Real Salt Lake is making their second visit to Children's Mercy Park this weekend to face the loathed Sporting Kansas City.
RSL was able to take all three points in the previous matchup this season, but have started their five game road trip dropping all six points to Colorado and Houston respectively.
SKC was finally able to break through against Orlando last week getting a much needed three points after going the previous seven matches winless. This matchup is always heated, the sparks will surely fly this weekend as both teams look to grind out a much needed result.
Tim Melia will be minding the net for Sporting. Melia will be looking to rebound from his performance in the last matchup after being caught out by a long distance Luke Mulholland strike, that was eventually the match winner. The 30 year old veteran currently ranks 5th in the league with 36 saves to go along with three clean sheets. Melia will look to tie the league leading goalkeepers with four shutouts by adding another to his tally this weekend.
The Kansas City back line will be disappointed after giving up a goal mouth scramble to Orlando City last week preventing their fourth shutout on the year. Matt Besler will look to be on top form to be in consideration for Jürgen Klinsmann's Copa America squad. Besler will likely be partnered by Portuguese veteran Nuno Coelho. Saad Abdul-Salaam has sneakily snuck into being among the MLS assist leaders this year with four in significantly less minutes than the league leaders. Abdul-Salaam will start on the right flank with Seth Sinovic on the left if deemed fit. Jimmy Medranda will likely take the start if Sinovic isn't healthy.
Sporting will have a midfield trio of Benny Feilhaber, Roger Espinoza and Soni Mustivar. Feilhaber will be the point of creativity from the midfield while Espinoza and Mustivar provide the defensive support. Feilhaber added the lone Kansas City goal in the first matchup on a late penalty kick to end the match 2-1. The moments after the converted PK were intense as Feilhaber dove in feet first on Real stand-in goalkeeper Jeff Attinella in a rush to put the ball back in play. There will be no love lost between the polarizing midfielder and the Real faithful.
Usually among the most potent goal scorers, Kansas City striker Dom Dwyer has seen somewhat of a dry spell by his standards. The ever-dangerous Englishman is still among the league leaders in shots and three goals behind the frontmen in the Golden Boot race. One of the wingers supporting Dwyer will be Graham Zusi whom, much like Besler, will be hoping to impress enough to make the United States Copa America squad. Jacob Peterson could be favorite to start on the opposite wing after starring as a super-sub last week against Orlando. His goal and assist propelled SKC to their much needed win. It is likely he will at least get a cameo appearance to help his club leapfrog the hated Claret and Cobalt in the league table this week.