Kansas City – The US Open Cup Semi-Finals get started this week. Wednesday night’s affair between two solid western conference teams should be quite an exciting matchup.
US Open Cup Semi-Finals Preview: Sporting KC vs. San Jose Earthquakes
The San Jose Earthquakes have gotten the farthest ever in the US Open Cup, in their club history. In 2004 they got this far, only to lose to the Kansas City Wizards by the score of 1-0. After starting the tournament with Dom Kinnear in charge, they now enter the semi-final after undergoing a complete overhaul in coaching and tactics. The now scintillating, young Earthquakes squad is lead by Chris Leitch, who has brought about a stylistic revolution in San Jose. Along with it has come the belief in their young studs, Tommy Thompson, Jackson Yueil, and Nick Lima. Lead by the Chris Wondolowski, who is yet again on pace for double digit goals in a season, the Earthquakes attack has been much more productive, and dangerous than in the last few years. San Jose defeated the San Francisco Deltas, Seattle Sounders, and Los Angeles Galaxy en-route to the clubs second ever semi-final appearance.
Sporting KC Storylines
Sporting KC come in to the Semi-Finals of the US Open cup, yet again. They’ve won the trophy three times, twice in the last five seasons. Sporting KC do have the priority to host the Final if they advance. This will be their first matchup without Dom Dwyer on the roster, but the Sporting KC forward hadn’t featured since their opening round win against Minnesota. They also knocked off Houston Dynamo, and then FC Dallas in one of the wildest US Open Cup matches of the season. Their attack led by Diego Rubio now, will have to step up against a pretty good San Jose Earthquakes defense.
For Sporting KC I expect first choice guys all around. They rested a decent amount of guys in their draw against Atlanta United, so they should be able to go full force. The Salloi and Rubio combination was scintillating in their victory against Chicago at the start of the month.
For San Jose, there are some injury questions. Both Jamir Hyka and Anibal Godoy were out of the 18 in their win against Columbus at the weekend. Another question for San Jose is where Danny Hoesen fits into the picture. He’s been huge in the attack, but San Jose really love what Marco Ureña has been doing.
This is going to be a tight game. Sporting KC had only 48 hours to prepare between their match Sunday night and Tonight’s match. San Jose will have seen exactly what Sporting KC will try to do twice already, where Sporting KC are seeing a completely different version of the San Jose Earthquakes. Nothing is the same tactically. This match has extra time written all over it, and I think it will be the more entertaining of the two semi-finals. I think Sporting KC have the quality, and the depth/ability to get the job done.
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