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

there.

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

everyone.”

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

Saturday.

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.