Teams: Sporting Kansas City v New York Red Bulls
Kick-off: 06:00 a.m. IST at Children’s Mercy Park – Kansas City, Kansas
Where to Watch: The game will be live televised on DSport, this Thursday
Last Game Played: Apr 10, 2016; NY 0-2 SKC
Season Goal leaders: Sporting Kansas City- Dominic Dwyer (3 goals), New York Red Bulls – Bradley Wright-Phillips (4 goals)
Sporting Kansas City is all set to host New York Red Bulls at Children’s Mercy Park – Kansas City on Thursday. The match kicks off at 06:00 a.m. and will be televised live on DSport.
Both Sporting Kansas City and New York Red Bulls are sitting at second spot in their respective conference clubs. As far as recent form, both clubs are in good shape. Hence, it will be exciting to see the battle of second place teams.
SKC’s Western Conference position becomes all the more impressive when you take their stats into consideration. They’ve scored just nine goals in eight games, but they’ve been defensively sound, conceding an MLS low of three.
While, New York Red Bulls are one of the inform teams in Major League Soccer. Jesse Marsch’s crew have overcome some early struggles to rise into second in the Eastern Conference, winning their last three matches – all home games against East foes, including a 2-1 win against Chicago on Sunday – to improve to 5-3-1 on the year. Their resurgence has been powered by a return to the 4-2-3-1 formation, which should matchup interestingly with Sporting’s 4-3-3 at tomorrow’s game.
SKC’s forward Dom Dwyer is starting to click into gear, too – he found the back of the net on Sunday to pick up his third goal in his last four matches. Perhaps even more importantly, offseason signing Gerso Fernandes looks like he may be finding his feet. The Portuguese Designated Player scored Sporting’s third against RSL – he has the potential to give defenders fits and draw attention away from Dwyer, who’s been left isolated up top too often in the past few years.
Aside from MLS-leading Orlando City SC, New York are the hottest team in the league, winning their last three matches to climb into second in the Eastern Conference. Similar to Kansas City, defense has led the way during the Red Bulls’ winning streak, with New York allowing just one goal – a well-taken strike on Sunday by the Fire’s Nemanja Nikolic – in their last three games and only conceding twice in their last four.
The attack has been keyed by a rotating cast of characters, with star striker Bradley Wright-Phillips and second-year winger Alex Muyl pacing the club with two goals each in their last three games. While they’re hot, the Red Bulls will be at a disadvantage on the road on Thursday – Kansas City are 10-0-3 in their last 13 regular season matches at Children’s Mercy Park, and they won’t have to pile travel on top of their already short turnaround.
Sporting Kansas City
Int’l Duty: None
Injury Report: OUT: Diego Rubio (Torn ACL)
Probable Lineup (4-3-3): GK: Tim Melia – Graham Zusi, Ike Opara, Matt Besler, Seth Sinovic – Ilie, Roger Espinoza, Benny Feilhaber – Gerso, Dom Dwyer, Jimmy Medranda
Notes: Graham Zusi’s assist last Saturday was just his second in his last 15 regular season MLS appearances.
New York Red Bulls
Int’l Duty: None
Injury Report: OUT: Gideon Baah (broken leg), Mike Grella (knee injury), Aurelien Collin (abdominal strain); QUESTIONABLE: Sal Zizzo (calf strain)
Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): GK: Luis Robles – Connor Lade, Damien Perrinelle, Aaron Long, Kemar Lawrence – Tyler Adams, Felipe – Alex Muyl, Sacha Kljestan, Daniel Royer – Bradley Wright-Phillips
Notes: Counting the playoffs, Bradley Wright-Phillips has scored six goals against Sporting Kansas City. All six came in the 2014 season.
Overall: Series tied 20-20-13
At Sporting Kansas City: SKC lead 14-9-5
For live MLS matches, watch DSport.