Sunday, March 18, 2012

Living Up to the Hype

Before last night in Sporting KC's home opener against New England there was a little worry of a let down in a big atmosphere game, similar to last year's stadium opener against the Chicago Fire. That turned out to not be a problem though, as Sporting came out from the start last night and took the game to the Revolution, controlling the game and getting the 3-0 win. KC was helped by an early red card, but even before that KC seemed well on it's way to all 3 points.

In fact in just the 9th minute Roger Espinoza likely should have given KC the lead, but was denied by the post. Graham Zusi was looking to play the ball wide to Bobby Convey, but his pass got deflected the opposite direction deep into the Revs territory. Matt Reis made a move to come and get the ball, but CJ Sapong out raced the goalkeeper and the two players collided outside the box. The ball ended up on the foot of Espinoza who took a few touches and then lofted a shot towards the empty net as Reis tried to get back. The ball beat Reis, but banged off the post and back into play. KC continued to be the more aggressive side, and in the 14th minute, things got bad for the Revolution. Jimmy Nielsen played a ball up field towards Kei Kamara. Kamara flicked the ball on to CJ Sapong. Sapong tried to race past his marker, Stephen McCarthy. McCarthy though pulled back on Sapong as he raced by him and was whistled for the foul. The referee deemed the foul to be a denial of a goal scoring opportunity and gave McCarthy a straight red and putting the Revs down to 10 men. The call did seem a little harsh as Sapong was still well away from goal, but I can totally understand why the card was given.

From the red card on, it wasn't a matter of if KC would score, but a matter of when. New England just didn't look as being able to cope with the man disadvantage, and the game was KC's for the taking. In the 28th minute, KC got their goal. After a good string of possession, the ball found Seth Sinovic on the left hand side. Sinovic crossed a ball into the box towards Sapong, but Sharlie Joseph got his head on it, flicking the header to the back post. Kamara picked the ball up there and fired a cross into the middle of the box towards Zusi. Zusi, Joseph, and Reis all went down while going for the ball. Zusi was the first to react while on the ground, knocking the ball into the net. KC continued to press, looking for a second goal. It took about 10 minutes, but Kamara did finally make it 2-0. Bobby Convey and Sinovic played a give and go down the left hand side. Sinovic then played in a cross. Reis got a hand on the cross, knocking it into the path of Kamara. Reis did well to get back up and save Kamara's initial shot, but the rebound went right back to Kamara who beat Reis on the second offering to make it 2-0. And you can't not love the celebration.

KC continued the strong performance at the beginning of the second half and only 2 minutes in had made it 3-0. Once again the play started with Sinovic as he got played in down the line again. Instead of a cross this time, Sinovic laid the ball back to an on running Sapong who made no mistake, giving KC another goal. After that goal, KC seemed to sit back and seemed content to just possess and kill the game off. In the end, KC finished with close to 65% possession against the 10 man Revs, a huge amount of possession, even if it was against 10 men. The one worrisome thing was that KC couldn't make it 4, 5, or 6, as some poor finishing kept them at 3-0. Chance Myers had a chance hit the cross bar, Kamara almost got a second, but Reis came up with a good save off a corner. Sapong had the best of the opportunities as he got played in behind the defense and was 1v1 against Reis, but the forward couldn't round Reis to get his second. Late on, Convey flubbed a shot well wide of the net. In the end it wasn't needed as KC strolled to the win.

Wizards Man of the Match - Seth Sinovic - Even though he only recorded one assist last night, Sinovic played a role in all 3 of KC's goals against his former team. With New England's struggles at left back since they waived Sinovic it's just another slap in the face for the team that Sinovic did this against them after they waived him last season.

Player Ratings - Nielsen 7, Sinovic 9, Collin 7, Besler 7, Myers 7, Cesar 7, Espinoza 7, Zusi 8, Kamara 8, Sapong 8, Convey 7. Subs Nagamura 6, Olum 6, Sassano 6.


Anonymous said...

An 8 for Sapong? Wow! What's your metrics?

Anonymous said...

The guy applied more pressure defensively and was more aggressive in his attack of the goal than I see Bunbury do most of the time. I don't know if that is part of it, but it left an impression on me for the night.