June 3, 2011 MLS--Last Stop For Road-Weary Kansas City (from TorontoFC.ca)
Last Stop For Road-Weary Kansas City Asif Hossain TorontoFC.ca June 3, 2011 Toronto FC players are expected to train at Cherry Beach Friday morning as they prepare to take on last-in-MLS Sporting Kansas City Saturday night at 7 p.m. ET (TSN). The training session should shed more light on the status of forward Alan Gordon as he works to regain fitness ahead of a critical contest for Toronto searching for its third league win of 2011. Further adding to the Reds' uncertainty is the loss of defender Adrian Cann for the remainder of the 2011 season due to a torn ACL. A centre back pairing of Nana Attakora and Ty Harden is widely expected for Saturday, though head coach Aron Winter generally keeps any lineup information well guarded until close to kickoff time. Midfielder Julian de Guzman and defender Dicoy Williams are set to miss the match due to international duty for their respective countries. Update 10 a.m. - It was initially thought that Joao Plata would travel with Ecuador to New York for its Greece friendly. However, the new Ecuador international has not traveled with his national team and will be available to face Kansas City on Saturday. Saturday night's weary visitor - Kansas City - has played nine consecutive road games to start the season. They will hit double digits in that category against Toronto before finally playing in front of home fans for the first time in 2011 league play on June 9 at the brand new Livestrong Sporting Park. Formerly known as the Wiz and later called the Wizards (an informal name their fans still retain), Kansas City rebranded to "Sporting" over the offseason with hopes of becoming a multi-sports entity similar to Lisbon and Barcelona in Europe. They have plans to add rugby and lacrosse teams to the Sporting family. Their last place record is deceiving due to the glut of road games through which they have accumulated one win and two draws in the nine contests to date. There will be a stretch of nine consecutive home games for SKC in the summer and that may reveal the true nature of this club that boasts the likes of former Arsenal youth player Ryan Smith and Mexican star Omar Bravo. Another name on the squad that will be familiar to Canadian soccer fans is Teal Bunbury. His father Alex was a Canadian legend but Bunbury junior chose to represent the United States in international play. BMO Field this week witnessed an emotional 2-2 draw for the Canadian national team against Ecuador in its tune-up to the 2011 Gold Cup. It's likely that more than a few fans wearing red from that night will have choice words for the Hamilton-born Bunbury when Kansas City takes to the pitch in Toronto.
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