BDS: SKC stumbled on Wednesday night at home in a pretty ugly loss to Colorado. How does Peter Vermes expect his team to bounce back on Sunday?
TBT: Peter's teams are always going to have good discipline and can handle a tough loss professionally. I would say it probably helps they are jumping right back into it after a few days. If the loss to RSL followed up by a road shutout win over NYRB is any indication they should be fine. Vermes tried to rest several players in the midweek game but was forced to bring them on anyway. This is a deep squad and nobody has played too many minutes yet, so I see this lineup being close to full force and ready to go.
BDS: Do you think Vermes was wise to hold out Benny Feilhaber and Dom Dwyer until the second half of Wednesday's game in order to keep them fresh for Sunday?
TBT: That's difficult. Because in hindsight I'm pretty sure they win that game if even one of those two plays the whole game. When they were on the field it looked like a different team out there. But both decisions made sense at the time. With late season lulls the last two years this team is being insanely careful with players. They have a deep lineup and plan to use it.
The Dwyer situation is interesting. There is no question that Dom could play 90 minutes both games, but SKC went out and got Rubio on loan as a young DP. They have an option to keep him but PV needs to actually get a glimpse at the player to decide when that times comes. And with Benny, he isn't the youngest player in the world and he does a lot of work each game. Plus when you've got a player like Jordi Quintilla in the bench, you look for reasons to get him in a game.
To answer your question... I liked that Rubio was given a look and you can bring Dom in late if something bad happens, but I think it was a mistake to keep Benny on the bench to start. And yes, I'm saying that fully aware his mistake directly led to the Rapids second goal. He's the MVP and it's a different team without him.
BDS: Sporting is currently undefeated on the road in 2016, what has changed so far this season in their approach away from KC?
TBT: I haven't seen too much different in their approach. Sporting KC will always be a tough team to beat. They are undefeated and picked up six huge points in their two road matches this year, but it's still just two. The Seattle game was a wet rainy affair and SKC got a fortunate goal and just grinded the rest of the match out. Then against NYRB, Tim Melia put on his cape and became an absolutely superhero to secure all three points there. They had no business winning that one.
So yes the defense is stronger at every position this year, but I don't think much has changed in PV's approach to road matches. Today will be another huge test.
Projected lineup: (4-3-3) Tim Melia, Saad Abdul-Salaam, Nuno Coelho, Ike Opara, Amadou Dia, Lawrence Olum, Roger Espinoza, Benny Feilhaber, Graham Zusi, Dom Dwyer, Connor Hallisey