Columbus, OH (Sports Network) - Sporting Kansas City holds a five-point lead
at the top of the Eastern Conference ahead of its trip to Crew Stadium to take
on the Columbus Crew on Saturday.
With three games to play, Sporting looks like a good bet to wrap up the top
spot in the East, and they can take a big step toward that goal with a win
over the Crew.
Even though Peter Vermes' team has already booked a place in the postseason,
the coach isn't expecting his side to let up.
"We're not going to take our foot off the gas pedal," Vermes said ahead of
Saturday's contest. "I think we've got to maintain our form going into the
"Every time we're put in a position where we've had to get certain results,
we've done a really good job of getting them. I like our style. I like the
fact that we're locked in. I like the fact that no matter who we put in there
or take out, those guys all have a connection to the game. The performances
have been good, but the results are what we've been very good at getting at
the right times."
Sporting brings a nine-game unbeaten streak into the contest, and knows that
two wins from its final three games will be enough to seal the top spot in the
Kansas City midfielder Graham Zusi knows his team is in a good position, but
he also doesn't feel like his side can afford to let up in the final three
"If you have any down time, or a time when a game doesn't matter, then you can
take your foot off the pedal a little bit," Zusi said. "But we're not in a
position for that to happen, so I think we'll stay sharp."
Columbus will be hoping for a similar sharpness on Saturday with the club
sitting one point back of fifth-place Houston for the final playoff spot.
The Crew has taken six wins from its last nine games, and the club has split
its two meetings with Sporting this season.
And even though there is already plenty on the line for the Crew, midfielder
Eddie Gaven thinks Sporting's arrival will bring out a little bit more in his
"[SKC] is one of the better teams in the league," Gaven said. "You always want
to play against the best to see how you measure up. So far this year, we've
won one and lost one. It's been pretty even. Playing here at home, we want to
take three points. Last time we played them at home, they beat us. It
definitely leaves a bit of a sour taste in out mouth."
The Sports Network