Sporting Kansas City-Fire Preview
Sporting Kansas City is staying optimistic despite its recent
struggles but likely won’t have one of its top scorers available
Kansas City will try to overcome Kei Kamara’s absence and keep
pace in a competitive Eastern Conference by topping the Chicago
Fire on Friday night.
Losers of three of four, Sporting KC (11-8-6) is tied with New
York atop the East, and Philadelphia and Montreal are one point
behind those two teams. Kansas City missed an opportunity to
reclaim sole possession of the conference lead Sunday with a 1-0
loss at San Jose.
“The glass is always half full,” defender Seth Sinovic told the
league’s website Tuesday. “I think we’re a confident team. Despite
the result this weekend, we’re still at the top of the table with
nine games left, so we’re in a good spot and we feel like we can
While his team is confident, coach Peter Vermes doesn’t share
the same outlook on Kamara’s health.
The forward, second on the team with seven goals, is dealing
with an ankle injury from a hard foul in a 3-0 win over New England
on Aug. 10.
“I think it’s more than likely that he won’t be ready,” Vermes
Sporting Kansas City, though, might get midfielder Graham Zusi
back from a sore right quad, which has kept him out since the
All-Star game on July 31.
“He’s looking closer right now than Kei is, for sure,” Vermes
If Zusi returns, he’ll try to help Kansas City extend its
three-game unbeaten streak against Chicago (9-10-4). Sporting KC
recorded a 2-1 win at Toyota Park on July 7, and Zusi scored his
team’s second goal in the eighth minute.
Chicago enters after having a 3-0-1 streak snapped with a 2-0
loss at New England last Saturday. A win by fifth-place Houston on
the same day put the Fire five points behind in the race for the
“It was a setback, and now we have to refocus and get ready for
Friday. It’s a quick turnaround and another very difficult team,”
defender Gonzalo Segares said. “We’re definitely searching for
points. … It’s very important to get a win on Friday.”
The Fire might get Chris Rolfe (hamstring) and Patrick Nyarko
(concussion) back from injuries. Rolfe and Nyarko are tied for
second on the team with four goals.
Defender Bakary Soumare, however, will be suspended for this
game after confronting a New England trainer following last week’s
loss. Coach Frank Klopas and assistant Leo Percovich are also
Mike Matkovich will lead the club during designated player
Arevalo Rios’ home debut. The midfielder played all 90 minutes in
last week’s game.