Monday, August 29, 2011

A Frustrating Trend

For the 4th time this season KC dropped points late in a game. KC dropped 2 in Vancouver giving up 2 late goals, a point in Seattle once again, and 3 points at home against both Seattle and Dallas. Those 9 points (and 4 and 3 removed from Seattle and Dallas respectively) would see KC sitting on 45 points, putting them 5 points clear of Columbus for first in the East and second in the entire league behind LA. In those games KC allowed goals in the 92+, 93+, 93+, 90, 92+, 89, and 92+ minute. It's a disturbing trend for KC that has developed over the course of the season, that's over 20 percent of KC's 34 goals allowed this season.

To be fair, KC has scored 3 goals in that same general period of time to earn themselves a point when they were losing, scoring in the 93rd vs Chivas, 90th vs Houston, and 89th vs New England. Still without those points, that's still 6 points that KC have lost giving up late goals.

So what's the reason for the late goals? Is it the red cards? No, because of the four games that KC have lost points late in, only half of them involved someone on Sporting KC getting a red card. Factor in KC's games they've gotten points late in and it's 4 of 7.

I think it comes down more to the coaching under Peter Vermes. The "fire Vermes" crowd has gone quiet lately, and I'm not on that band wagon right now, but I think that Vermes needs to change his strategy late in the game. The team seems to be able to cope better when they are trailing late in the game, see the Chivas, Houston, and New England game. Less so when they are leading. It's not just been the Vancouver, Seattle, and Dallas games either, recently the trend has been seen in the Real Salt Lake and DC games as well. Where KC had a late lead while the opponents attacked relentlessly. It's really starting to become worrisome, while KC's home record has been solid, the inability to be able to lock down games is going to hurt KC big time late in the season if it hasn't already.

The team knows it's an issue, it's a matter of fixing it. My problem though is that it doesn't seem much has been done to fix it. I also see Zusi's quote in the article and think "shouldn't it have been a wake up call the first or even the second time?" This was the 3rd time KC's blown a late lead, and 4th time they've dropped points late. If the team hasn't already woken up (especially now), then this team isn't going anywhere this season.


Moop said...

I'm glad somebody is pointing this out.

I've been discussing this with a buddy of mine and fellow K.C. supporter. Sporting doesn't seem to want to play the full 90. At the beginning of the season it seemed like they started slow and had to claw back into games a lot. Now they are bolting out of the gates only to die out late in the game.

Why do teams feel the need to change tactics (i.e. switch to a defensive posture) to hold their leads? I mean, if pressuring our opponents gets us the lead, why let ease up on them. You're basically saying, "we scored our goals, now it's your turn." I figure keep the pressure on and keep your opponent off-balance. I would rather see a 2-1 lead become a 4-1 route than a 2-3 loss.

I was always a crap defender, so what do I know.

Still, glad they didn't throw in Diop. Not sure why he is Vermes go-to guy.

Drew said...

I'm still all about firing Vermes, however, I don't think the goals that came after the 90th min are to blame on him. Rather it is the lack of concentration on the part of the team. 2011 MVP Brek Shea took the game on his shoulders to pull FCD back, but the poor lackluster defending helped. He chased the ball down on the sideline prior to sending in the cross that won the points for FCD. If you watch the highlights Myers gives Shea about 10-yards of space and allows him to get in position to crosss the ball, and then we see terrible marking as per usual allowing Worshaw to get to the ball.
SKC has had a porous defence all season that everyone thought was fixed and seemed to forget how bad it was. It's just the same problems they had earlier this season.
The parity in this league is so amazing, b/c in my opinion SKC is good; but not that good. I think a lot of people are fooled b/c they're picked up a majority of their points against the lesser teams. They still haven't looked great against the "play-off" teams. Yes, the play-offs are anything goes, but they will get found out by the better teams.

cost per head said...

I totally and completely feel you buddy, it was a frustrating trend indeed, but that is life and sooner or later you will find this kind of stuff you have to deal with