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Massive Predictions: Sporting Kansas City at Crew

How do we think the Black & Gold will perform against SKC?

MLS: Seattle Sounders FC at Sporting Kansas City Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Columbus Crew SC returns to Major League Soccer on Sunday evening to conclude the Gold Cup break. Twenty-two days prior, the Black & Gold drew with New York City FC to conclude a rough stretch that saw the team win just once in 10 matches.

The opponent on Sunday is Sporting Kansas City, a team which has suffered a similar fate as Columbus this year. Both teams dealt with a massive injury list over the first half of the season and therefore sit in 10th place in their respective conferences.

Which team will start the return from the Gold Cup break on a better note? Let’s see what our staff thinks for this contest?

Tyler Fisher

Tenth place meets tenth place this Sunday as Columbus Crew SC host Sporting KC. Columbus is still without Gyasi Zardes and Wil Trapp who are with the United States Men’s National Team, so now the eyes are on Patrick Mullins which can cement a good amount of time if the performance is good enough. The Black & Gold recently had their U.S. Open Cup fun end by a 3-2 defeat to Atlanta United. Now their attention is on the final 18 games of the MLS regular season.

For SKC, they’re almost mirroring Columbus, except in the Western Conference. If the Crew can put on a good outing like they had against the Riverhounds (yes, I know that’s an USL team), they can definitely take three points at home.
Columbus Crew SC 2 Sporting Kansas City 1

Patrick Murphy

The Crew has gotten used to makeshift lineups in 2019. Unfortunately, they haven’t yielded too many results. It will be another one for Columbus against Sporting Kansas City on Sunday with Wil Trapp and Gyasi Zardes still away with the U.S. National Team at the Gold Cup and Jonathan Mensah gone with Ghana at the Africa Cup of Nations. I would expect a lineup similar to what we saw in Tuesday night’s Open Cup loss to Atlanta United, mostly because head coach Caleb Porter has few options right now.

What could work in the Black & Gold’s favor is that SKC is missing more pieces than the Crew thanks to injuries. While Matt Besler and a couple of others could return for this game, Kanas City has four players out for an extended period of time. I think that, plus being at home, will lead to a Black & Gold win.
Columbus Crew SC 2 Sporting Kansas City 1

Jimmy Lentz

Only one point separates Columbus Crew SC (17 points) and Sporting Kansas City (16 points) — though in different conferences — as both teams have endured similar struggles during the first half of the MLS season. Failure to win games has become a major problem for Columbus and Kansas City. One interesting fact is that Sporting has not won a game on the road so far in the 2019 MLS regular season, which could be the differentiating factor for the Crew at home this Sunday at MAPFRE Stadium.
Columbus Crew SC 2 Sporting Kansas City 1

Patrick Guldan

These are two similar teams facing off. Both have been beset by injuries, neither have played to expectations and both are out of the playoff positions right now.

The Columbus Crew’s problems extends beyond injuries, as several players have regressed this season and the team is now missing Federico Higuain in the playmaking role making a struggling attack weaker. There are signs, though, that the team might be turning a corner. Pedro Santos looks good as he moved into the No. 10 role while David Accam shows signs of adapting to what Caleb Porter wants out of the attack. The defense is getting healthier with the return of Waylon Francis and Harrison Afful strengthening the backline.

Kansas City continues to be weighed down with significant injuries. Sporting is struggling with the loss of Roger Espinoza, who has been critical with how the team plays in midfield. Defender Rodney Wallace is another key piece out long term while Matt Besler and Gianluca Busio have also been sidelined. There’s very little firepower left healthy for Peter Vermes to pick from. That makes road games, even against another struggling team like the Crew, nearly impossible to get a result.
Columbus Crew SC 2 Sporting Kansas City 1

Nick Hudak

It seems like it’s the same old story with the Black & Gold. Only this time, they’re digging themselves a deeper hole with the much-talked about absences from key players translating to league play after a long break. Missing Wil Trapp, Gyasi Zardes and Jonathan Mensah will push Caleb Porter’s side to the limit. This will be the ultimate test to see whether or not we can expect a playoff run from Columbus. At home after a bitterly disappointing Open Cup elimination, those called upon by Porter will have a chip on their shoulder with something to prove.
Columbus Crew SC 2 Sporting Kansas City 1

Abigail Hintz

Sporting Kansas City stands at 10th in the Western Conference, which is where the Crew stands in the East. Both teams are in a slump coming into Sunday’s match, though Sporting’s is slightly less drastic in terms of goal differential. This could be the Black & Gold’s chance to finally get some points before the season is too far gone. However, with several players out on international duty, a tie seems like a best case scenario.
Columbus Crew SC 2 Sporting Kansas City 2

Mike Crosky

Given the continued rash of injuries and international duty, the Crew will muster another patchwork lineup against Sporting Kansas City this week. SKC, on the other hand, has dealt with their fair share of injuries and call-ups as well. While both teams are desperately seeking to right the ship, after an erratic start to the 2019 campaign, I foresee a draw being the final result. In the Crew’s first regular season game Without Zack Steffan, the Black & Gold will likely lean on Jon Kempin in goal. For Columbus to succeed, someone besides Pedro Santos needs to show consistent scoring prowess. Patrick Mullins, Robinho and David Accam are challenged with stepping up. We shall see who (if anyone) does.
Columbus Crew SC 1 Sporting Kansas City 1

How do you feel about our predictions and this match? Will the Crew get a much-needed win? Let us know in the comment section below.