Thursday, July 25, 2024

Sporting Kansas City v Austin FC: Inward focus for Vermes as hosts bid to end dismal run

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 28 Jun 2024

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Peter Vermes says Sporting Kansas City must focus on their own attributes, rather than those of upcoming opponents Austin FC, if they are to end their miserable run of form.

Sporting KC sit 13th in the Western Conference standings after losing 10 of their last 11 games including each of their last three, conceding four goals in each.

Following a 4-2 defeat to the LA Galaxy, a 4-3 reverse against Real Salt Lake and a 4-0 demolition at the hands of the Columbus Crew, Vermes says his team have had a good week in training and are raring to set the record straight.

“We’re going to find out on Saturday. I think we’ve had a pretty decent week of training,” Vermes said when asked how his team would measure up.

“It’s been good for us to train in this kind of heat since it’s what we’ve got to play in for these next couple of months.

“It’s all going to be about the performance this weekend, for sure. The key is to just make sure we’re good at the key aspects of our game.

“It’s more about what we’re doing and making sure that we’re doing it right.”

Austin were also on a poor run until they beat Minnesota United 1-0 last week, a result that lifted them to eighth in the West.

Boss Josh Wolff is pleased with the way his team have hung on despite losing players to international duty and injuries, saying: “We looked at the season, and we knew difficult stretches were coming. We just don’t have the numbers.

“You can see in these games, we had to grind. We have guys playing in different positions. They continue to hang in there and compete.

“It’s not like every game is perfect but the guys have done a great job of keeping us in a good position.”

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Sporting Kansas City – John Pulskamp

Sporting KC are the fifth team in MLS history to concede four or more goals in three consecutive matches.

No team has allowed four or more goals in four straight games in league history. Goalkeeper Pulskamp will be desperate to avoid making unwanted history here.

Austin FC – Sebastian Driussi

Driussi has scored five goals in six regular-season meetings with Sporting KC, scoring one goal in five of those six games, including in both of his previous matches in Kansas City.

MATCH PREDICTION: SPORTING KANSAS CITY WIN

Sporting KC have lost 10 times in a span of 11 regular-season matches for the first time in the post-shootout era (since 2000).

They had suffered only nine defeats in their previous 33 regular-season matches before this run. Perhaps Saturday, though, is an opportunity to bounce back.

Austin were winless in five matches themselves before beating Minnesota last week (two draws, three losses) and have only won two of their last 17 road games (six draws, nine defeats).

OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

Sporting Kansas City – 45.8%

Austin FC – 27.5%

Draw – 26.8%

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

SoccerNews

Soccernews.com is news blog for soccer with comprehensive coverage of all the major leagues in Europe, as well as MLS in the United States. In addition we offer breaking news for transfers and transfer rumors, ticket sales, betting tips and offers, match previews, and in-depth editorials.

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