First 2017 US Open Cup Semifinal will take place on Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas City, where Sporting hosts San Jose Earthquakes.
After watching Sporting KC dropping 2 points in stoppage time last Sunday at home to Atlanta United, I have mixed feelings about them as favorites on Wednesday.
Winner of this match will advance to 2017 US Open Cup final, where opponent will be a winner of FC Cincinnati (USL) vs New York Red Bulls, game will be played on August 15, 2017.
Sporting KC won only two games of their last 6, and tied 4. Both wins came against strong opponents. The 3-2 win over Chicago Fire has more value in MLS competition, but 3-0 win over FC Dallas in US Open Cup quarterfinal, sure score looks impressive, but all 3 goals Sporting scored in Extra Time. After 0-0 draw in regulation. Sporting played over 75 minutes with 10 men, after Sinovic was sent off. This wasn’t the only red card in this dramatic match. FC Dallas had 2 more players sent off in OT, which of course helped SKC scoring 3 goals.
On the way to this semifinal, Earthquakes eliminated Seattle Sounders (2-1 win), and rival LA Galaxy after impressive 3-2 victory.
After two painful losses on the road (0-3 in Seattle, and 1-5 to NY Red Bulls), Quakes managed to turn things around. Wins at home 1-0 vs Colorado, and 2-1 vs Columbus, giving them some momentum before trip to KC. Worth to know, Quakes for last few games played without their injured key player defensive midfielder Anibal Godoy, who likely will miss also Wednesday match.
As of Monday Las Vegas bookmakers have SKC as -160 favorite, but are those Earthquakes are really that bad? I don’t think so. Both coaches hate to hear that, but this game can easily go to overtime, after 0-0 or 1-1 draw in regulation.
San Jose Earthquakes, haven’t go that far in the oldest US soccer tournament US Open Cup, and they are motivated to advance to the final, which would be huge achievement for new coach Chris Leitch, and all the players.[poll id=”324″]
I anticipate very close game, with both teams paying tons of attention to defense. Sporting recently traded out their top striker Dom Dwyer to Orlando SC in big trade for MLS internal record transfer fee, but they are still working on finding his replacement. That’s just one of the reason why Sporting KC is struggling in goal scoring department.
After this game, on very short rest they flying to Seattle to play MLS game early Saturday, so expect some lineup rotations on both sides.
Those changes wont improve number of scoring chances teams can produce, so because of that, I don’t expect many goals. Midweek games in US Open Cup between MLS teams, typically are not high scoring, and bookmakers offer even money for over bettors, but I believe there is more value in UNDER here.
CHRIS’S PREDICTION: DRAW at + 285 (3.85)
CHRIS’S PREDICTION: SJ Earthquakes + 1 at -145 (1.69)
CHRIS’S PREDICTION: SJ Earthquakes WIN +450 (5.5)
CHRIS’S PREDICTION: UNDER -120 (1.83)