Monday, August 11, 2014

Sporting Fall (Hard) to Vancouver

It wasn't a pretty game, it was probably one of the worst games KC has played in a while, and there have been some bad ones (Toronto on the road a few weeks ago, Philadelphia at home the first time this year, and last year). KC looked out of sorts from the start of the game and the Whitecaps would eventually make them pay as they would end Kansas City's eight game unbeaten run and five game road winning streak, losing 2-0.

In just the fourth minute the Whitecaps showed their intentions and almost grabbed the lead. Attacking down KC's left side, Steve Beitashour raced down the wing before curling a cross into the box. The cross was teasing enough to get Andy Gruenebaum to almost commit, but the ball rolled wide and was crossed back into the middle for Darren Mattocks who turned and would have probably scored if not for a slit touch Aurelien Collin to push the ball wide. KC created an early opportunity themselves via a quick restart. Graham Zusi dribbled down the wing before sliding it into the middle for Benny Feilhaber. Feilhaber took a touch and tried to curl the shot into the far corner but it was just wide of the post. In the 17th minute the Whitecaps grabbed the lead. A long ball towards Sebastian Fernandez. Igor Juliao was easily going to beat Fernandez to the ball and the Brazilian attempted to head the ball back to his keeper, but Gruenebaum had come off his line again and the ball was headed over him and into the net to give Vancouver the lead. Blame for the goal has to fall on both players. Gruenebaum has to give some sort of communication to his right back there and really probably doesn't need to be coming of his line. Juliao though needs to take a quick look at his keeper before heading the ball towards his own net like that. The Whitecaps continued to pressure looking to add to their lead, in the 31st, Pedro Morales tried to curl a free kick inside Gruenebaum's near post, but the KC goalkeeper got down well and knocked the ball down and covered the rebound. Shortly after though the Whitecaps would grab a second. Matt Besler played a poor ball through the middle that was picked off by the Whitecaps. Besler made an attempted tackle on Morales around midfield but missed leading to a 2v1 situation with Morales and Mattocks going at Collin. Morales got Collin to commit before laying the ball off for Mattocks who calmly put the ball into the corner past Gruenebaum to make it 2-0. As the first half entered stoppage time, the Whitecaps almost made it three. Again Morales the creator as he played a fantastic through ball for Fernandez who stayed onside. He slid the ball past Gruenebaum and it was headed into the empty net but Collin raced back in time to recover and slide the ball away. On the rebound Besler knocked the ball away from Fernandez for a corner.

KC was forced to make a change at half time as Gruenebaum left the game with a shoulder injury leading to the MLS debut for KC's first home grown player, Jon Kempin. The Whitecaps sat back a little bit more at the start of the second, forcing KC to bring the game more to them. Really KC couldn't come up with much offensively. The Whitecaps almost again found a third in the 70th minute. Off a corner, Johnny Leveron headed a ball that beat Kempin, but Feilhaber had stayed on the line and headed the ball away to keep it 2-0. Late on the Whitecaps had another chance to make it 3-0 when Omar Salgado was judged to have been fouled in the box by Collin as Salgado backed into him trying to get positioning on a long ball. Mattocks stepped up looking to score his second goal of the game. He went low to Kempin's right, but the young keeper got down well and got a hand on it knocking it onto the post and it was then cleared away to keep the game 2-0. KC continued to get little in the way of chances, but Feilhaber and CJ Sapong both had chances in stoppage time. Feilhaber's effort was blocked and Sapong's rebound effort took a slit deflection wide of the goal.

Wizards Man of the Match - Jon Kempin - A disappointing result all around, but man of the match goes to KC's first home grown player, Kempin for the big penalty save on his MLS debut.

Player Ratings - Gruenebaum 4, Juliao 3, Collin 5, Besler 4, Sinovic 3, Claros 4, Lopez 4, Feilhaber 4, Peterson 4, Dwyer 3, Zusi 4. Subs Kempin 6, Sapong 4, Saad 4.

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