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Behind Enemy Lines: Scouting Sporting Kansas City

While FC Dallas may be tired from Wednesday night, SKC is banged up heading into tonight’s match.

MLS: Sporting KC at Portland Timbers Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

FC Dallas come home after an incredible late win in LA on Wednesday. Kansas City come to Frisco after suffering a 3-0 walloping in Portland.

Slowing Down

Sporting Kansas City were one of the better teams early in this season, but a run of bad form and inconsistent performances since have made them 5th in the West. At home they are a strong team, but on the road they have been bad. Kansas City will be in need of better performances away from home if they want to retain their playoff spot.

Potential Lineup

SKC are suffering a number of injuries as well. Matt Besler, Justin Mapp, Tim Melia are all out, and Paulo Nagamura and Brad Davis are listed as questionable.

GK: Alec Kann; LB: Jimmy Medranda; CB: Ike Opara, Lawrence Olum; RB: Saad Abdul-Salaam; CM: Emmanuel Appiah, Benny Feilhaber, Connar Hallisey; RW: Jacob Peterson; LW: Connor Hallisey; FW: Dom Dwyer.

Key Matchup

Maxi Urruti vs. Alec Kann. Urruti has had an awkward first season for Dallas, getting everything right except the finishing. Saturday he faces a goalkeeper who has played four MLS games in his four year career, three of them this year. Urruti should test the goalkeeper, put shots on target, and seek to intimidate Kann, who likely won’t have the experience of most MLS caliber goalkeepers.

Keys to Three Points

Injury Crisis.

With several key starters out or questionable, SKC will have to patch together a team. The injured players, combined with a poor away form, will be two things SKC desperately try to fix against league leading FC Dallas.

Finishing.

Dallas has been their own worst enemy when it comes to not beating teams. Several games they have failed to capitalize on numerous chances. The Hoops will have a lot of opportunities this weekend, making good on a few of them will make all the difference.

Set Pieces.

Dallas and SKC are both pretty dangerous from set pieces. Dallas beat LA on two corners, and SKC has already put Dallas down with a few well taken corners this year. Lawrence Olum is a big threat in the box, just as Zimmerman and Hedges will be on the opposite side of the field.

Prediction

SKC is injured and bad on the road, and the ref doesn’t bail them out this game. Diaz shows why there should be a new award called the “MLS MVP not named Giovinco.”

My Prediction: FC Dallas 3-0.