Frisco, TX (Sports Network) - After a three-week break, Sporting Kansas City
will face a stern test in its return to MLS regular season action as it heads
to FC Dallas on Saturday.
Kansas City comes into the weekend on a poor run of form. Not only has the
club taken just two points from its last three league matches, but it also was
ousted from the U.S. Open Cup by Orlando City SC on June 12, denying Sporting
the chance to defend its crown.
"Credit to them, they played well in the first half," head coach Peter Vermes
said after the match. "It's definitely not something we wanted to have happen.
We wanted to go deep into the competition and try to go after it again. It's
In league play, Kansas City most recently faltered in a 2-1 loss to the
Montreal Impact at Sporting Park on June 1. It was just the fourth time all
season that the club has given up more than one goal in a game.
With 13 goals conceded in MLS play this season, Sporting shares the best
defensive record in the league, along with the New England Revolution.
And according to FC Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman, the Frisco club boasts
one of the best attacking trios in the league.
Unfortunately for Hyndman, none of his talented strikers were available for
selection in the club's tussle with the Portland Timbers on Saturday, a match
that FC Dallas lost, 1-0.
"We went in to the game with no strikers," said Hyndman. "Eric Hassli got
injured, and then today I found out I lost Kenny Cooper, and then Blas Perez
is with the Panama national team. Take those three guys and we might have been
a little bit different.
"I think we have arguably the best strikers in the league when you look at
Eric Hassli, Kenny Cooper and Blas Perez. All three of them on one team; what
are the chances that none of them would be available in one game?"
Hyndman knew he would be without Perez, who leads Dallas with five goals on
the season. But he had the rug pulled under him regarding the statuses of
Cooper and Hassli.
Cooper was excused from the match to attend a family emergency while Hassli
was ruled out of the contest after sustaining an injury in the warm up. Perez
is expected to feature for Dallas against Kansas City.
"Blas Perez will be back after his last game with Panama, and I think Kenny
will be fine depending on the emergency that he's dealing with," said Hyndman.
"Eric strained his back during the warm up after we had already announced our
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