Rapids-Sporting Kansas City Preview
Perhaps a return home will help Sporting Kansas City end its current rough patch.
Following consecutive road defeats, desperate SKC aims for a fourth straight home victory on Saturday night against the Colorado Rapids.
Sporting (10-13-7) gave itself a glimmer of hope in reaching the playoffs by reeling off three straight victories - all at home - from Aug. 17-31. However, Kansas City followed that run with back-to-back road defeats at Portland and to the Los Angeles Galaxy. SKC currently sits ninth in the Western Conference, seven points back of FC Dallas, which owns the seventh and final playoff spot in the West.
K.C.'s most recent setback was a complete shellacking, 7-2 at the hands of the Galaxy last weekend. It was a totally deflating loss, not only for Kansas City's playoff chances, but also in terms of the club's collective confidence. However, regardless of where SKC sits in the MLS table, nobody will feel sorry for the club - and neither should it.
"Go out (on Saturday) and try to win. Stranger things have happened," coach Peter Vermes told Kansas City's official website. "We have to win games … We have to go on to the next game. We can't waste too much time on (the loss to L.A.)."
The good news for Kansas City is that they have not allowed a goal in their last two home matches, and just one total during that three-game run there. Though Sporting played Colorado to a 1-1 draw on the road in March, it's won the last two meetings with the Rapids at Kansas City.
Colorado (10-15-6), which is one point and one place behind SKC in the West, saw its 3-0-0 run under new manager Robin Fraser end with a 3-2 loss at Toronto FC last weekend. After falling behind 2-0 some 13 minutes into the match, Keegan Rosenberry pulled one back in the 31st minute and the Rapids drew even when Rosenberry assisted on Sam Nicholson's goal on 62 minutes. Colorado, though, could not keep host Toronto from going ahead for good in the 70th.
"We're building after each game," rookie Andre Shinyashiki, who has seven goals this season, told the Rapids' official website. "I think losing is sometimes important for you to gain some awareness of where you're at. I don't see the game against Toronto as a bad result. You just learn from it."
Colorado veteran Kei Kamara, who spent time with Kansas City from 2009-13, has a team-high 11 goals. However, only four have come in his last 16 matches and none over the last five.
Updated September 19, 2019