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Montreal Impact vs Sporting KC Preview : Three Questions

We talked to Ben Gartland about the game between the Montreal Impact and Sporting Kansas City.

Gary Rohman-USA TODAY Sports
1) How is Peter Vermes handling a team that has already won? Is he looking to create a dynasty in MLS or just take it "one season at a time" ?

For Vermes and the Sporting KC front office, it always seems to be the attitude of there's something more. Won the Open Cup? Awesome, let's go win the MLS Cup. Won the MLS Cup? Terrific, let's go win the Shield. They've spoken a lot about having success in the CONCACAF Champions League and the best way to get there is by winning silverware in the regular season or in the playoffs. They want to remain a strong presence at the top of MLS and want to really build up the franchise for years to come. If you look at the way Vermes has built up the Academy and the way he has handled the draft, it's very obvious that he is planning for long term success.

The focus now seems to be repeating that success while driving further and further in the international competitions. They want the club to be a force in CONCACAF as well as one domestically. The goal right now is the Champions League, but you only get there by regular season success. After that, there's always something more. Won the Champions League? Great, let's go win the Club World Cup.

2) How does the club handle the fact that Claudio Bieler is on the bench? How is the Argentinean handling it?

As unforeseen as this was, it seems to work out well for the team. Dom Dwyer is a great starter and has certainly earned his spot by attacking the ball well and scoring goals, essentially what is needed from a center forward. As long as he continues his strong style of play, there's no reason why Dwyer should lose his spot. In regards to Bieler, he provides a very different style of play than Dwyer, making him a very effective sub when the team needs to mix it up. Where Dwyer is very attack centered, the team is able to be more creative with Bieler and he is a bit better at poaching balls and putting them in the net from inside the box.

As for Bieler's attitude it's a crapshoot. There's been rumors that he's been unhappy and has been wanting a transfer out of Kansas City but that was last offseason. He came into camp more fit, looked happier and has played well and aggressive so far in his sub appearances. I have no reason to believe he's completely unhappy on the bench but, like I said, it's a crapshoot.

3) Would you say that with players like Nagamura, Peterson and co., Sporting KC has some underrated great depth? Or am I just jealous?

One of Vermes' and Heineman's biggest roles in building the team has been building the depth so that they can do well in all competitions throughout the season. For instance, Sporting KC is going to play 43 matches this season because of MLS play, US Open Cup, 2013/2014 and 2014/2015 CCL and also a friendly with Manchester City. That's before advancing in the US Open Cup and the MLS Cup playoffs. There needs to be strong depth so that the starters don't fall apart during the season.

We see the strength of our depth when they're able to step in for injured or suspended starters and produce well. With Sal Zizzo injured, Jacob Peterson stepped in last Sunday and played well against a strong Columbus side, scoring a goal and helping the attack move forward. Lawrence Olum stepped in for Aurelien Collin and played well at center back. The depth is set up so that there is not as much of a drop off from starter to backup, except in the cases of Graham Zusi and Benny Feilhaber where there isn't anyone close to their level on the bench.

This team is built to do well in every competition. And yes, you should be jealous :).

Lineup + prediction

Kronberg - Sinovic, Besler, Collin, Myers - Rosell, Nagamura, Feilhaber, - Zusi, Dwyer, Peterson

Prediction: 2-1 SKC.

Goals by Dwyer, Feilhaber and Di Vaio.