Whitecaps FC-Sporting Kansas City Preview
Marc Dos Santos is confident the Vancouver Whitecaps are "growing," but suggests his team is facing an uphill battle due to its relocation.
The Whitecaps are operating out of Utah due to the coronavirus pandemic, although even time at their temporary base has been limited this week.
Vancouver played Minnesota United away in midweek, losing 1-0, and now travel to Sporting Kansas City for another road game.
"I'm bleeding from my eyes," said Dos Santos, who also claimed the travel was contributing to injury issues. "You don't see? It's that difficult. I don't want to talk about it, just because the more we talk about it, the more we try to defend ourselves with it. It is what it is.
"Physiologically, we shouldn't do this in sports. But it is what it is right now in COVID and MLS rules, so we try to push ourselves physically."
Dos Santos was still pleased with the Whitecaps' performance against Minnesota, though, as seven players attempted shots and five created chances.
"I want us to grow as a team and be less and less predictable, have guys that come from different areas, play from different areas, cross from different areas, different players involved," he said. "I think we're growing as a team and that's the good part. As a club, there's a process and we're growing and that's important."
Sporting KC coach Peter Vermes would settle for any player scoring, repeatedly outlining his frustration at wasteful finishing as they went down 1-0 to the Houston Dynamo despite having 15 attempts in the second half alone.
"I think, as a team, we have to score goals," Vermes said. "When we get as many high quality chances as we do, the people that get them eventually have to score. They have to score, simple as can be."
Sporting Kansas City – Alan Pulido
Pulido scored a goal every 164 minutes last season but has so far netted just once in five matches this term. The striker had only three shots against Houston, too, trailing substitute winger Daniel Salloi (five attempts).
Vancouver Whitecaps – Cristian Gutierrez
Vancouver should pose a real threat to opponents with attacking options at both fullback positions. Gutierrez, playing from the left, created two chances against Minnesota and has consistently been the team's most dangerous outlet going forward.
- Sporting Kansas City eliminated Vancouver on penalties after a scoreless draw in the MLS is Back Tournament in the team's last meeting. In league play, Sporting is unbeaten in five straight games against the Whitecaps (W4 D1), equaling the longest unbeaten run against Vancouver in club history.
- Sporting KC's only home loss in its past seven games at Children's Mercy Park was the 3-0 defeat to Minnesota United that eliminated them from last season's playoffs. It was also the only home match since the start of August 2019 that SKC has failed to score in (19 matches, including playoffs).
- Vancouver has collected just one point from its past seven away matches, and that was a 2-2 draw against Toronto in the Reds' temporary home in Orlando.
- The past 28 goals Sporting KC has conceded, including playoffs, have been scored in the box. The last goal Sporting conceded from outside the box was scored by Darwin Quintero on August 25, 2020.
- The Whitecaps have kept just one clean sheet in their past 17 away matches dating back to early August 2019, doing so in a 1-0 win at the Galaxy in March 2020.
Updated May 14, 2021