MLS Preview from The Sports Network|
Wednesday, Sept. 3, 2014
(All times Eastern)
Kansas City (12-8-6) at New England (10-12-3), 7:30 p.m.
Foxborough, MA (SportsNetwork.com) - Sporting Kansas City will embark on a
three-game road swing beginning with a trip to Gillette Stadium to face the
New England Revolution on Wednesday.
It could be coming at the perfect time for the reigning MLS Cup champions, who
suffered a 3-1 home loss to the Houston Dynamo on Friday. It marked the first
time that the club has dropped consecutive league games at Sporting Park.
Sporting's next two games will be vital as the club will follow Wednesday's
clash with another clash against Eastern Conference opposition in Red Bull New
York. Kansas City will then wrap up the road trip with a very winnable contest
against Chivas USA at the StubHub Center on Sept. 12.
"I'm looking forward to it," said young SKC goalkeeper Jon Kempin. "It'll be
two competitive games that are very important for us. We've taken a step back,
now it's time to go to training, fix things, and get some positive result on
Training will also be key for SKC as the club conceded two goals to Houston on
"Eventually we'll get it right," Sporting head coach Peter Vermes said after
the match. "Two set pieces, especially the second and third one, were two
situations that were routine plays again. On the second one (Lawrence) Olum
misses his mark, just stands there, and he gets in free. On the third one we
didn't have the number of people we should have and it was just too easy. It
was three soft goals from our perspective."
New England, meanwhile, appears to be finding its form following a run of nine
defeats in 10 games. The Revs have taken seven points from their last three
outings, winning their last two contests.
Defense has been the impetus behind the club's recent run of form as the Revs
kept back-to-back clean sheets in wins over Chivas and Toronto FC.
"Obviously every team wants to have a 26-pass sequence like (the Los Angeles
Galaxy); that's what you strive for," said Revs head coach Jay Heaps. "But at
the same time, the game is played defensively. You've got to roll up your
sleeves and put the work in. More times than not, when you do that, it's going
to be a good game."
Wednesday's clash against Sporting will be the first in a three-game home
stand for New England, every one of which comes against Eastern Conference
opposition. The Revs will return to action against the Chicago Fire on Sunday
before welcoming the Montreal Impact to Gillette on Sept. 13.
It is a crucial stretch for New England, which enters the weekend in third
place in the Eastern Conference with 33 points. The third-place position
certainly bodes well for the club's playoff chances, but Heaps' men are only
two points clear of the postseason cut-off, meaning any slip could hurt them.
09/02 17:36:56 ET