Entering Week 6 of Major League Soccer both Real Salt Lake and Sporting Kansas City are coming off of two very different types of wins. RSL beating the San Jose Quakes 1-0 in a very physical match with a wonderful AT&T Goal of the Week from veteran Javier Morales.
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Meanwhile SKC had one of the best MLS comebacks of all time beating the Philadelphia Union 3-2. Sporting Kansas City had goals come from Jalil Anibabe (90’+1′) and Krisztian Nemeth (90’+4′) in order to catapult themselves from the bottom of the table all the way to 4th.
Real Salt Lake will have to continue the strong tackles and physical play in order to silence the Wizards. Look for the RSL back line of Tony Beltran, Chris Schuler, Jamison Olave, and Demar Phillips (yes I’m predicting his return) to be challenged with set pieces from the hyper aggressive Kansas City side.
Real Salt Lake has never won at Sporting Park and is looking to have their first win against Sporting KC since 2011. As an RSL fan, as long as this game isn’t anything similar to the 2013 MLS Final, then I can’t be too upset.
Based on this season’s statistics (and general intuition) this game will be well fought, physical, but most of all, close.Apr 5, 2015; San Jose, CA, USA; San Jose Earthquakes midfielder Fatai Alashe (27) attempts to kick the ball away from Real Salt Lake midfielder Javier Morales (11) in the second half at Avaya Stadium. The Real Salt Lake defeated the Earthquakes 1-0. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports
Let’s look at the numbers: SKC is averaging 1.3 goals scored at home and 1.0 goals conceded. Meanwhile; Real Salt Lake hasn’t conceded a goal on the road all season, and averages 0.5 goals. Yes it might be early in the season but numbers don’t lie.
These averages leads me to infer that Sporting Kansas City has played far more aggressive than Real and will do so on Saturday. While not only scoring more goals, but also allowing more, leads me to believe that the Wizards will have a much faster and individual style of play than the Royals.
Even more proof behind this theory; Sporting Kansas City has taken 13 more shots, won 19 more headers, and won 9 more fouls. Some may argue ‘but SKC has played 5 games while RSL has only played 4.’ While I understand the point; the amount of fouls and corners won shows a raised level of aggression on the attacking side of the ball compared to Real Salt Lake.
Prediction: Real Salt Lake ties with Sporting Kansas City 1-1 with Sandoval assisting Luis Gil in the second half to even the score, 2 players have to be taken out because of injury, and finally Jamison Olave gets sent off from collecting two Yellows.
Let me know what you think! Leave your predictions in the comments or tweet them to me @ZeekIsFansided .
Kickoff: 8:30pm ET
Location: Kansas City, MO Sporting Park
TV: KMCI-38, KMYU
Live Stream: MLS Live