Kansas City (5-4-4) at D.C. United (5-4-3), 7 p.m.
Washington, D.C. (SportsNetwork.com) - D.C. United and Sporting Kansas City
will meet at RFK Stadium on Saturday for a match that could affect Eastern
The two sides are separated by just one point in the table as Sporting enters
the weekend in second place with 19 points, just ahead of third-place United.
D.C. went into last weekend in second place, but a home defeat to the New
England Revolution opened the door for Sporting to climb ahead, a chance that
the reigning champs seized with back-to-back home draws against Toronto FC and
Red Bull New York.
United's loss to the Revs snapped a three-game unbeaten run for the club, but
defender Bobby Boswell is confident about the club's outlook.
"We're still making strides in the right direction. I don't feel like we got
played off the field," Boswell said. "I felt like we kind of shot ourselves in
the foot a little bit. Some things didn't go our way, but it wasn't like it
was a bad performance by our team tonight. I think we take some positives away
from that, learn from the mistakes, and the ultimate goal is to be better and
learn from it."
Fabian Espindola scored United's lone goal on the night. He now has a goal or
an assist in eight of his last 10 games, with six goals and five assists for
Dom Dwyer, on the other hand, has been one of the hottest strikers in MLS. The
Englishman bagged a brace against Toronto last Friday and made life difficult
for the Red Bulls defense in the first half on Tuesday.
While Dwyer was unable to find a goal in the draw with New York, Antonio
Dovale opened his MLS scoring account with a ninth-minute curler off of a pass
from Benny Feilhaber.
"He's very good with the ball. It's not easy to get the ball off him. He can
give a final pass and as you saw he can score. He almost scored a second one
in the second half," SKC manager Peter Vermes said of Dovale. "He's just got a
very high aptitude for the game, and I think it's because he's smarter than
most of the players he's playing against."
Sporting has had to shuffle the lineup to compensate for World Cup absences to
Graham Zusi and Matt Besler. That has seen Sal Zizzo return to the fold as he
started for the first time since May 14, playing 72 minutes as a winger.
"We are getting the most out of what we can right now," Vermes said. "And
with the different people we have in the game and trying to deal with a lot of
injuries in regards to the middle of the park, it's never easy."