clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Behind enemy lines: Scouting Sporting Kansas City

Who's who for Saturday's opponent? We're taking a look at Sporting KC's lineup.

MLS: Toronto FC at Sporting KC Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

Real Salt Lake travel to Kansas City after having a week off. RSL and Sporting Kansas City have a mutual dislike for one another, which makes it one of the most heated and exciting match-ups to watch. It has been dubbed as one of the most under-rated rivalries in Major League Soccer. Real will look to put a blemish on Sporting's perfect start thus far.

MLS: Toronto FC at Sporting KC Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

Goalkeeper

Twenty-nine year old Tim Melia starts in between the sticks for Sporting. The former MLS journeyman had bounced from team to team for years, which included a brief stint in Salt Lake. He has now seemed to find a home in Kansas due to his stellar performances in the stead of injuries to Eric Kronberg last season. Melia will look to ensure his status as a number one goalkeeper by carrying on his form from last year's campaign.

MLS: Toronto FC at Sporting KC Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

Defense

The man who usually leads the SKC squad from the back is USA international Matt Besler. The Sporting captain has over 200 appearances for club and country collectively, and has the experience to gut out a result. Unfortunately for his club he was concussed while on international duty and will most likely miss Saturday's match. Fellow local and home grown player Kevin Ellis will likely take his spot while partnering former FC Porto reserve Nuno Coelho. Chance Myers and Amadou Dia will provide the support from the flanks.

MLS: Sporting KC at Seattle Sounders Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

Midfield

Public enemy number one if you're watching with Claret and Cobalt tinted glasses is Benny Feilhaber. The 2010 World Cup squad member has proven to be one of the most dynamic playmakers in MLS and will look to make his season debut this weekend. Aggressive holding midfielder Roger Espinoza will miss out due to a straight red received in the last match versus Toronto FC. Soni Mustivar and Lawrence Olum will likely play along Feilhaber in the center of the park to bring the defensive discipline in their 3-man midfield.

MLS: San Jose Earthquakes at Sporting KC Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Forwards

Sporting Kansas City will deploy three attacking options up front, similar to many MLS teams lately donning a 4-3-3 formation. Public enemy number 2 would be the man in the middle: Dom Dwyer. There has a been a hatred from both sides ever since Dwyer himself declared his a couple years ago. But the 25 year old Englishman can put his money where his mouth is, as he nearly averages a goal every other game in his MLS career. Usual starting winger Graham Zusi is also a thorn in defender's sides, although he may or may not start after going 81 minutes versus Guatemala earlier in the week. Connor Hallisey is likely to start on the opposite wing and help provide the service for their flamboyant center forward .

MLS: Vancouver Whitecaps FC at Sporting KC John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports