Kansas City, KS (Sports Network) - Sporting Park hasn't provided much of a
homefield advantage to Sporting Kansas City in recent weeks, but the club will
hope to change that on Saturday against the Columbus Crew.
The home side is winless in its last four league matches, and has earned only
one point from its three most recent home contests.
Sporting has slipped to fourth place in the Eastern Conference following its
poor run of form, but Saturday's opponent, Columbus, enters the match with
just one win from its last five contests.
Kansas City was on the verge of a quality win at Western Conference leaders FC
Dallas last weekend as the club took a 2-0 lead into the final 25 minutes of
But Sporting forward C.J. Sapong was sent off in the 68th minute, and Dallas
rallied to score twice in the final three minutes to claim a point.
"We didn't give much away. We were managing the game really well. At that
point, obviously, we got the red card and then they were throwing a lot of
numbers forward," Sporting head coach Peter Vermes said. "It's disappointing
from the perspective we put a lot of good work into the game and we had good
control of it. That part was disappointing."
Columbus also knows the feeling of letting a lead slip as the Crew seized an
early 1-0 advantage at home against the Chicago Fire last weekend, but ended
up with a 2-1 defeat.
The Crew has yet to win back-to-back games this season, and with the club
having to go the rest of the season without key midfielder Eddie Gaven and
defender Glauber because of knee injuries, head coach Robert Warzycha is
feeling a little short of options at the moment.
"I think the way we played I can't be disappointed. We created a number of
chances, we were quick, and there was a good understanding," said Warzycha
following the defeat to the Fire. "We just have to tighten things at the back.
So I'm not looking for a number of changes because I don't have the players. I
don't have a player to replace Chad Marshall or Josh Williams."
Columbus also needs to find more success in scoring goals from open play as
three of the team's last five goals have come from the penalty spot.
The Crew has suffered three defeats in their last five home matches, but the
team has had success at Sporting, winning four of the last five matches in
Kansas City between the two sides.
The Sports Network