Who: Columbus Crew at Sporting Kansas City
When: May 4th, 2014 at 3:00 PM CDT
Where: Sporting Park, Kansas City, KS
Sporting Kansas City are back in action this afternoon against the Columbus Crew. Sporting looks to rebound after a tough road loss to the New England Revolution that finished 2-0 with both goals coming after an Aurelien Collin red card late in the game.
Sporting currently sit third in the Eastern Conference standings behind both the Columbus Crew and New England Revolution with 11 points in 7 games played. Columbus is just a point ahead with 12 points in 7 games played. New England is on top of the table with 14 points in 9 games played.
The Columbus Crew earned a draw in their previous game against New York 1-1. In fact Columbus has finished their last three games with a 1-1 draw and are winless in their last 4 after starting the season off hot with three straight wins. Columbus will be looking to get back to their early season form but have a tough task as they travel to a hostile Sporting Park in a nationally televised game.
Sporting Kansas City met the Columbus Crew three times in 2013 with Sporting winning all three of those contests.
The first match-up came on June 29th at Sporting where Sporting captured a 3-2 victory in a very heated blow for blow contest. Sporting’s Kei Kamara opened the scoring in the 34th minute when he brought down a long ball over the top and drilled it past the keeper to give sporting the 1-0 lead early.
Sporting took the 1-0 lead into half time but, Columbus evened things up in the 48th minute when Jairo Arrieta on a break away beat two defenders and the keeper to tie things up at 1-1. Sporting wasted no time as they regained the lead in the 50th minute when Claudio Bieler volleyed it home from close range. Columbus wasn’t ready to concede defeat as they answered back in the 53rd minute after Sporting defender Seth Sinovic had an errant pass back to the keeper that Columbus forward Dominic Oduro intercepted and dribbled around the keeper for an easy goal to make it 2-2.
With the game nearing its conclusion Kei Kamara gave the home side the edge with his second goal of the game in the 80th minute with a close range shot that went just under the keepers legs and made it 3-2. The game finished with Sporting on top but it could have went either way. ( I was at this game. The back and forth of emotions was awesome.)
The second game between these two sides last year came on September 7th at Sporting Park where Sporting captured their second victory against Columbus on the season with a convincing 3-0 final. Claudio Bieler opened the scoring early in the 7th minute on a penalty kick earned by Benny Feilhaber when he dribbled around a defender in the box but was tripped up. The second goal of the game came in the 41st minute when Soony Saad dribbled into the left side of the box and fired a laser into the right side of goal right past the keepers head. The third and final goal came in the 55th minute when C.J. Sapong got on the end of a ball over the top and was able to head it just over the challenging keeper to give the home side the 3-0 lead which they would hang on to for the 3-0 final.
The third and final match-up came on October 5th in Columbus, Ohio where Sporting was able to capture the closely contested 1-0 lead for their third and final win against Columbus on the season. Sporting defender Ike Opara scored the lone goal in the 17th minute when he got his head on a cross whipped in from the left flank by Graham Zusi. Sporting was able to hold the lead and secure the shutout for their third and final win against Columbus on the season.
Sporting and Columbus are scheduled to meet one more time this season coming on July 16th in Columbus, Ohio.
There are many story lines for Sporting going into this game:
- Aurelien Collin suspended after a red card against New England.
- Does young defender Erik Palmer-Brown get featured in the match day 18?
- Will Eric Kronberg prove that he deserves to be the starting keeper?
- Will Andy Gruenebaum get his first start for Sporting against his former team?
- Will we see the return of Soony Saad?
- Does Sporting stick with the hot hand in Dwyer or do they give Bieler his shot?
- Sporting will receive their MLS Cup Championship rings.
Prior to kickoff Sporting Kansas City will be presented with their 2013 MLS Cup Championship rings. If you are attending the game try to be in your seats early because the ring ceremony begins at 2:00.
The first 10,000 fans that pass through the gates will get a free pair of Sporting KC branded sunglasses. If you spend $75 dollars or more at one of the Sporting Style locations on Sunday you will receive a complimentary mini replica MLS Cup trophy.
Be sure to catch up on all of Sporting Kansas City’s happenings throughout the week right here on KC Kingdom.
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