Volkswagen keys to the Match: Sporting Kansas City
When D.C. United heads to Kansas City on Saturday, asix-point swing will be up for grabs. We take a look at a few keys as the Black-and-Red look to build on theirmomentum after last week’s win over Columbus.
BEAT THE PRESSURE
When Sporting rolled into RFK – and rolled over United –back in March, it was thanks in large part to their pressure. Kansas City’s 4-3-3 (or at times4-2-3-1) allows them to put a lot of bodies in the attacking third. Under considerable pressure, D.C.resorted to thumping the ball up field and held a paltry 42% share ofpossession at home. One bigdifference on Saturday could be Emiliano Dudar. Should the Argentine earn a second consecutive league start,his confidence in distribution out of the back could help find some holes in theonslaught of SKC pressure.
Kei Kamara raced up and down D.C.’s left flank on opening night,scoring the game-winning goal and firing six shots in a very dangerous 90-minutestretch. Sporting loves to playone-touch in the final third, and the 27-year-old is extremely effective movingoff the ball and anticipating the quick passing of Graham Zusi, Bobby Conveyand company. On March 10 DanielWoolard did what he could to contain Kamara, but the injured left back will notbe available in Kansas City – meaning Chris Korb, Dejan Jakovic or the newlyacquired Mike Chabala must step up.
FIRE WITH FIRE
So Kansas City has speed up top, but D.C. United’s attackisn’t exactly slow. Both Houston andColumbus found success running at Sporting’s back four, and D.C. has at leastas much pace as both of those two sides. Chris Pontius and Nick DeLeon could be gamebreakers in this sense, aswell as Andy Najar and Long Tan if they make their way into Ben Olsen’splans.