MatchCenter
Sporting KCSKC
2 - 0
Final
Sun, May 4
4:00 PM ET
ColumbusCLB
Sunday, May 4th 2014
4:00 PM ET

Sporting Kansas City vs. Columbus Crew | MLS Match Preview

SPORTING KANSAS CITY vs COLUMBUS CREW
SPORTING PARK, Kansas City, Kan.
May 4, 2014 (WEEK 9, MLS Game #80)
3 p.m. CT (NBC SN)
Streamed live on NBCSports.com

A huge meeting atop the Eastern Conference is ahead on Sunday afternoon at Sporting Park when Sporting Kansas City play host to the Columbus Crew. Sporting currently sit in a logjam for second place in the division, a point back of the Crew. SKC return home following a late 2-0 loss at the New England Revolution last weekend that ended a long undefeated run, while the Crew hit the road following a 1-1 draw with the New York Red Bulls.

REFEREE: Ismail Elfath. AR1 (bench): Frank Anderson; AR2 (opposite): James Conlee; 4th: Fotis Bazakos
MLS Career: 27 games; FC/gm: 25.0; Y/gm: 3.0; R: 7; pens: 8

SUSPENDED: KC: Aurelien Collin (through May 4)
WARNINGS:
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: none
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: none
DISABLED LIST: KC: Peterson Joseph, Ike Opara
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none

HEAD-TO-HEAD
ALL-TIME (49 meetings): Sporting 22 wins (2 shootout), 75 goals … Crew 21 wins (0 shootout), 77 goals … Ties 6
AT KC (23 meetings): Sporting 12 wins (1 shootout), 39 goals … Crew 9 wins (0 shootout), 38 goals … Ties 2
RETURN MATCHES: 7/16: Columbus Crew vs. Sporting Kansas City, 7:30 p.m. ET

LAST YEAR (MLS):
6/29: KC 3, CLB 2 (Kamara 34, 80; Bieler 50 – Arrieta 48; Oduro 53)
9/7: KC 3, CLB 0 (Bieler 7; Saad 41; Sapong 55)
10/5: CLB 0, KC 1 (Opara 17)

  • Sporting won all three meetings between the teams a season ago, after the Crew won the final two encounters in 2012.
  • The Crew have not defeated KC at home since a 1-0 win April 16, 2011. Sporting have won twice in their last three visits to Columbus, with one draw.
  • Coaches record: Peter Vermes vs. CLB: P10 W6 L3 D1 … Gregg Berhalter vs. KC: first game

SPORTING KANSAS CITY
Sporting Kansas City saw their five-game undefeated streak come to an end, the New England Revolution scoring a pair of goals in stoppage time for a 2-0 victory on Saturday evening at Gillette Stadium. Sporting sit in a tie for second place in the Eastern Conference with 11 points from seven games.

LAST MATCH

  • The visitors were put in difficulty in the 74th minute when Sporting went down to 10 men after Aurelien Collin earned a red card for a hard tackle on Diego Fagundez.
  • But two minutes into second-half stoppage time, Diego Fagundez whipped in a long pass from out of the right and Teal Bunbury swooped in to redirect it into the goal.
  • Two minutes later, a handball was called on Sporting midfielder Oriol Rosell as the Revs raced into the box on a 2-on-1. Lee Nguyen buried the penalty shot, his second in as many weeks, to seal the victory.
  • Sporting manager Peter Vermes made two changes to the team that rolled to a 4-0 win against the Montreal Impact at Sporting Park. Oriol Rosell and Antonio Dovale came into the midfield in place of Lawrence Olum and Paulo Nagamura.
  • SPORTING KANSAS CITY (4-1-2-3): Eric Kronberg - Chance Myers, Aurelien Collin (ejected 74), Matt Besler, Seth Sinovic - Oriol Rosell - Antonio Dovale (Alex Martinez 44 / Lawrence Olum 76), Benny Feilhaber - Sal Zizzo (Jacob Peterson 55), Dom Dwyer, Graham Zusi.

TEAM NEWS

  • Sporting saw their five-game undefeated streak come to an end, falling in an MLS league match for the first time since the season-opening 1-0 victory at Seattle Sounders FC.
  • “I thought we were getting in behind their defense. I thought we were finding all their channels and getting behind them. I thought we had good possession playing away from home and I think the way we were playing was good. I thought we had some very good chances,” said SKC manager Peter Vermes. “They had one good chance in the first half. After that, I thought we had some very good chances in and around their box. Again, definitely not a 2-0 game.”
  • Antonio Dovale made his first MLS start, but had to come off just before halftime because of illness.
  • “I thought he was good when he was in there. It was a game for us to see how he would start getting involved in the pace of a Major League Soccer game. I thought for some times that he was on the ball, he was very good. He found some good through balls and things like that, but it would have been nice to see him play for a little bit longer,” said Vermes.
  • Aurelien Collin was shown a straight red card for what he says was the first time in his professional career. He had one previous ejection in MLS, as a result of two yellow cards in his first MLS season of 2011. Collin has led MLS in cautions in two of the last three seasons, with 10 in 2011 and 13 last year.
  • “Everybody in the league knows that I'm a physical player, but I never play to hurt the guy,” Collin said. “That's why I was very surprised that the referee who was new in the league could give me a straight red card. That's the first red card of my whole career in an official game, anywhere in the world. So I was very surprised and very upset that I could not help the team at the end of the game.”
  • With Collin out, Lawrence Olum is the leading candidate to partner Matt Besler in central defense ñ though 17-year-old Homegrown defender Erik Palmer-Brown is also a possibility to make his MLS debut.
  • “It's a good possibility. Good possibility,” Vermes said. “I don't know yet. It's kind of early in the week, but definitely a good possibility.”
  • There is another injury concern after Sal Zizzo was forced off before the hour mark with a groin injury, replaced by Jacob Peterson. Zizzo had started each of the last six matches.
  • “We had a lot to manage right there,” Vermes said. “Obviously, it would have been nice to have a couple of those subs late in the game, because it would have given us some fresh legs.”

COLUMBUS CREW
The Columbus Crew recorded their third consecutive draw, again reaching a 1-1 draw, this time with the New York Red Bulls on Saturday evening at Crew Stadium. The Crew sit in first place in the Eastern Conference, with 12 points from seven matches.

LAST MATCH

  • The Crew took the lead late in the first half. New York defender Kosuke Kimura dragged Justin Meram to the ground as he tried to get on the end of a cross, and referee Geoff Gamble pointed to the spot. Jairo Arrieta stepped up for the penalty kick and slammed a hard shot off of the underside of the crossbar.
  • The Red Bulls leveled terms in the 66th minute, when Bradley Wright-Phillips made a juggling turn just outside the Crew box and hit a perfectly placed volley inside the far post, Crew 'keeper Steve Clark powerless to stop the shot that bounced off the inside of the bar and into the goal.
  • Crew head coach Gregg Berhalter made two changes to the team that grabbed a 1-1 draw with D.C. United at Crew Stadium. Justin Meram came into the midfield in place of Bernardo Anor, and Jairo Arrieta started up top in place of Dominic Oduro.
  • COLUMBUS CREW (4-4-1-1): Steve Clark - Josh Williams, Michael Parkhurst, Giancarlo Gonzalez, Waylon Francis - Hector Jimenez (Ethan Finlay 76), Tony Tchani, Wil Trapp, Justin Meram (Dominic Oduro 68) - Federico Higuain - Jairo Arrieta (Adam Bedell 87).

TEAM NEWS

  • The Crew reached their third consecutive draw ñ all by a 1-1 score line – as their winless run was stretched to four matches after winning their first three games of the season.
  • "Obviously, heads were down in the locker room that we couldn't close it out, we couldn't get the three points. But I think there were a lot of positives. This is a team that was coming off of a big win, and it's a good team,” Crew head coach Gregg Berhalter said. “… They were disappointed that they didn't win the game, and I like that. I like that we were disappointed because it shows that we have high expectations of ourselves.”
  • Jairo Arrieta scored his second goal of the season, his first since netting the Crew’s opening goal of the campaign in the season-opening win vs. D.C. United – nominated to take the first-half spot kick by regular penalty taker Federico Higuain.
  • “They decide [penalty takers] between themselves,” Berhalter said after the match. “Jairo wanted to get off the mark, he was anxious to score, and it was good that he took it and made it.”
  • Said Arrieta: “It was very important for me to score that goal. Not scoring for a few games has been tough. But I showed up … played well, had a couple of chances, scored a goal. So it's important for me to be confident on the field to show the coach that I can play and that I can start.”
  • Arrieta was also making his first start since March 22, since the second match of the season, coming in up top for Dominic Oduro, who had started four consecutive games.
  • “I thought [Oduro] did fine. I think we’re trying to get him into full rhythm. And Jairo, in this case over the past couple of weeks, has looked pretty sharp in training and it was something where we felt he deserved to start,” said Berhalter. “But I think Dom – we want to give him the rhythm, we want him to make an impact, where it’s coming in as a sub or starting the game. We believe he can have a bigger impact with this group.”
  • After coming off the substitutes’ bench in each of the first six matches, Justin Meram was given the start wide on the left of midfield with the suspension to Bernardo Anor.
  • “Justin did well. He has that ability to turn and take players on, be aggressive, and I like that a lot. He got a little bit fatigued towards the end of his time on the field, but I think it was a solid performance by him,” Berhalter said.
  • The match in Kansas City starts a two-game road swing that continues at midweek with a game at the Houston Dynamo.
  • “We want to just keep developing our play. We want to win the games, of course. We have expectations of ourselves to win the game, but we want to develop our style and keep working on that,” Berhalter said. “We’re going to go on the road and give teams tough games. We’re going to try to control the games and be aggressive, and that’s what we do. We’re going to keep trying.”
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Current Form

Sporting KC
Columbus

Season Stats

Sporting Kansas CityColumbus Crew
7Games Played7
3Wins3
2Losses1
2Open Play Crosses3
9Goals10
6Goals Conceded7
84Scoring Attempts71
36Ontarget Scoring Attempts27
114Free Kick Fouls Lost86
102Free Kick Fouls Won69
10Total Offside13
49Won Corners41

Goals Scored

01234+TotalAvg
SKC3201191.3
CLB13210101.4
01234+Avg
SKC120011.5
CLB121001.0
01234+Avg
SKC200101.0
CLB011102.0

Goals Conceded

01234+TotalAvg
SKC3220060.9
CLB1510071.0
01234+Avg
SKC310000.2
CLB031001.2
01234+Avg
SKC012001.7
CLB120000.7
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