The New England Revolution have continued their road trip with a visit to American Heartland to take on Sporting Kansas City on Saturday night at Livestrong Sporting Park. The match will be the Revs' third in just seven days after two straight losses in the last week. Kansas City also played two matches in the last week, winning last weekend but losing to Columbus midweek.
Kansas City is the top team in the Eastern Conference, and they maintain that spot for a reason. The Revs will have to watch out for a dangerous three-pronged attack featuring any combination of Kei Kamara, C.J. Sapong, Teal Bunbury, Bobby Convey, and Jacob Peterson. The only man on the pitch who might be more dangerous is Graham Zusi, the USA international in the midfield who pulls the strings. New England's defense, banged up with the recent injury to Stephen McCarthy, will have its hands full with this talented and ferocious attack, and will likely need plenty of help from the midfield.
Offensively, the Revs will contend with a defense that is tied with several others as the second-stingiest in MLS. Frenchman Aurelien Collin anchors an athletic back line with MLS All-Star Matt Besler, protecting another MLS All-star between the sticks in Jimmy Nielsen; goals will be at a premium. The Revs will have to hit fast and hard on the break if they hope to steal points.
Shalrie Joseph, who wasn't even in the eighteen on Wednesday, was listed as questionable on Friday with "hip irritation." Considering his absence in the last two games, it doesn't see at all unlikely that he'll miss out on Saturday as well. Stephen McCarthy is probable with his concussion-like symptoms, though Jay Heaps may decide to be cautious with his big center-back's health. Jose Moreno is also listed as probable.
Kansas City has a serious advantage in the all-time series between the two teams, sporting a 21-13-9 overall record. The last time the two clubs met was back in March when Sporting steamrolled the Revolution to the tune of three goals to none.
The match will be televised live on CSN at 8:30 PM EST. The radio call will be handled by 98.5 The Sports Hub at the same time.
For more Revolution coverage, visit our team page and blog, The Bent Musket.