ExLink - 09/08/18 - SKCvORL

Sporting Kansas City vs. Orlando City SC | 2018 MLS Match Preview

Sporting Kansas City vs. Orlando City SC
2018 MLS Regular Season — Week 28

Children’s Mercy Park — Kansas City
Sept. 8 — 8:30 pm ET

WATCH: ESPN+, MLS LIVE on DAZN (Canada)

Sporting Kansas City look to rebound from a loss to the red-hot Seattle Sounders and move into second place in the Western Conference when they host an Orlando City SC squad that has won just one of their last 17 games.

Shorthanded Sporting had a four-match winning streak snapped on Sunday, while the Lions head to Children’s Mercy Park after rallying for an emotional 2-2 draw against the Philadelphia Union at home.

Sporting Kansas City

Sporting (13-7-6) had a shutout streak snapped at 388 minutes after four consecutive clean sheet victories to fall at CenturyLink Field, 3-1, Saturday.

Diego Rubio put the visitors in front in the 2nd minute, but Raul Ruidiaz leveled 10 minutes later. Graham Zusi's own goal gave the Sounders the lead in the 52nd minute and four minutes later Nicolas Lodeiro scored from the spot for insurance.

“I actually thought we played very well. To be able to come into the opposing team’s home field and play the way we did, we deserved more,” Peter Vermes said. “The two goals they scored — two and three — were unlucky on our part. A deflection and then if that’s a hand ball, then there were probably two hand balls in the second half that should’ve been the same. Just a little unlucky, but we played very well. I thought our performance was really good.”

  • Suspended: D - Ike Opara
  • Suspended after next caution: None
  • International duty: F - Johnny Russell, F - Diego Rubio, F - Daniel Salloi,
  • Injury Report: OUT: D - Jimmy Medranda (knee surgery), F - Kharlton Belmar (knee sprain), M - Cristian Lobato (quad injury); QUESTIONABLE: F - Khiry Shelton (right MCL tear, lateral meniscus tear)

Projected Starting XI
(4-3-3, right to left)
GK: Tim Melia — Graham Zusi, Andreu Fontas, Matt Besler, Seth Sinovic — Roger Espinoza, Ilie Sanchez, Felipe Gutierrez — Gerso Fernandes, Krisztian Nemeth, Yohan Croizet

Orlando City SC

Having won just once since June, Orlando (7-16-3) continued to fight and rallied for a 2-2 draw against the Philadelphia Union.

Dom Dwyer opened the scoring in the 9th minute, but Cory Burke leveled in the 32nd minute and Fafa Picault put the Union in front two minutes from full time. Thanks to Scott Sutter's equalizer in the first minute of stoppage time, though, the Lions avoided a 15th loss in their last 17 games.

“I think if you look through the course of the season, maybe it’s the start of the second half or in the second half, I think it’s something that we’re aware of,” James O’Connor said. “I think it’s very difficult to try to fix something like that mid-season. I think the energy levels need to be better, need to be higher.”

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: M - Sacha Kljestan, F - Dom Dwyer
  • International duty: M - Yoshi Yotun
  • Injury Report: OUT: GK - Mason Stajduhar (Localized Ewing Sarcoma), D - Chris Schuler (groin injury); QUESTIONABLE: D - Lamine Sane (quad injury)

Projected Starting XI
(4-2-3-1, right to left)
GK: Joe Bendik — Scott Sutter, Shane O’Neill, Carlos Ascues, Jonathan Spector — Will Johnson, Uri Rosell — Cristian Higuita, Sacha Kljestan, Chris Mueller — Dom Dwyer

All-Time Series

  • Overall: Sporting Kansas City 1 win, 5 goals … Orlando City SC 1 win, 6 goals … 1 draw
  • At Kansas City: Sporting Kansas City 1 win, 2 goals … Orlando City SC 0 wins, 1 goal … 0 draws
  • Last meeting at Kansas City: Sporting Kansas City 2, Orlando City SC 1 (May 15, 2016)

Officials

Referee: Alan Kelly
Assistant Referees: Matthew Nelson, Brian Dunn
4th Official: Chico Grajeda
VAR: Ricardo Salazar