Sporting Kansas City-Toronto FC Preview
Sporting Kansas City coach Peter Vermes knew his club’s 10-game
road stretch to open the season was going to be tough. Kansas City,
though, could return home with some momentum with a solid
performance against Toronto FC on Saturday night.
Awaiting the opening of Livestrong Sporting Park on Thursday
against Chicago, MLS-worst Sporting Kansas City (1-6-2) has gone
winless since a 3-2 season-opening victory over Chivas USA on March
However, the road-weary club enters this match with confidence
after Ryan Smith’s first goal of the season – a 75th-minute strike
– helped it snap a five-game losing streak with a 1-all draw
against defending MLS Cup champion Colorado last Saturday.
“If I look at it now, it’s a monumental step forward for us, and
it’s a huge point on the road,” Vermes said. “It helps us going
into our final game in this 10-game road stretch into Toronto, and
we just have to stay focused on what we’re doing, and just continue
to get better, and eliminate some of the mistakes we’ve made.”
Before playing 17 of its final 24 games at home, Kansas City
will go for its first victory at Toronto since a 1-0 win April 28,
2007, in the first-ever game at BMO Field.
Toronto FC (2-5-6), 2-0-2 at home in this matchup since that
defeat, is coming off a 6-2 home loss to Philadelphia last Saturday
that coach Aron Winter called “… a bad, bad performance by
It was the most goals allowed in franchise history, and two shy
of the league record.
“If you’re not motivated by that, if you don’t want to prove
that you’re much better than that, there’s something wrong with
you,” defender Ty Harden said.
Winter’s squad, which plays eight of 11 on the road following
Saturday’s match, may lean heavily on captain Maicon Santos as it
tries to generate offense against a Kansas City club that’s limited
three of its last four opponents to one goal.
Santos posted his first multigoal game Saturday to match a
career high with five.
Kansas City would like to get more production from forward Teal
Bunbury, who is tied with Kei Kamara with a team-best three goals,
but has not found the back of the net in his last six games. The
Ontario-born Bunbury scored the lone goal in the teams’ last
meeting, a 1-0 Kansas City home win July 31.
The clubs played to a scoreless draw at Toronto last June 5.