Thursday, July 25, 2024

Colorado Rapids v Sporting Kansas City: Vermes want players to take responsibility ahead of road tri

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 3 Jul 2024

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Peter Vermes urged his Sporting Kansas City players to take responsibility for their own position ahead of the upcoming MLS road trip to Colorado Rapids.

SKC ended a three-game losing streak with a 2-0 victory over Austin FC in their last encounter, just their second victory in 15 league games.

Kansas City are still bottom of the Western Conference and 11 points adrift of the playoff spots, though Vermes is desperate for fighting spirit ahead of a testing schedule.

“We can’t wait, we have a lot of games that are important coming up,” SKC head coach Vermes said at his pre-match media availability.

“Each game has its own importance to it, this all started last week but we need to keep going.

“We go in with a plan, we have an idea, it sometimes comes down to how the guys recover. Hopefully no one gets injured, but also just minutes – it’s going to be really important.

“Each guy himself has to be ready for the responsibility of the position and knowing what we do when we have the ball, when we don’t, they have to go into the game with that.

“We don’t have a lot of training time in between games, so they all have to be ready for that.”

The Burgundy Boys will be out to extend their home unbeaten run to five games in this clash, though they suffered a 3-0 defeat to Los Angeles FC last time out on the road.

Colorado are fourth in the West standings but nine points adrift of the top two, a gap they will hope to shorten at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Colorado Rapids – Rafael Navarro

Rafael Navarro has scored in each of his last five home appearances for the Rapids, and will fancy his chances of extending an impressive run this time around.

The only players with a longer streak in regular-season play in Colorado’s history are Diego Rubio (six in 2022) and Mark Chung (also six in 2003).

Sporting Kansas City – William Agada

Goals have been hard to come by for the Kansas City side, with William Agada leading the way this season in MLS with five strikes.

Agada has managed that tally from 20 games, averaging a goal every four matches, but will hope to add to his scoring returns in Colorado.

MATCH PREDICTION – COLORADO RAPIDS WIN

The Rapids are the favourites for victory on home soil in this clash, owing to a remarkable head-to-head record in meetings between this pair.

Colorado are unbeaten in 10 straight regular-season home matches against SKC (W5 D5) and have lost only two of their 28 home league matches against them since August 2000 (W13 D13).

This will also be Colorado’s third Independence Day meeting with Sporting, having won in both 2003 and 2005, with the expectation that history will repeat itself here.

SKC are hardly in fine form either, having managed just their second win last time out in their previous 15 MLS matches (D2 L11).

However, they managed the club’s first clean sheet since a scoreless draw at LAFC on March 9, and will hope to build on that performance here.

OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

Colorado Rapids win – 48.2%

Draw – 25.9%

Sporting Kansas City win – 25.9%

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SoccerNews

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