SANTA CLARA, CA - OCTOBER 01: Ramiro Corrales #12 of the San Jose Earthquakes dribbles the ball away from C.J. Sapong #17 of Sporting Kansas City in the second half during an MLS soccer game at Buck Shaw Stadium on October 1, 2011 in Santa Clara, California. The game ended in a 1 to 1 tie. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Sporting Kansas City return home after a 2 game Midwestern road trip that saw them pick up just 1 point for their troubles as they let early leads go both in Chicago and Colorado. What's more worrying however is when you see that Sporting haven't won a game since the middle of April and sit in 3rd place in the East due to their poor results in recent weeks.
Their opponents on Sunday will be the newly crowned league-leading San Jose Earthquakes, a title that Sporting KC used to own earlier in the season. And although a win in front of the home crowd at LSP tomorrow afternoon won't see SKC return to their rightful place at the top of the league and take back that title, it will put them in the right direction.
Time:3:30 pm CT, game will broadcast on NBC Sports
Where: LIVESTRONG Sporting Park, Kansas City, Kansas.
Who: Sporting KC vs. San Jose Earthquakes
What: Major League Soccer Round 12
Key Matchup: Teal Bunbury vs. Ike Opara
With Teal Bunbury having come into good form as of late he will be marked tightly by San Jose's center backs. Particularly Ike Opara who is one of the most paciest central defenders in the entire league and will look to counteract Teal's speed. Neither of them are too powerful in the air so they match up well on the physical side of play. It will be an interesting match-up.
San Jose Earthquakes player to watch: Alan Gordon
Alan Gordon has been San Jose's go-to-guy when they need goals late on in the match, usually coming on for either Wondolowski or Lenhart but since both of them will be unavailable for SJ on Sunday Alan will most likely receive the start up top at forward.
If Teal Bunbury is in good form then Alan Gordon is in uber-sesnational form. Gordon will certainly be San Jose's biggest threat in the attacking third and his never-say-die attitude could put the Earthquakes on the front-foot early on.
Predicted Lineup: GK: Jimmy Nielsen RB: Chance Myers CB"s: Aurelien Collin, Matt Besler LB: Seth Sinovic CM's: Julio Cesar, Graham Zusi, Roger Espinoza RW: Kei Kamara ST: Teal Bunbury LW: Bobby Convey
Predicted Score: Sporting KC 2 - San Jose Earthquakes 1
I just can't really see Sporting KC getting anything else than a win in front of the KC faithful on Sunday. Granted San Jose are in the top spot in the league, but they will be with out two of their top goal-scorers and their midfield will have tired legs having played a game earlier in the week.