New England Soccer Today

Sporting CP Update

SCP1

It was a big week for Sporting Clube de Portugal with the derby against city rivals Benfica on tap for the weekend. With only a one-point lead over Benfica on the table, this was the perfect opportunity to cushion that lead.

Or not. Saturday’s events didn’t quite go according to plan for Sporting. Benfica did well to contain Sporting’s offense and dealt the Leoes a 1-0 loss, which marked their second straight shutout. The setback saw Sporting drop to second place in the league standings, now two points behind Benfica. But with nine weeks left to go, and plenty of soccer to play, the title race is far from finished.

The table:

1.Benfica 61 points
2. Sporting 59 points
3. Porto 55 points

The B team:

Much like their first-division counterparts, Sporting B has been suffering from a string of poor results lately. Despite dominating their game against promotion contenders Famalicao, Sporting B was only able to extract a 0-0 draw, which extended their winless run to four straight.

Under manager Joao de Jesus, Sporting B plays a 4-3-3 formation, somewhat similar to the one employed by Revolution coach Jay Heaps. One player who could presumably fit Heaps’ system is midfielder Kikas.

The 25-year-old central midfielder has previous loan spells to Huelva in Spain and Rapid Bucharest in Romania on his resume, so the thought of another move probably isn’t out of the question. Kikas plays more of a defensive role, and is a bit aggressive, having been booked with one red card in four matches this season after ending his most recent loan spell.

Sambinha Stays Behind:

The 23-year-old Sporting loanee did not make the Revolution gameday roster for Sunday’s First Kick clash at Houston. He played 118 minutes over three games with the locals during the Desert Diamond Cup.

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