Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Three Losses and Another Three Goals Conceded

Sporting Kansas City lost their third straight game for the first time since early 2012, and once again gave up three goals. This time on the road to the New England Revolution. It's the first time since 2009 that Sporting has allowed nine goals in three games (that streak was helped by a 6-0 loss in Dallas that cost then coach, Curt Onalfo, his job). KC is still comfortably in a playoff spot right now, but the growing issues with the team have to be a concern. They haven't gotten a shutout in 11 games, the longest streak since 2007, the injuries and different lineups continue to add up, and really Kansas City hasn't looked good since their 2-1 win over LA (a stretch of eight games, nine with the loss to City in there as well).

Things started brightly for Kansas City though as they took the lead in just the 9th minute. Matt Besler threw a long throw-in into the near post in the box. It was flicked on by New England Revolution midfielder, Jermaine Jones to the back post. Sporting KC's Soony Saad was there to head the ball into the net to give KC the early lead. KC would continue the early push and Seth Sinovic had an opportunity on goal in the 16th as he cut inside his defender and fired on goal, but right at Revolution goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth. Unfortunately that would be KC's last shot on goal all game. Slowly the Revolution started to control the game and started to get Lee Nguyen more involved in the play. KC did a good job early of limiting his looks on goal in the first half. Unfortunately for KC, the Revolution found a way back into the game just before half time. A beautiful cross field ball by Jones found Teal Bunbury matched up 1v1 with Sinovic. Bunbury brought the ball down and touched the ball over Sinovic as he came to mark up. Sinovic had been playing Bunbury physically to try to negate his pace. He'd picked up a yellow earlier in the half that caused him to be more cautious. In doing so, Bunbury was able to easily get by him. Matt Besler stepped up to pressure as Bunbury took a shot that deflected off Besler and past Andy Gruenebaum at his near post as Gruenebaum had started to dive towards the far post.

As good as the first half started, that's as bad as the second half started, as a turnover at midfield led to a counter for the Revolution. And while KC had contained Nguyen in the first half they lost him on the counter as Kelyn Rowe picked out Nguyen as he raced up field. Nguyen curled the ball into the far corner putting the Revolution in front. Nguyen had another opportunity in the 55th, dribbling through a few KC players before taking a rip from the top of the box. KC really had limited chances in the second half even while they tried to push the game. Saad pushed a free kick from about 35 yards out just wide of the post in the 58th minute. KC continued to throw numbers forward, but really couldn't really create much offensively. It did open gaps in the back though and New England almost exploited them a few times. In the 86th, Patrick Mullins challenged Lawrence Olum for a header. Olum won the ball, but didn't get the ball far enough clear. Mullins turned and fired a shot that Gruenebaum had to push wide for a corner. In stoppage time the Revolution finished off KC. After a short goal kick, Olum dribbled the ball up field before attempting to fire a ball up field towards the forwards. His forward pass was blocked by Nguyen into the path of Mullins. In a 2v2 situation, Mullins controlled the ball and got it back wide to Nguyen as Olum committed to Mullins. Nguyen did not delay as Besler tried to cross over to cut down the angle. Nguyen immediately fired a shot on goal past Gruenebaum and into the net making it 3-1. KC now heads to New York really desperate for points and to end this losing streak.

Wizards Man of the Match - Soony Saad - Was really KC's only offensive threat in the game, and scored the lone goal for KC.

Player Ratings - Gruenebaum 5, Sinovic 4, Olum 3, Besler 4, Juliao 4, Claros 4, Lopez 4, Zusi 4, Saad 5, Bieler 4, Sapong 3. Subs Zizzo 4, Steuble NR.

No comments: