Major League Soccer (Mid)Week 13: Sporting Kansas City Debut Livestrong Park Against Chicago Fire

Sporting Kansas City will unveil Livestrong Sporting Park to the world tonight against the Chicago Fire in a match being broadcast live on ESPN 2.

Tonight's match is the culmination of 15 long years (Well, 15 and 1/2 years at this point.) for soccer fans in Kansas City. Sporting Kansas City / Kansas City Wizards / Kansas City Wiz fans have seen their team play matches in the cavernous Arrowhead Stadium. They've also seen them play in the cramped and awkward-for-soccer Community American Ballpark. All of the photographs and videos of Livestrong Sporting Park have shown such a beautiful stadium. Soccer fans throughout the USA have another gem of a stadium of which to be proud.

Unfortunately, tonight's match features two of the three worst teams in the entire league. (I'll let you throw Vancouver Whitecaps somewhere in that group.) Chicago enters tonight's game having not won since they last faced Kansas City --- in March. That's eleven (11!) matches without a win. There's a reason that Fire management decided it was time to get rid of Carlos del los Cobos. Kansas City enter tonight having not won in league play since opening night. Yeah, you read that right. They haven't won a match in the league since March 19. Hopefully the aura of the new stadium allows both teams to play much better than they have this year.

Sporting will be without Shavar Thomas, Craig Rocastle, and Roger Espinoza to Gold Cup duties. Chicago will be without Marco Pappa.

Lineups:

Sporting Kansas City: Nielsen, Harrington, Besler, Collin, Myers; Kamara, Sassano, Arnaud, Smith Zusi; Bravo, Bunbury

Subs: Kronberg, Diop, Stojcev, Zusi, Cesar, Sinovic, Sapong

Chicago Fire: Johnson; Risitc, Cuesta, Gibbs, Segares; Oduro, Paladini, Pause, Bone; Puerari, Nazarit

Subs: Conway, Robinson, Husidic, Nyarko, Chaves, Videira, Barouch

 

Edited for:

 

Ryan Smith is a late scratch. Tweaked a knee in pregame warmups. Graham Zusi starts in his place.less than a minute ago via Twitter for BlackBerry® Favorite Retweet Reply

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