Friday, June 10, 2011

Let Down

I showed up at LiveSTRONG Sporting Park yesterday and couldn't take the smile off my face, everything to do with the stadium just made me smile. Then the game started...

It was the same Sporting KC we'd seen for much of this season, struggling to create offensively, but prone to a few defensive mistakes. Last night it didn't cost KC as they got a 0-0 draw after going down to 10 men against the Chicago Fire. And should have gotten a 1-0 win if it wasn't for Michael Kennedy proving once again to be the bane of KC soccer fans when he didn't award a penalty for a horrible challenge on Omar Bravo.

Chicago had the first good chance of the game in the 9th minute on a quick counter. Dominic Oduro raced into KC's half, then laid the ball behind Gaston Puerari. Puerari recovered, played the ball back for a sliced shot that fell to Corbon Bone, who cut inside and fired a shot that Jimmy Nielsen did well to save. In the 15th, KC thought they'd grabbed the lead and Graham Zusi thought he'd written his name into the history books with the first goal at the new stadium. Kei Kamara did well to turn and beat his man down the wing and fired a low cross into the box where Bravo and Zusi were arriving. Bravo got a touch on it and Zusi finished it, but Bravo had been offside when Kamara played his initial ball.

Zusi had another chance in the 28th after a combination play with Teal Bunbury, but fired his shot from 25 yards out just over the bar. Shortly after that Nielsen was once again called upon to make a decent save low to the corner on a snap header. Late in the first half, Bravo had a great chance off of cross, but flubbed the header and it went harmlessly to Johnson.

In the second half half, KC seemed to begin to gain more control over the game, but really failed to test Sean Johnson in the Chicago goal. Then in the 67th minute, Oduro again got played in behind Michael Harrington and the KC defense. Nielsen raced off his line and as Oduro tried to chip the ball over him Nielsen got a hand up and knocked the ball away. Unfortunately for Nielsen he was outside the box. Kennedy produced a straight red and down to 10 men, Peter Vermes pulled Teal Bunbury to get Eric Kronberg on the field to take up position in goal. As oddly happens when a team goes down to 10 men, KC controlled the game still, but Chicago hit hard on the counter and should have produced a goal. A long shot by Daniel Paladini was not held at all by Kronberg. The rebound fell to Orr Barouch, who one timed his shot past Kronberg, but right into the bar saving KC.

KC should have had their penalty in the 85th minute. Birahim Diop headed on a goal kick from Kronberg into the path of Zusi. Zusi flicked the ball into the box for Bravo who was cutting in towards goal. Bratislav Ristic immediately went to ground trying to get the ball. At most the Fire defender got the slightest of touches, but mainly Ristic went right through Bravo to get the ball. Kennedy didn't even seemed concerned with the play as the boos (and eventually bottles and other objects) rained down. Virtually everyone but Kennedy both in the stadium and those who've commented to me later have said it was a penalty that should have given KC a chance to win. Instead it left Bravo in a heap and only really able to continue because KC was out of substitutes. After 9 minutes of stoppage time due to injuries, the red card, a stupid streaker in a cow costume (that absolutely deserved the tackle he got by the security guy), what in the end was a very poor game finally ended. KC's winless streak reached 10 games, but they're on a 3 game unbeaten run now (queue the search for optimism).

WIZARDS Man of the Match - Aurelien Collin - A strong game by the Frenchman to shutdown the Fire's attack. Did good standing up opposing offensive players throughout the night.

Player Ratings - Nielsen 5, Myers 5, Collin 7, Besler 6, Harrington 4, Sassano 5, Arnaud 5, Zusi 5, Bravo 6, Bunbury 4, Kamara 5. Subs Sapong 6, Kronberg 5, Diop NR


Jake H said...

I have to disagree giving Chance & Zusi the sanme 5. Zusi had a terrible 2nd half with lack of work ethic many times (match fit?) and a few shooting opportunities that were completely wasted. Chance however played a good game. Didn't capitalize but made great runs down the flank, great crosses, and really stepped up in the defensive 3rd in the 2nd half.

Anonymous said...

Bunbury getting a 4? He is struggling really bad on the field. Hopefully he finds it soon because we need him.

Anonymous said...

A huge, amazing field and they still can't make simple passes. It's always kick it as far as you can down the field to no one in particular (usually empty space where we really don't have anyone). How about keeping possession and stringing together, I don't know, 10 passes in a row?

I don't watch much MLS, but I always watch SKC, and it really is hard to watch. The level of play is just so low. I think it starts with just getting and keeping the ball for a bit. Always seems like it just goes back and forth.

I think it's easy to see the potential in Bunbury, but he doesn't look very good right now. Kamara doesn't really do much, he's fast I guess. And I'm really not sure why all the excitement about Bravo is. He's just...okay. Smith is our best player, but unfortunately doesn't play much.

PK really could have gone either way (after seeing the replay). I agree with the ESPN announcers (I feel sorry for them having to call this sub-par quality game). It was a risky and stupid challenge but he really did get the ball first and it just looked super bad because of the way Bravo fell. I would have given a PK though if I was the ref.

Mouf said...

Bravo blowing an easy goal from 6 out on a pass from zusi in the 45th isn't excusable, complete fail of epic portions. Bravo has been a massive disappointment, he is not dp quality.

Anonymous said...

Jake you ignorant can anybody with more than one synapse firing argue to lower Zusi's score. He finished on one opportunity and through no fault of his own, had it callled back. He created many of the remaining opportunities throughout the rest of the game, most in he first half, but if your beer fogged memory can recall, we played over 40 minutes with a man down. Central mids run. A lot. I would argue that his production and hard work makes him my vote for the man of the match. The defense played very well, and earned another cleen sheet, so they collectively should also be considered.

Anonymous said...

CJ Sapong deserves a shout-out for that sublime bit of work he did to weave through six Chicago players late in the 2nd half. Too bad nobody bothered to support him and it was all for naught. Also too bad that our attacking players feel that they have to single-handedly take on multiple defenders rather than use possession to move the ball forward. No wonder our attack most often consists of give-aways and searching crosses to empty space.

bfos said...

Bunbury has been getting worse with each successive game. I believe he defused more dangerous SKC opportunities than any Chicago defender. He could use a few games coming on as a second half sub.

It was a penalty, Ristic went through Bravo's foot before being carried into the slightest of touches of the ball. That said, SKC was lucky themselves to get out with the draw, especially after Kronberg mistook the game for a volleyball match.

Anonymous said...

Great banter- I love it.

Really shocked not to hear the usual call for Vermes' head!

Suzi did ok! actually better than ok when you consider Aranaud was also in the middle and he really was absent. Truth be told we are weak. Collins and Besler are improving! Kronberg is scary0 that been said he has two games not giving up goals...
Teal should be benched and let CJ have a go... might as well.
Bravo is good, good enough, but not the kind of player you build a team around... specially when he has been injured or playing injured..
Speaking of injury- that is Ryan Smiths middle name... Im starting to see why he plays here and not there if you know what I mean.

Hopefully USA will score the first goal in the stadium on Tuesday... WAIT! Canada plays first NOOOOOO haha