Sunday, July 24, 2011

Good Way to Start Home Stand

Sporting Kansas City got their 9 game home stand started the right way last night against Toronto FC, scoring 3 first half goals and added a fourth in the second to defeat the reds 4-2 at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park. The way the game started though, it looked like the result could have gone the other direction. Only a few minutes into the game Toronto had a great chance to get the opener as TFC's new DP, Danny Koevermans had a ball squared into the middle. From 6 yards out though the Dutchman was stunned when Jimmy Nielsen got down quickly and got enough of a hand on the ball to knock it into the crowd and then over the cross bar for a TFC corner. A few minutes later, Koevermans again had a decent chance after being played in behind the KC defense by Torsten Frings. But Koevermans fired the shot wide of Nielsen's post.

The early part of the game had a lot of back and forth action between the teams, KC had their chances as well with Julio Cesar and Kei Kamara forcing a double save out of Stefan Frei in the 14th minute. Slowly though KC started to control the game and keep TFC in their own end. In the 28th minute, KC grabbed the lead. A corner from Jeferson hit off a TFC player and bounced into the air. Kamara laid out, going parallel to the ground and firing a scissor kick past Frei and into the net to give KC the 1-0 lead. From there the flood gates seemed to open at least for about a 10 minute time frame. In the 34th, KC made it 2-0. Roger Espinoza received a ball on the left hand side, cut back on his defender and lofted a chip to the back post where Kamara beat his defender to the ball and headed it past Frei. In the 37th, KC made it 3, this time Omar Bravo got in on the scoring. Cesar stripped the ball off of Maicon Santos at midfield and the ball found it's way to Jeferson. The Brazilian started dribbling into TFC's end before playing a great through ball to Bravo. Bravo was held on by Andy Iro and raced onto the ball. Bravo rounded Frei and then from the corner of the 6 yard box slotted the ball into the net to make it 3-0 KC.

Toronto came out in the second half much the way they did in the first half, taking the game to KC. Not even 30 seconds into the half, Nielsen had to make a save on Ryan Johnson after KC gave the ball away poorly in their own end. Unlike in the first half though, TFC found the net in the second. Johnson played a nice ball to the back post, where Koevermans had lost Matt Besler and headed the ball past Nielsen to cut the lead to 3-1. The introduction of Graham Zusi a little later though seemed to reignite KC's offense. Zusi helped to set up a few half chances, including a nice strike by Seth Sinovic that Frei could only knock down and then dive on to cover before Teal Bunbury could get to the rebound. Shortly after Sinovic's chance, KC reestablished their 3 goal lead. Zusi was the creator, sending Chance Myers free down the right wing. Myers fired a one time cross into the middle for Bravo who had beaten his man and he fired past Frei at the near post for his 6th goal of the season. Myers and Bravo almost connected again just a minute later, but Bravo's header was right at Frei who held on.

KC started to concede a little more and TFC was able to attack a bit more, which left TFC open to counters. After one counter that ended in a goal kick, TFC found a second. Frei's kick was over the defense, Daneil Cyrus tried to play the ball back to Nielsen to clear, but did not get enough on the pass as Johnson raced past him and chipped the ball over Nielsen to make it a 2 goal game again. While it was a poor play by Cryus, who immediately realized it, major props to Nielsen for immediately grabbing the TnT international to get him to refocus on the game and move past the mistake. Good leadership by the Dane. TFC really struggled to threaten KC's goal too much and KC continued to try to counter. Late on it looked like KC would get a 5th. Kamara raced past midfield with two players on him. He squared to an open Bunbury, but the ball got stuck underneath the out of form American and by the time he controlled the ball the chance was long gone. In stoppage time TFC had one last good chance to make it a 1 goal game. A corner by TFC was not totally cleared and came to Johnson who with his back to goal went for a bike. Nielsen did well to get across his goal and tip it out for a corner, although it did look like it was going towards the post. Still a nice save by Nielsen.

WIZARDS Man of the Match - Roger Espinoza - Not often will a guy that scores 2 goals in a game not be named the man of the match, but Espinoza had a fantastic game last night. Beside setting up Kamara's second, Espinoza did well to frustrate Toronto's central midfield. After the early chances, Frings was not much of a factor at all in the game. Well done by the Honduran.

Honorable Mention - Kei Kamara, Omar Bravo

Player Ratings - Nielsen 6, Myers 6, Collin 5, Besler 5, Sinovic 5, Cesar 5, Espinoza 8, Jeferson 7, Bravo 8, Sapong 6, Kamara 8. Subs Bunbury 4, Zusi 6, Cyrus 5.


Mouf said...

Collin was surprisingly awful. Mikey should start over Seth IMO. Great to see Kei get on the board again, he had been slumping

bfos said...

No comment for Cesar AGAIN opting to not track his attacking midfielder into our box that lead to Koeverman's early chance? Horrible, lazy defending. He needs to find the bench.

hartley said...

Someone seriously needs to check our record when Seth starts. I know that many do not like his passing, but he works great with Besler on that side. And his passes are actually more dangerous than Michael's -- especially when you consider that Seth passes from about 18 to 25 yards out while Michael is usually passing from much deeper most of the time.

Our problem last night was with Cesar. But once Roger started tracking back consistently, things got better. I totally agree that Roger was man of the match.

Drew said...

While the defense was it's usual eeehhhh. Cesar again was saved by his keeper for not tracking runners. The difference in this game was the keepers. Nielsen made some fantastic saves while I thought Frei could have done better on Kamara's header at the near post. TFC defense is still awful though.

With Sapong, Bravo and Kamara playing well, could KC get a team to bite on a trade for Bunbury and get a quality defender or defensive midfielder? I'm sure Vermes will ride Cesar the rest of the way though for better or worse.

Dan said...

trade for a quality defender or dmid? That was the first time we'd allowed more than 1 goal since like May.

Who do we sit to have this "quality defender" play? Collin outside of last night has been incredibly solid, and Besler is an all star. As for dmid, we've got Rocastle on his way back soon as well.

That may be one of the stupidest things I've ever read in the comments here.

Cant Touch This said...

Jefferson pass was the highlight of the match, the vision it takes to make a pass like that few in MLS have besides maybe Henry, even though hes a forward has great vision for one, and maybe Ferriara and Morales. The run by Bravo was also a great one,an advanced tacital run and and defense splitting through ball ralrely seen in MLS history that has only been accomplished by few in history Valderamma, Schellotto, Preki. I'm happy we finally tapped the Brazilian league because the dearth of talent their is amazing, more depth than it is given credit for. But I will say I was skecptical of Jeffersons injuries. Hopefully, he can stay healthy, and be the player he has been capable of in the past. At 27 good age and good risky move. And you dont give up on bunbury yet, he is still young we forget, already been capped by the nats and still has a huge upside. If he can return to form of last year with Bunrbury on one side, sapong on the other, Bravo in the middle, with Jefferson in front of espinosa and Rocastle, that is a dangerous team. Bunbury needs to get his confidence back. He needs an easy goal to breakthrough. They should let him take the next PK hes ont the field for.

Ryan said...

It's strange to me that people often harp on the defense of our team. We've been great. Cyrus gave up one of the goals and he's new. New guys make mistakes and he certainly made up for it with some good defending over the rest of the match. Michael Harrington is no Seth in my book. Every game that guy has played we have done well in. I would agree he works great with Besler. I thought even with the goals this man of the match either belonged to Meyers or Jeferson. They both played like men possessed. Really enjoying this new DP. The Jeferson to Bravo goal was pure class. Heck lets sign one more DP maybe up front. I hope Kamara can keep up this form because he hasn't been doing so well prior.

Dylan said...

How can PV forget one of the key players to get us this far. I'm talking about Graham Zusi. His reward for a 3 goal and 3 game winning assist, MLS POM month is to ride the bench for the first half!? Can you imagine the creativity that we would bring with Jefferson AND Zusi in the midfield. There has to be a place on the field for this guy. There was no issue playing him with an ankle sprain when the team needed it but to reward him with the bench now is cold. Take a look at his touches in the second half. He creats stuff...great opportunity for Seth with a monstor cross dropped on a dime, sweet ball to Chance to creat a Brovo goal. There needs to be a spot for this guy even if it means juggling the formation...again.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Dylan. Lineup should be:

Myers Collin Besler Sinovic
Zusi Jefferson
Kamara Sapong Bravo

Great God almighty that could be a rock solid defense and a wide open exciting offense.