United-Sporting Kansas City Preview
Sporting Kansas City’s recent U.S. Open Cup victory caused a
well-deserved celebration on its home field.
It’s been quite some time, though, since it won an MLS match
Kansas City looks to avoid its first five-game home MLS winless
streak in nearly seven years as it goes for its fourth straight
overall win against D.C. United on Saturday night.
Sporting K.C. won the franchise’s second U.S. Open Cup by
beating Seattle in penalty kicks Wednesday, earning an automatic
berth into the CONCACAF Champions League.
“It’s what we set out do as a club,” coach Peter Vermes said.
“Bringing that kind of competition to this facility and to this
club is the next step in the direction that we want to go in.”
Kei Kamara scored on a penalty kick in the 84th minute before
converting another in the shootout.
“This is about as good as it gets,” Kamara said. “Winning a
major trophy in front of the best fans in the league, you couldn’t
ask for more than this. Everyone on the team deserves this moment.
Everyone out in the crowd deserves this moment. I’m so happy for
Kansas City (12-7-4), though, hasn’t given its fans much to
celebrate during MLS play recently. It’s 0-2-2 in its last four
league games at home since beating Toronto 2-0 on June 16, and it
hasn’t gone five straight MLS home matches without a victory since
Aug. 26-Oct. 8, 2005.
Sporting K.C. won 1-0 at New England last Saturday on Teal
Bunbury’s goal to end a three-game winless streak, and it will now
look to extend its three-match winning streak against D.C. – all of
which have ended 1-0.
C.J. Sapong scored in the third minute of extra time to lift
Kansas City past United on March 10 in the nation’s capital.
D.C. (11-7-3) trails Kansas City by four points in the Eastern
Conference and is coming off a 1-0 win over Columbus last Saturday.
Chris Pontius scored to help United stop a 1-3-0 skid.
Dwayne De Rosario injured his shoulder in the first half, but
coach Ben Olsen said the 2011 MLS MVP will be ready to go
With starting defenders Robbie Russell and Daniel Woolard still
dealing with injuries, though, D.C. acquired defender Mike Chabala
from Portland on Thursday to add depth. He practiced Friday and
will travel with the team for Saturday’s match.
Olsen said he’ll also need to continue shifting certain players
from their regular positions to make up for the injuries.
“We got a lot of guys minutes in spots they were not necessarily
comfortable in (against the Crew),” Olsen told the team’s official
website Thursday. “Places where they might find themselves down the
stretch, so that was a positive. We’ll see how we hold up.”
Though United have won seven straight at home, they have dropped
three straight on the road and have gone 0-3-3 in their last six
visits to Kansas City.
D.C.’s last win at K.C. was a 1-0 victory July 4, 2007.