Know Thy Enemy: Sporting Kansas City

MLS table toppers Sporting Kansas City make their way to BC Place Wednesday evening expecting to boost their win streak to seven games for the season after downing Real Salt Lake 1-0 at home. Our boys have had a week off to rest since the implosion at San Jose, and should be raring to go against a side well known for their high fitness levels and their ability to grind out victories.

Current injuries

GK: Eric Kronberg, MF: Julio Cesar

Uncertain For Match

DF: Cyprian Hedrick
Last years unforgettable 3-3 draw at Empire Field, thanks to a bit of Camilo brilliance, sets this match up as a potential classic. Our backline will be up against a strong attacking side that usually play with a front three of Kei Kamara and Bobby Convey providing the width for 2011 MLS Rookie of the Year C.J. Sapong. Behind them is potential MLS MVP Graham Zusi pulling the strings in midfield. This is a player we cant leave much room for as he has all the abilities in his locker to break down most defences in MLS (except ours...hopefully).

The Canadian (Or is he?...)

FW: Teal Bunbury, the controversial one returns to his country of birth that nurtured his talent, only for him to turn his back and sign up with the US national side. This was especially heartbreaking given his dad, Alex, was a loyal soldier for the national program, with 66 Caps to his name. Teal has only made one appearance so far this season after finshing last season with 9 goals. In his youth days he was selected for the Canadian U-17 and U-20 sides before switching allegiance and playing with the US U-23's before making his senior debut with the USMNT in 2010 against South Africa.

Players To Watch

GK: Jimmy Nielsen, the veteran Dane has been displaying all his experience at the back for the Wiz conceding only one goal so far. Their captain played most of his career in his homeland at AaB playing over 300 games, but also had spells in England with Millwall and Leicester City. He was Danish goalkeeper of the year in 1998 and 2004.
MF: Graham Zusi, drafted in the second round of the 2009 MLS Superdraft by the Kansas City Wizards. An exciting playmaker, he made a name for himself last season earning a call up to the USMNT and making his debut in a friendly versus Venezuela.
FW: CJ Sapong, drafted no.10 in the 2011 MLS Superdraft - the same draft where the 'Caps picked up Omar Salgado. Sapong went onto claim MLS Rookie of the Year Award in 2011, scoring 8 times, going on to make his debut with the USMNT recently against Venezuela. A lot is expected of C.J. as he has already edged out Teal Bunbury for a starting spot.

Fan Watch

Expect some good Tifo from the Southsiders targeting former Canadian Teal Bunbury.
Of interest, the Kansas City Wizards have been rebranded as 'Sporting', as they look to create a wider sports base by adding rugby and lacrosse teams to the fold.

About Graham Tooke

Graham has worked as the stadium announcer for the Victoria Highlanders of the USL PDL division, interned for the Vancouver Whitecaps, and most recently received his diploma in sports management at Camosun College. The toast of Inverurie, Scotland, Tooke is a Chelsea supporter through and through. Follow @chelskitooke


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Reader Comments (2)

Of note Sporting Club does not have an official lacrosse affiliate yet and the rugby affiliation has not been given much support as far as the public can tell. The growing fan base has been more about winning and the local ownership. Good luck!

April 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAdAstraSKC

Thanks for the info!

April 22, 2012 | Registered CommenterPacific Boulevard

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