Games don’t get much bigger than this. A loss tonight and a PTFC win tomorrow would eliminate the Quakes from the playoffs. A Quakes win and a PTFC loss would tie up both teams with one game to go, and the Quakes would have the edge in the second tie-break: goal differential.
The Quakes played Sporting KC in Sporting Park, and did something no other team was able to do up to that point: win in KC. It wasn’t just a win, but an emphatic 5-0 thumping of the then-Supporters’ Shield front-runners on August 19. The rematch is tonight at Avaya, and don’t think SKC will be so easy to beat.
The Quakes first adopted the emtpy-bucket 4-4-2 without MPG as a CAM at Sporting KC. They continued to use the formation with mixed success upon MPG’s return. I wouldn’t be surprised to see it again with MPG as the right midfielder, Godoy and Fatai as controlling mids, Salinas at left wing, Wynne, Muma, Goodson, and Francis on the back line.
SKC usually starts a 4-3-3, and I wouldn’t expect that to change. Look for Zusi and Anor to get the start at forward, with possibly Dom Dwyer as the third. Benny Feilhaber will start at the central mid with up-and-comer Jordi Quintilia. Defensively USMNT vet Besler will be at CB with Kevin Ellis. Abdul Salaam and Dia should start at the defensive wing positions, and set up runs on the flank for SKC.
If MPG starts this game (which he probably will), I don’t expect the Quakes to score more than two goals. I also think Sporting will bring the house to make up for the embarrassing loss in August. My final score prediction is 2-2, with the Quakes holding a 2-1 lead in the 75th minute.
Game time: 8pm at Avaya. See you there!