L/W/W/W

Key Stat: There have been 16 goals in the three total games between the two sides so far this season in MLS and the US Open Cup combined. Feast.

Key Player: Dom Dwyer – The English forward always seems to perform better at Sporting Park and will look to spearhead the attack in fine style on Friday night, with SKC desperate for three points.

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Score Prediction

Sporting Kansas City 2-2 FC Dallas – Tough to see Sporting winning, despite returning home for the first time in three weeks. Dallas look very strong at the moment and should earn at least a point in what is a huge game for both clubs.

MLS Preview and Prediction: Sporting Kansas City vs Vancouver Whitecaps

Competition: Major League Soccer – Sporting Kansas City vs. Vancouver Whitecaps

Venue: Sporting Park – Saturday, August 15 – 21:00 ET (02:00 BST)

Match Odds: Sporting Kansas City 6/5 – Draw 9/4 – Vancouver Whitecaps 23/10

Match Preview

Sporting Park plays host to the visit of Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday night as Sporting Kansas City look to extend their home unbeaten streak to 12 in this key Western Conference clash.

With four wins in their last six, it would seem that SKC have been in great form, yet only one of those wins came in their last three.

Much of their solid form this season has come down to the fact they have only lost four times thus far – the least number of defeats in MLS.

Sporting Kansas City’s record in MLS: P21 W10 D7 L4

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They currently sit in fourth place in the West but are just five points behind Saturday’s opponents with three games in hand.

Vancouver started the season with flurry and were the surprise package out of the blocks and they now look to have regained their early season form after a mid season blip.

Vancouver Whitecaps’ record in MLS: P24 W13 D3 L8

Seattle Sounders vs Vancouver Whitecaps Pa-Modou Kah

With three wins on the bounce and an impressive 4-0 win over Real Salt Lake last weekend, Vancouver could be a threat to SKC’s unbeaten streak on Saturday night and will look to stay at the top of the Western with a win in this one.

Team News

Sporting Kansas City will be without Ike Opara, Jalil Anibaba and Roger Espinoza through injury. Seth Sinovic is a doubt with a concussion.

Vancouver Whitecaps are without Ben McKendry with a knee injury and Mauro Rosales is a doubt with an adductor strain.

Key Points

Sporting Kansas City’s last five: W/W/L/D/W

Vancouver Whitecaps’ last five: L/D/W/W/W

Key Stat: Sporting Kansas City are undefeated in their last 11 home matches in MLS.

Key Player: Benny Feilhaber – US international Feilhaber has been the cornerstone of the SKC team this season, and with eight goals and nine assists he has been possibly the most influential player in the league. Expect a huge contribution from the midfielder once again here.

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Score Prediction

Sporting Kansas City 2-1 Vancouver Whitecaps – Both have been exceptional sides this season and we’re expecting both of them to ease into the playoffs. But we struggle to see Vancouver defeating SKC at home. Sporting should just edge this but there could be goals.

MLS Preview and Prediction: Sporting Kansas City vs Houston Dynamo

Competition: Major League Soccer – Sporting Kansas City vs. Houston Dynamo

Venue: Sporting Park – Saturday, August 1 – 20:30 ET (01:30 BST)

Match Odds: Sporting Kansas City 4/5 – Draw 13/5 – Houston Dynamo 16/5

Match Preview

Sporting Kansas City will want to continue their impressive home record on Saturday night as they welcome Houston Dynamo to Sporting Park in a Western Conference battle between the two sides moved over from the East last year.

Unbeaten at home this season, SKC have been in sensational form as performance after performance sees them now contenders for a highly coveted Western Conference title.

The form of Benny Feilhaber and star forward Krisztian Nemeth has inspired Kansas City so far and a solid finish to the season could see them in a great position going into the playoffs, with the Supporters’ Shield also a real possibility.

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Sporting Kansas City’s 2015 record in MLS: P19 – W9 – D6 – L4 

Houston Dynamo will want to follow up an impressive 3-0 victory over LA Galaxy last time out with another great result in Kansas City this weekend.

Having struggled to find consistency this year, Houston have impressed in places but progress has been halted with indifferent form along the way.

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Away from home they have been below par and form suggests they may fall short on Saturday in what will be a real test.

Houston Dynamo’s 2015 record in MLS: P21 – W7 – D6 – L8

The reverse fixture back in April ended 4-4 in a crazy game at BBVA Compass Stadium so if this one’s anything like that, you’re not going to want to miss it!

Team News

Sporting Kansas City are still without Ike Opara, while Jalil Anibaba, Seth Sinovic and Bernardo Anor are all doubts. Graham Zusi should return to the starting line-up after being away with the USMNT.

Houston Dynamo will be missing Oscar Boniek Garcia and Jermaine Taylor through injury. Rob Lovejoy is a doubt with a hamstring injury. Erick Torres is now with the team and could start following his appearance last week.

Key Points

Sporting Kansas City’s last five: L/W/W/W/L

Houston Dynamo’s last five: L/D/W/L/W

Key Stat: Sporting Kansas City have won their last six home matches in MLS.

Key Player: Krisztian Nemeth – SKC forward Nemeth has been sensational so far this season and is always a threat on goal. We expect him to be influential on Saturday night.

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Score Prediction

Sporting Kansas City 2-1 Houston Dynamo – Houston are a better side under Owen Coyle this season, but Sporting Kansas City are becoming harder to beat all the time and should pick up three points here.

Dom Dwyer ‘very pleased’ with SKC’s win over New England Revolution

Sporting Kansas City striker Dom Dwyer scored an excellent goal to make it 1-1 during his side’s 4-2 win over New England Revolution in an MLS clash at Sporting Park last night and was understandably happy with the performance and result.

“We were very pleased. We were disappointed to let a couple of goals in but we battled back and we did well,” Dwyer told Sporting Kansas City’s official YouTube channel.

“It was a very hard-fought game and credit to New England, they did well, but I think we deserved the three points tonight.”

The 24-year-old won the penalty that led to SKC’s third goal and his equaliser was his fourth goal in 11 appearances this season and the win lifted them up to fifth place in the Western Conference.

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Dwyer believes it was “about time” SKC put in that type of performance against a strong side to secure an impressive and convincing victory in the club’s 100th game at Sporting Park.

“We needed something like this and we needed our luck to change a little bit. We were fighting against it tonight and I think we put in a very solid performance,” the Englishman added.

Sporting Kansas City travel to face the Seattle Sounders at CenturyLink Field on Saturday night in the second match of their double gameweek.

The win over the Revs will give them a huge confidence boost heading into that clash and allows them to play with a sense of freedom on the night as they would’ve probably been happy with three points from the two games this week.

How impressed were you with Dom Dwyer’s goal and Sporting Kansas City’s performance?

From Mexico to Sporting Park: Sporting Kansas City supporters among most dedicated in MLS

By Ryan Wright

Soccer is constantly gaining popularity in the United States but Major League Soccer still has so much room to continue its growth. Although you would never know that by visiting Sporting Park.

“Soccer Capital of America” is plastered everywhere inside and around the Sporting Kansas City stadium. Each match, Sporting KC fans fill Sporting Park and are loud for the entire 90 minutes.

Sporting KC’s loyal fan base support their team through thick and thin and one of the most notable examples of this was seen last year during the final of the MLS Cup. More than 20,000 fans attended the match against Real Salt Lake despite the bitterly cold 12 degree weather.

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The Kansas City Cauldron is the largest Sporting Kansas City supporters group. Under the Kansas City Cauldron, there’s an umbrella of several other supporters groups – most are based in the Midwest. Two of these supporters groups are 417 Loyal and the Wichita Wanderers. 417 Loyal is based in Springfield, MO and the Wichita Wanderers are based in Wichita, KS.

Sam Ringenberg of Springfield, MO and 417 Loyal became a soccer fan in the spring of 2006 while studying abroad in London. He has supported Sporting Kansas City since they were called the Kansas City Wizards.

“Kansas City has become the Soccer Capital of America for several reasons. First must be the success of Sporting KC, and all of their affiliates. They are growing soccer throughout the Midwest, and will make the next generation of US Soccer even more successful,” he said.

“The majority of soccer fans living in the US follow other leagues, or international soccer more than they do MLS. But Kansas City has that perfect mix of supporting their local club, while being knowledgeable and passionate about the world’s game too,” Ringenberg continued.

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Over the past few years, it’s become obvious that Kansas City supports Sporting KC as strongly as it does the Kansas City Chiefs (NFL) and the Kansas City Royals (MLB).

Matthew Isaacson, also of Springfield, MO and 417 Loyal says: “It is actually a pretty recent phenomenon. I remember going to games at Arrowhead where there were only a couple thousand in attendance.

“I think the city and the surrounding region support Sporting because of the world class stadium they play in, and the attitude of the players and ownership towards the fans. It’s affordable entertainment and the players are still approachable. It also helps that they are winning and have international level players on the roster,” Isaacson continued.

Chris Baldwin of Wichita, Kansas, and the Wichita Wanderers became interested in soccer during the 2010 World Cup and has been a fan of Sporting KC for four years.

He says: “I think part of why Kansas City has supported the club so strongly is that Sporting KC gave them a winning team when the Royals and the Chiefs weren’t doing so hot.”

Some fans have even travelled as far as Mexico to support Sporting KC. This past March, Sam Ringenberg’s brother, Thomas, traveled to Mexico to see Kansas City take on Cruz Azul of Liga MX. It was a CONCACAF Champions League match and Sporting KC fell to Cruz Azul, 5-1.

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Ringenberg, a graduate student at the University of Kansas, planned his spring break around attending the match.

He said: “The Sporting game at Estadio Azul was really amazing. Sure, we ended up getting eliminated, but we were playing arguably the best soccer club on the continent at an altitude much different than KC, so a loss I think is forgivable.”

Ringenberg and his girlfriend were the only Sporting KC fans in the stadium. But according to Ringenberg, the Cruz Azul fans were cordial, despite a few whistles and boos.

“We were celebrities at the stadium, we had a line of 30-40 kids waiting to take pictures with us and our Sporting KC scarf,” Ringenberg said.

On September 26, the same night that the Royals clinched their first playoff berth in 29 years, Sporting Kansas City had a match against the New England Revolution. Despite the important game the Royals had, Sporting Park was filled to the brim and was as loud as ever.

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During the post-game press conference, Peter Vermes, manager of Sporting KC said: “We’re part of the Kansas City community. In the past we were fighting for a place in the sports landscape in Kansas City. We have our own niche.

“Success brings people in and they’re proud to be a part of it. When fans understand that our team goes after it for 90 minutes, they come back,” Vermes continued.

Unfortunately, Sporting KC lost in the MLS Playoffs this season, falling at the first hurdle to the New York Red Bulls in the Eastern Conference knockout round. However, supporters are anxiously awaiting next season and according to football.com the club currently has a 6,000 person waiting list for season tickets.

Does Sporting Kansas City have one of the support bases in MLS?

2014 MLS Season Review: Sporting Kansas City

Eastern Conference Final Position: 5th

Eastern Conference Playoffs: Knockout Round

Best Moment

Coming back from 1-0 down at halftime to beat Toronto away from home on July 26. It showed that the reigning champs still knew how to get the job done, in what was a good run of form.

Worst Moment

It seems obvious but their exit from the MLS playoffs. The defeat in the Eastern Conference knockout round to New York Red Bulls was a major disappointment, especially as they led until the 77th minute. Poor defensive communication saw them concede a last minute Bradley Wright-Phillips winner which sealed their fate. Devastating for the MLS Cup holders.

Player of the Year

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Dom Dwyer has been the standout performer in a tough year for SKC. Losing Graham Zusi and Matt Besler for the World Cup hindered their season, but with Dwyer’s finishing ability, SKC always looked threatening going forward, and he ended the season with an impressive 23 goal tally.

Biggest Win

Sporting Kansas City 4-0 Montreal Impact (April 26 2014)

Chivas USA 0-4 Sporting Kansas City (September 13 2014)

Biggest Defeat

Sporting Kansas City 0-3 D.C United (August 24 2014)

What to improve for the 2015 season… 

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They had the highest possession percentage in MLS this year and converting that dominance on the field into more wins will be key. They should aim to be more clinical going forward, and look to get more names on the score-sheet as they became a little over reliant on Dwyer. SKC should come back stronger for the 2015 season and will look to be fighting at the top of the Western Conference after being moved from the Eastern.

Playoff Preview and Prediction: New York Red Bulls vs Sporting Kansas City

Thursday night will be the last game of the season for one of these MLS heavyweights. Either New York Red Bulls or Sporting Kansas City will be eliminated from the playoffs as they go head-to-head at Red Bull Arena in the Eastern Conference knockout round.

This is one that shouldn’t be missed and it could well turn out to be the tale of two strikers; Bradley Wright-Phillips and Dom Dwyer. Two English strikers who are extremely clinical, and are the top two goalscorers in the league.

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New York Red Bulls home form: Played 17 – Won 10 – Drawn 4 – Lost 3

Whoever outscores the other will likely win the game for their team; as Wright-Phillips did on Sunday night in the final regular season game at Sporting Park.

Sporting Kansas City will be looking for their first win against the Red Bulls in MLS since April 2013. They looked poor defensively in the 2-0 defeat to New York on Sunday, and the fifth-seeded team has it all to do.

Sporting Kansas City away form: Played 17 – Won 6 – Drawn 6 – Lost 5

However, with World Cup stars such as Graham Zusi and Matt Besler in your team you are always in with a shout. Without mentioning they are last year’s MLS Cup winners, so they know how to progress in the playoffs.

Both teams have players that boast strong reputations, but only one side can advance and this is set up to thrill. Enjoy!

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Key Player: Thierry Henry – Potentially his last game of professional football. He has always loved the big occasions and is a legend of the game and a huge asset to this Red Bulls team.

Key Stat: Kansas City has only won two of their last ten in MLS. Not great form to bring into the playoffs.

New York’s last five: L/W/W/L/W

Kansas City’s last five: L/D/W/L/L

Prediction: New York Red Bulls 2 – 1 Sporting Kansas City