Sporting hopes to end home woes against Columbus

Sporting Park hasn't provided much of a homefield advantage to Sporting Kansas City in recent weeks, but the club will hope to change that on Saturday against the Columbus Crew.

The home side is winless in its last four league matches, and has earned only one point from its three most recent home contests.

Sporting has slipped to fourth place in the Eastern Conference following its poor run of form, but Saturday's opponent, Columbus, enters the match with just one win from its last five contests.

Kansas City was on the verge of a quality win at Western Conference leaders FC Dallas last weekend as the club took a 2-0 lead into the final 25 minutes of the match.

But Sporting forward C.J. Sapong was sent off in the 68th minute, and Dallas rallied to score twice in the final three minutes to claim a point.

"We didn't give much away. We were managing the game really well. At that point, obviously, we got the red card and then they were throwing a lot of numbers forward," Sporting head coach Peter Vermes said. "It's disappointing from the perspective we put a lot of good work into the game and we had good control of it. That part was disappointing."

Columbus also knows the feeling of letting a lead slip as the Crew seized an early 1-0 advantage at home against the Chicago Fire last weekend, but ended up with a 2-1 defeat.

The Crew has yet to win back-to-back games this season, and with the club having to go the rest of the season without key midfielder Eddie Gaven and defender Glauber because of knee injuries, head coach Robert Warzycha is feeling a little short of options at the moment.

"I think the way we played I can't be disappointed. We created a number of chances, we were quick, and there was a good understanding," said Warzycha following the defeat to the Fire. "We just have to tighten things at the back. So I'm not looking for a number of changes because I don't have the players. I don't have a player to replace Chad Marshall or Josh Williams."

Columbus also needs to find more success in scoring goals from open play as three of the team's last five goals have come from the penalty spot.

The Crew has suffered three defeats in their last five home matches, but the team has had success at Sporting, winning four of the last five matches in Kansas City between the two sides.