Toronto FC-Sporting Kansas City Preview

The Associated Press

Trying to avoid its first three-game skid in just over two years, defending MLS Cup champion Sporting Kansas City probably doesn't mind seeing Toronto FC next up on the schedule.

Sporting KC looks to extend its home winning streak over Toronto to six and continue its overall domination in the series Friday night.

Kansas City is 10-4-4 all-time against Toronto and has won six of the last seven matchups. It's 7-1-1 at home in the series, taking the last five by a 12-3 margin.

Sporting KC hopes that trend continues after seeing its strong start hit a bit of a snag with consecutive 2-1 defeats. Kansas City (5-4-2) allowed the go-ahead goal in the 81st minute at home against Philadelphia on May 14 and fell behind 2-0 after 15 minutes in Chicago on Sunday.

Forward Dom Dwyer scored in both of those matches after finding the back of the net twice in a 3-0 win at Montreal on May 10. Tied for second in MLS with eight goals, Dwyer is trying to join Preki and Eddie Johnson as the only Kansas City players to score in four straight matches.

Kansas City hasn't dropped three in a row since April 21-May 12, 2012.

"Honestly, all that matters to us now is points," Dwyer told Sporting KC's official website. "I'm on a run and I'm scoring goals and people are talking about it. But all that matters to me is winning.

"I want to win. I want to be successful as a player and as a team. If you want to be successful as a player, you have to be on a winning team. I want to get us back to the top."

Dwyer is also excited to play against fellow English forward Jermain Defoe, who leads Toronto (4-4-0) with four goals and scored in Saturday's 2-0 home win over New York that ended a three-game losing streak.

"I'm a huge, huge Defoe fan," Dwyer said. "I remember watching him, growing up, and he was one player that I'd be kicking the ball around in the garden, shouting his name as I'm shooting the ball. ... Hopefully after we beat them, I can steal his shirt. We'll see."

Kansas City will be trying to contain a motivated Defoe after he was left off England's 23-man squad for the World Cup.

"It's only normal when you get a disappointment to try to prove people wrong, and just to remind people, at the end of the day, this is what I'm doing," he told Toronto FC's official website.

Toronto will be without Brazilian goalkeeper Julio Cesar and United States midfielder Michael Bradley as they prepare for the World Cup, while midfielders Jonathan Osorio and Jackson Goncalves are questionable due to injuries.

Osorio is struggling through a second hamstring injury as well as a hairline fracture on his hand.

"It's very frustrating," Osorio said. "Last year I had no injuries but this year, this whole year, I'm dealing with it. At the same time, I'm trying to stay positive and take it as a good learning experience, you know?"

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