Friday, April 1, 2011

Sporting Kansas City vs Whitecaps FC Match Preview


With Designated Player Eric Hassli out due to suspension the Whitecaps will have to rely on young Brazilian Camilo to play alongside Atiba Harris.  In my opinion Camilo is a better selection than Long Tan because of the difficulty SKC defenders had with the smaller Uruguayan strikers last week.

Kei Kamara returns from international duty to start at one of the forward positions for Sporting KC.  With rookie CJ Sapong at one spot and Teal Bunbury, coming off a preseason injury, at the other spot, Kamara will be looked upon to provide a spark upfront.

With so many players missing in the attack minded positions the Whitecaps will have to rely on MLS veteran Joe Cannon to come up big as the last line of defense.  Sporting KC is very explosive when on the attack as they have scored five goals in two games and Cannon will be tested in goal.

Shavar Thomas returns from international duty to start at center half with Cesar still on the injury list.  The Jamaican defender veteran presence will be needed for Sporting KC's backline  which has given up a total of five goals in their first two matches of the season.


After playing as a left back in the opener Alain Rochat moved inside last week and was named to the best eleven for MLS.  With Boxall returning from international duty, Rochat moves back outside and will have the dual duty of shutting down Bunbury and providing offensive spark on the attack.

The former Canadian Teal Bunbury saw his first action of the season last week coming on as a substitute and contributed with his first goal of the season.  There may be a question of match fitness as Bunbury is coming off an elbow injury from the preseason and has yet to play for a full 90.


After having a solid opener as a sub, Nizar Khalfan struggled in his first MLS start as he failed to create offensively and turned the ball over too much in the defensive zone.  Because of the number of missing players in the midfield, Khalfan will most likely have another chance to prove himself on the left side.

The former Wizards allowed Jimmy Conrad to leave hoping that young Matt Besler was ready to take over as a leader in the central defense.  He has struggled in his role, especially last week when he was unable to handle Chicago’s Uruguayan strikers.


Last Game: 1-0 Loss at Philadelphia Union

Last Game:  3-2 Loss at Chicago Fire



I see Camilo getting the nod over Long Tan to get start alongside Atiba Harris up front.  Of course Teitur might want the size of Tan at forward but Camilo will be create his own opportunity and is a better finisher.  The starters for the wide midfield spots should be Khalfan with Wagner, Knight or Thorrington, if he is medically cleared to play.  The backline should see Rochat return to left back and Boxall teaming up with Janicki in the center.

Sporting KC will play their 4-3-3 lineup with Sapong, Kamara and Bunbury up front.  Stojcev will return to his role as an attacking midfielder while Captain Arnaud and Rocastle will be the holding midfielders.  Like Rochat, Espinoza returns to left back from the center half position he played last week.  If Cesar is fit, look for him to start with Besler in front of goalkeeper Nielsen while the right back will be selected from Harrington, Sassano or Myers depending on injury.

INJURIES  (As per by MLS injury report)

OUT: MF Michael Nanchoff
QUESTIONABLE: MF Shea Salinas, MF John Thorrington, DF Jay DeMerit,
PROBABLE:  G Jay Nolly, MF Davide Chiumiento

OUT: MF Ryan Smith, FW Konrad Warzycha, MF Graham Zusi, DF Chance Myers
PROBABLE:  DF Michael Harrington, DF Julio Cesar




After giving up two goals to TFC in the opener, Vancouver only gave up one, on a broken play, last week against Philadelphia.  With the missing players up front look for the Teitur to tighten the screws on the defense and attempt to grind out a result.  The key for the Whitecaps to shut down the former Wizards is to limit their wingers, Bunbury and Kamara, space out wide.  Expect the combination of Dunfield and Koffie to have another solid game of shutting down the central midfield.  The Whitecaps will need to attack Sporting KC’s right side as the right back position is unsettled due to injury and Besler has looked shaky defending in the first two games.  The Caps will need to capitalize on a mistake by Sporting and shut down their prolific attack in order to have a chance to get the three points.

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