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Three Questions about Sporting Kansas City with The Blue Testament: MLS 2017, Week 10

Cody Bradley from The Blue Testament stops by to answer a few questions about RBNY's next opponent, Sporting KC.

Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Red Bulls are in Kansas City on Wednesday, May 3, for a mid-week match-up with high-flying Sporting KC: currently second in the Western Conference, and warmed up for RBNY by a 3-0 win over Real Salt Lake at the weekend.

What's behind KC's hot start to 2017? Cody Bradley from The Blue Testament is here to fill us in.

Once A Metro: Five clean sheets in eight games and the only loss to date was 1-0 on the road: what is the secret of KC's defensive success so far this season?

Cody Bradley, The Blue Testament: We are eight games in and it has officially been long enough that it is not just one thing. Everything is going right, and them some. It's veteran leadership, it's pure athletic ability, it's a legit holding midfielder, it's a great keeper, and it's the offense controlling possession so opponents' chances are limited. It is a little of everything!

But the largest thing is that Vermes found four guys to lock down each position finally. Seth Sinovic has rejuvenated his career at left back and the move of Graham Zusi to right back has been amazing for this team. Ike Opara continues to show he is one of the best central defenders in the league and Matt Besler is back in form after falling out of favor for a while last season. These four guys have played together for a very long time and know each other incredibly well. Hell, Besler & Sinovic were youth soccer teammates here in KC! It is really interesting to hear Besler discuss the understanding between the two center backs and how well they work together. This cohesiveness is what set up this team for success this year.

The cherries on top (yes two cherries, because the defense has been THAT good) are Tim Melia at his career peak in goal and the pleasant surprise of just how good Ilie Sanchez has been in his first MLS matches.

OaM: KC seemed to find goals a little hard to come by for a while, but that appears to have been fixed. What was the issue, and why are the goals flowing again now?

CB: I will chalk it up to the early season to try and convince myself. Gerso is new to the league and needed time to get his feet wet. On the other wing there's Medranda who was finally getting his first starts up front and needed to learn his new position. But they were simply missing a lot of chances. The offense was working, they were just lacking the final touch. That is why I'm inclined to blame it on a new season and they weren't in mid season form yet.

However, SKC has played some pretty rough matches already. A lot of those matches have been really hard fought points that they can be proud of. The 1-0 loss was on the road in the Dallas, and they have already drawn with them at home as well. They earned a 0-0 result in Toronto and got the one goal they needed to take all three points in Portland. These are all matches in which it is going to be difficult for anyone to score.

Peter Vermes has so many more options in the attack than he had last year. And it is not even remotely close. Now that Gerso is settled in and the streaky Dom Dwyer has seen the ball go in the net a few times, it could potentially be a scary attack.

OaM: Every team has a weakness - where is the chink in KC's armor?

CB: As alluded to above, I think you have to say it is finishing. Dwyer has started to score, but he is still squandering too many chances. Jimmy Medranda is a fan favorite with an insane amount of talent, but he can't seem to get the monkey off his back to start scoring. And the scouting report before Gerso arrived was that he may not have a lethal finish, but he can create a lot of opportunities. But there is a lot of firepower and the goals could come from so many different players so it's working right now. The issue may not sting as much with the defense playing so well, but if these guys can start converting more then this team would be unstoppable.

Lineup Prediction: (4-3-3) Melia, Sinovic, Besler, Opara, Zusi, Ilie, Espinoza, Feilhaber, Medranda, Dwyer, Gerso

Thanks, Cody! Follow Cody Bradley on Twitter, and find OaM's thoughts on RBNY over at The Blue Testament.