Sunday, June 01, 2014

Sporting Fall Again, Now Winless in Five

The winless run has hit five games. It's not the team's longest run without a win since they went 10 without a win at the beginning of the 2011 season. This time it was a 1-0 loss to DC United on a goal by Fabian Espindola.

Things started out extremely poorly for Sporting as in just the 9th minute, Aurelien Collin pulled up lame after winning the ball off of Espindola. Immediately Peter Vermes pulled the Frenchman, inserting teenager Erik Palmer-Brown for his second professional appearance. At this point with Collin's hamstring I sit him until at least the US Open Cup game against Minnesota United, if not the end of the World Cup break when KC take on Portland.

DC controlled much of the earn going, in the 17th Eric Kronberg had to save a header by Nick DeLeon. A couple minutes later Eddie Johnson had a good opportunity as he got played in behind KC's defense. Johnson continued around Eric Kronberg as the goalkeeper came off his line, but as Johnson wound up to soot, Palmer-Brown made a nice recovery tackle to knock the ball out for a corner. KC found some chances going forward as well though. In the 23rd minute, Seth Sinovic found space on the left and put a cross into the middle. Dom Dwyer reached it first but turned his effor just the wrong side of the post. In the 28th though DC finally found the net. After a cros was partially cleared, Espindola received the ball out wide. He cut back up the field and then curled what appeared to be a cross into the box. Kronberg initially took a step forward to come and claim it. It was only after he realized the cross was long that he started back pedaling, and by then it was too late as the ball looped into the net making it 1-0. After the goal KC started to get more of the possession and could have equalized in the 39th. Som good movement down the left saw Jacob Peterson cross into the box. The cross was behind Sinovic but Dwyer was there to one time the effort on goal.

Early in the second half DC had another opportunity as Espindola got played in behind KC's defense, but Kronberg was quickly off the line and knocked the ball away. KC continued to have the better of possession in the second half, but really struggled to test Bill Hamid in the DC net. Meanwhile at the other end, Espindola continued to cause problems having a shot pushed just wide of the post by Kronberg. And it wouldn't be a Sporting game without a red card. In second half stoppage time DC's defense had cleared a ball to midfield. Alex Caskey was racing Sporting's Kevin Ellis to the ball. Ellis won the race touching the ball ahead. Caskey had gone to ground trying to win it, but his foot wasn't on the ground and he took Ellis down at the shins. The red card came out and really there can't be much argument to it. KC couldn't take advantage of the man advantage in the minute and a half or so before the whistle blew.

Wizards Man of the Match - Kevin Ellis - With Collin's early injury a lot more pressure fell on Ellis to be the anchor of the middle of the back line for KC. He did a very good job along with Palmer-Brown to keep the DC attack in check for most of the game.

Player Ratings - Kronberg 4, Juliao 5, Ellis 7, Collin NR, Sinovic 6, Feilhaber 5, Nagamura 4, Martinez 5, Peterson 5, Dwyer 4, Dovale 4. Subs Palmer-Brown 6, Medranda 4, Saad 4.

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