Sporting Kansas City-Whitecaps FC Preview

The Associated Press

Reigning MLS Cup champion Sporting Kansas City is riding an eight-game unbeaten streak that has strengthened its chances for the Supporters' Shield.

That stretch includes a lengthy road winning streak that's one shy of the MLS record, but it will have to defeat the club with the fewest losses to match that mark.

Sporting KC seeks its sixth consecutive win away from home Sunday night against the Vancouver Whitecaps, who look to extend their unbeaten run to five.

Kansas City (11-5-6) has gone 6-0-2 since losing to D.C. on May 31 and has been off since Aug. 1, when Graham Zusi's goal helped it earn a 1-all draw against Philadelphia. Its unbeaten run is currently the longest in MLS, made even more impressive by most of those contests coming on the road.

Sporting KC will look to join San Jose in 2005 as the only clubs to win six consecutive road games.

"I don't know if we look forward to the away games as much as we do the home games, (but) we love the challenge when we go on the road to get three points," midfielder Benny Feilhaber said. "We've proven in the way we play in away games that we come to play for a result."

Kansas City may have some trouble extending its streak against Vancouver (6-4-11), which has played to a draw in its last four games overall and is 4-2-4 at home. The Whitecaps are 3-0-5 against the Eastern Conference this season and 2-0-2 all-time against Sporting KC.

"They've got some dangerous pieces on that team," Feilhaber said. "They've proven they can win at home. They've got a quick counter attack and quick players up top. Pedro Morales has had a really good year there and I really like the way he plays."

Morales has a team-best seven goals for Vancouver, which has gone 1-2-6 over its last nine and is looking to bolster its playoff chances in the West. Despite having the fewest losses in MLS, the Whitecaps are out of playoff position due to their high amount of draws.

"Looking at the (West) table at this minute, it's waiting for someone to take it by the scruff of the neck," center back Andy O'Brien told the club's official website. "The only one that matters is the results. We haven't been getting beat, but if we can transfer some of those draws into wins then all I'd say is that it's waiting for us to take it."

The Whitecaps are hoping the addition of 6-foot-5 Costa Rican defender Kendall Waston will help. Coach Carl Robinson said Waston will be a nice complement to Morales as a threat on set pieces.

"He's a monster, isn't he?" Robinson said. "He's very physical, he's big, he's strong, he defends, he's aggressive, and he scores some goals."

Vancouver confirmed Waston's signing Thursday, and he could make his MLS debut in this contest.