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April 16, 2010 at 5:23 PM

First look at Kansas City, preview and prediction post

Kansas City Wizards (2-0-0)
Head coach: Peter Vermes, 2nd year
Last week: Beat Colorado 1-0 at home
Last year: 8-13-9, third-worst in MLS
KEY K.C. PLAYERS
GK Jimmy Nielsen — The 32 year old hasn’t allowed a goal yet in two games, but he’ll probably be called upon several times in the team’s first game on the road.
MF Stephane Auvray — Remember when Guadaloupe made that incredible Gold Cup run? He was on the team. The MLS newcomer has drawn rave reviews so far as a steadying force in the middle.
F/MF Davy Arnaud — Had the game-winner in the 1-0 win at Qwest Field last season. Has a dangerous shot from distance and can play a bunch of positions in the Wizards versatile attack.


KEY MATCHUPS
K.C. midfielder Ryan Smith v. Seattle defender James Riley — Smith is the left-footed kid from Arsenal that’s been on a tear so far this season. He does have a reputation to get frustrated when things aren’t going his way and Riley has the work rate and fitness to make it a long day.
Seattle forward Fredy Montero v. K.C. defender Jimmy Conrad — Conrad is one of the better characters in the league and was a USMNT player a while ago. He’ll have to play a big part in trying to shut down another star-studded offense.
K.C. forward Kei Kamara v. Seattle defender Jhon Kennedy Hurtado — Kamara was thinking about bolting for Europe this season and has been a standout so far for the Wizards. The Colombian will be by far the best defender he’s played all league season.
PREDICTION
Seattle is itching for a win and I think the team will show the urgency necessary to get the result. Kansas City hasn’t played on the road yet this season and Qwest Field will be nothing like the home baseball park they play in.
The home side is due for a good result. I think it comes together Saturday.
Sounders FC 3, Kansas City 1
SEA: 24′ — Montero (Noonan)
SEA: 50′ — Ljungberg (pk)
KC: 66′ — Kamara (Smith)
SEA: 89′ — Fucito (Alonso)

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