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.