Sporting Kansas City vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC | MLS Match Preview

Sporting Kansas City vs. Vancouver Whitecaps - July 3, 2013 (IMAGE)

Photo Credit: 
Gabriel de los Rios / MLSsoccer.com

SPORTING KANSAS CITY vs VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC
SPORTING PARK, Kansas City, Kan.
July 3, 2013 (WEEK 19, MLS Game #163)
8 p.m. CT (UDN; TSN/RDS)

A pair of clubs looking to solidify their conference standing meet when Sporting Kansas City play host to Vancouver Whitecaps FC in an interconference clash Wednesday evening at Sporting Park. SKC put an end to their four-game winless streak last weekend, taking a late 3-2 home victory against the Columbus Crew. Whitecaps FC started their Eastern swing with a third consecutive victory, making the game’s lone goal stand up for a victory at D.C. United.

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REFEREE: Ricardo Salazar. AR1 (bench): Ian Anderson; AR2 (opposite): Peter Balciunas; 4th: Matthew Foerster
MLS Career: 168 games; FC/gm: 26.9; Y/gm: 3.4; R: 50; pens: 58

DISABLED LIST: none
SUSPENDED: none
WARNINGS:

  • SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: KC: Seth Sinovic
  • SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: KC: Aurelien Collin … VAN: Russell Teibert, Gershon Koffie

INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: KC: Mechack Jerome (HAI); Peterson Joseph (HAI) … VAN: Russell Teibert (CAN), Simon Thomas (CAN)

HEAD-TO-HEAD
ALL-TIME (3 meetings): Sporting 2 wins, 8 goals … Whitecaps FC 0 wins, 5 goals … Ties 1
AT KC (1 meeting): Sporting 1 win, 2 goals … Whitecaps FC 0 wins, 1 goal … Ties 0

LAST YEAR (MLS)
4/18: VAN 1, KC 3 (Le Toux (79 – Collin 24; own goal 51; Kamara 65)

  • The teams are meeting for the only time this season in league play.
  • Sporting are undefeated all-time against Whitecaps FC, with two victories and a draw in three meetings all-time. SKC won the lone meeting between the teams last year, 3-1 at BC Place on April 18.
  • Coaches record: Peter Vermes vs. VAN: P3 W2 L0 T1 … Martin Rennie vs. KC: P1 W0 L1 T0

SPORTING KANSAS CITY
Sporting Kansas City put an end to their winless streak after four games, getting a late winner for a 3-2 victory against the Columbus Crew on Saturday evening at Sporting Park. Sporting are in a tie for third place in the Eastern Conference with 26 points from 16 matches.

READ: SKC send Michael Thomas to TFC for second-round 2015 SuperDraft pick

LAST MATCH

  • Sporting took the lead in the 34th minute. From the right touchline, Soony Saad lofted a spot-perfect 40-yard pass to Kei Kamara waiting at the front left of Columbus' penalty area, and he took one touch to settle before firing a left-footed rocket past goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum.
  • The Crew equalized in the 48th minute when Jairo Arrieta made a 65-yard-long run down the pitch before splitting the defense at the edge of the area and beating goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen. But KC was back on top just two minutes, when Chance Myers sent in a long cross from the right side that fell to Claudio Bieler for a cool finish.
  • Three minutes later, the visitors were level again, when Seth Sinovic left a back pass in no man's land and Dominic Oduro raced in to nick it, rounding goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen and calmly rolling it into the open net.
  • But the winner came in the 80th minute. On the counter Sporting tore back up the pitch and got the game-winner through Kamara, who finished after the ball bounded to him all alone in front of goal.
  • Sporting manager Peter Vermes made three changes to the team that played to a 2-2 draw with FC Dallas in Frisco. Seth Sinovic came into the back four for Mechack Jerome, Lawrence Olum started in midfield for Paulo Nagamura, and Soony Saad came into the team for the suspended C.J. Sapong.
  • SPORTING KANSAS CITY (4-2-3-1): Jimmy Nielsen - Chance Myers, Aurelien Collin, Matt Besler, Seth Sinovic (Kevin Ellis 63) - Lawrence Olum, Oriol Rosell - Kei Kamara, Graham Zusi, Soony Saad (Ike Opara 90) - Claudio Bieler (Dom Dwyer 82).

TEAM NEWS

  • The victory was the first for Sporting KC at home since a 4-0 win against Chivas USA on May 5, snapping a three-game winless run at home in league play.
  • “We have to get back to the swag that we've had for the past two years, not just here at home, playing anywhere we want to play as a team and keep going,” said Kei Kamara. “For us, right now it's really just to get back into that rhythm that we've had before and we know.”
  • “A lot of credit to the players for the character to come back,” manager Peter Vermes said. “Obviously, I'm sure it was great for the fans. They definitely got their money's worth. At the end of the day, we gave up two soft goals, but it was great for us to score three goals at home.”
  • Kamara hit for two goals in a game for the fifth time in his MLS career. Kamara has scored four goals in the last four games, his first MLS goals since his return from a loan to Norwich City FC in the English Premier League.
  • Soony Saad uncorked nine attempts at goal – tied for the fifth-most in a single game in Kansas City club history – in the victory. Saad was making his second league start of the season and recorded his second assist of the season.
  • “He did a hell of a good job,” said goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen. “We all know Soony is a great player. I think he proved today that he can play on this level here. Outstanding.”
  • Claudio Bieler scored his first goal since May 5, his first from open play since that game, when also netted from the penalty spot.
  • Just a day after being recalled from Orlando City SC of USL PRO, Dom Dwyer made his MLS season debut, coming on for the final eight minutes.
  • “Hopefully I'll get more time and with that put more points on the board,” Dwyer said. “It's nice to get more time and once you get a taste you want more and more so obviously I want more and I want to get on the board a bit more.”
  • Kevin Ellis made his MLS debut, coming on for the final 27 minutes in place of left back Seth Sinovic.
  • “I thought Kevin was actually very good. One of the hardest places to come in as a player is defender. It just is, you know, because everything is just coming at you and you're not in the flow of the game,” said Vermes. “… He was actually very, very good in the air and excellent on the ball. He did a great job and his dominant foot is not left. So he managed that side very well, and I believe that he helped close out the game for us.”

VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC
Vancouver Whitecaps FC started their Eastern road swing with a third consecutive victory, holding on for a 1-0 win against D.C. United on Saturday evening at RFK Stadium. Whitecaps FC sit in fourth place in the Western Conference with 25 points from 16 matches.

READ: No dazzle in his game, but Whitecaps midfielder Matt Watson makes his mark

LAST MATCH

  • The game's only goal came shortly after the second-half restart. United goalkeeper Bill Hamid took down Whitecaps FC midfielder Matt Watson as he was dribbling toward the goal inside the 18, prompting referee Matthew Foerster to point to the spot. Camilo Sanvezzo converted the 48th-minute penalty.
  • Whitecaps FC goalkeeper Brad Knighton was called upon to make four saves in keeping the clean sheet.
  • Whitecaps FC head coach Martin Rennie made one change to the team that recorded a 3-1 victory against Chivas USA at BC Place. Jun Marques Davidson came into the team in place of Lee Young-Pyo.
  • VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC (4-2-3-1): Brad Knighton - Nigel Reo-Coker, Carlyle Mitchell, Johnny Leveron, Jordan Harvey - Daigo Kobayashi (Gershon Koffie 68), Jun Marques Davidson - Russell Teibert, Kenny Miller, Matt Watson (Brad Rusin 86) - Camilo Sanvezzo (Darren Mattocks 77)

TEAM NEWS

  • Whitecaps FC have now won three games in a row, matching the club’s longest winning streak in MLS, set previously April 21-May 5, 2012. Five of their seven wins for the season have come in their last seven games.
  • “We deserved the win. It’s our second away win in the last three games and I think in the last seven games we’re 5-1-1. So, we’re on a really good run at the moment and have got confidence and I thought it showed well tonight,” said Whitecaps FC head coach Martin Rennie.“ … In the first year, the team didn’t win on the road, but last year we won I think three games, we’ve now won at least two so far this season. We need to improve on that if we want to be right up there in the table.”
  • It was the second victory in three road games for Whitecaps FC – both on the East Coast – after going winless in their first five league matches away from BC Place.
  • “We have to win on the road more consistently. Our record at BC Place is very strong, but for us to move up and develop we need to consistently win on the road,” said Rennie. “I think we showed the qualities to do that and we need to keep doing that each time we take to the field when we’re not at home.”
  • Camilo Sanvezzo scored for a fourth consecutive match, converting a penalty for the lone goal in the win against D.C. United. Sanvezzo now has seven goals and three assists in the last six games.
  • “He’s scored 12 goals in the last 13 games in MLS and the Canadian Cup, which is an unbelievable record. When you have a striker who’s scoring it gives you a great chance and we’ve got a couple [players that] are doing that,” said Rennie.
  • Whitecaps FC kept a clean sheet in a league game for the first time since the opening match of the season, when they defeated Toronto FC. Both of their shutouts have been 1-0 victories.
  • “Obviously you like getting a clean sheet on the road and it’s our first one since the first week of the season so obviously that’s something to build on,” said goalkeeper Brad Knighton. “There’s some camaraderie with the back four that we’ve had now for a couple games so there’s a consistency factor coming in and a lot of us are starting to get to know each other. That normally bodes well for good performances, and we’re just looking to win right now.”
  • Y.P. Lee did not appear in a league match for the first time this season, not making the trip to Washington, D.C. Nigel Reo-Coker slotted into his place at right back with Jun Marques Davidson returning to the holding midfield role.
  • “It was a little bit makeshift, we didn’t have [Young-Pyo] Lee tonight and we were missing a couple of other players. But the players who did play, played really well,” said Rennie. “It was a very good clean sheet, but the clean sheet didn’t just come from the defenders. It came from the whole team. Because I felt we pressed D.C. into playing long balls and when we did that, I thought we handled those quite well. Brad Knighton made some saves in the first half. I thought he looked very good.”
  • Darren Mattocks and Gershon Koffie both made their first appearances since May 18 in league play, each missing the last four MLS matches.
  • “I think it’s important that you have that depth. … We also know that we’ve got players coming back who can make a big impact on the team as well,” said Rennie. “So, we have to keep getting results, and if they can fight their way back in, we’ve got a really strong team going into the second half of the season.”