Sporting Kansas City holds a 1-0 aggregate lead as they look to progress to the semifinals of the CONCACAF Champions League against Cruz Azul on Wednesday.
For Sporting it is a straight forward task- don't lose and you get to play in the semifinals against Tijuana. Now for the reigning MLS Cup champions the moment that was talked about and planned about directly after the 2012 US Open Cup triumph has come. It was as club president Rodd Heineman said, "we are looking to take this club to the next level."
For Sporting KC the next level is in front of them. They must move on from their MLS triumph and bet on the CONCACAF Champions League. MLS has to date, only one finalist in the CONCACAF championship and has not had a winner since 2000 when the LA Galaxy were crowned champions.
With the loss of Seth Sinovic due to card accumulation, the flexibility on the fullback position at the club will come in handy. Kevin Ellis was rested at the weekend and he is able to play on either side of the field at fullback and will give the club the needed depth.
In attack it can be said that utilizing the likes of Claudio Bieler again will be the operation as Dom Dwyer was in the starting line-up this past weekend.
In terms of injuries there is the niggling injury to Chance Myers that has yet to be settled in addition to that of Peterson Joseph.
Cruz Azul thumped a weakened Tijuana side 2-0 as the border team saved their best players for the Galaxy encounter which they won by a score of 4-2 in Mexico and a final 4-3 on aggregate.
Factors of history seem to be playing against the Kansas City side, but Vermes has known that the 8-time Mexican champions will be sending the house all match long. It now comes to a combination of Eric Krongberg, Aurelian Collin, and Matt Besler through the middle to stifle Cruz Azul's deadly attack.