MLS preview: D.C. United at Sporting Kansas City

October 17, 2013

D.C. United
at Sporting Kansas City

Where: Sporting Park, Kansas City, Kan.

When: 8:20 p.m.

TV: NBC Sports Network.

Records: United 3-22-7, 16 points; Sporting 15-10-7, 52.

D.C. probable starters: GK Bill Hamid; Ds Chris Korb, Perry Kitchen, Daniel Woolard, Dennis Iapichino; MFs Nick DeLeon, Jared Jeffrey, Luis Silva, Lewis Neal, Chris Pontius; F Dwayne De Rosario.

K.C. probable starters: GK Jimmy Nielsen; Ds Chance Myers, Ike Opara, Matt Besler, Seth Sinovic; MFs Lawrence Olum, Oriol Rosell, Peterson Joseph; Fs C.J. Sapong, Dom Dwyer, Graham Zusi.

Outlook: It’s United’s last chance to win a regular season away match after 13 defeats and three draws. Failure would result in D.C. becoming the fifth club (and third non-expansion team) in MLS’s 18-season history to go winless on the road. Its prospects are not good against Sporting, which is 5-0-3 at home against United in the past eight meetings. Kansas City has already clinched a playoff berth but, with two matches left in the regular season, remains in the hunt for the Supporters’ Shield, given to the team with the most regular season points. Sporting is a point behind New York and Portland and level with Real Salt Lake for home-field advantage throughout the postseason. United is 0-7-3 in league play since early August. De Rosario has rejoined United after playing in Canada’s 3-0 friendly loss to Australia in London on Tuesday. Zusi (University of Maryland) scored a late equalizer in the U.S. national team’s 3-2 victory at Panama on Tuesday in a World Cup qualifier. Sporting D Aurelien Collin is serving a yellow-card suspension. In previous meetings this year, United conceded a late goal in a 1-0 loss at Sporting Park and earned a 1-1 draw at RFK Stadium.

— Steven Goff

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