Sporting Kansas City is off to their worst start to the season since 1999. Last night at Sporting Park made it three straight to start the season without a win as they played the Portland Timbers to a 0-0 draw. The defense stepped up against a Portland team that has shown to cause Kansas City trouble on the counter in the past, shutting out the Timbers offense while Luis Marin came up with saves when he was called upon.
Kansas City had much of the early pressure and created probably their best chances of the game in the early going. Ike Opara had two good chances early on off a pair of Marcel de Jong corner. The best of those two being the second when Opara got himself some space against Nat Borchers but flashed his open header wide of the net. In the 15th minute, Jimmy Medranda did a good job of breaking down Portland's defense, going between a couple defenders. From there Medranda played the ball to Dom Dwyer who fired a shot but it was imediately deflected. The immediate deflection though almost worked to Dwyer's advantage as it carried his shot over goalkeeper Adam Kwarasey, but it carried it just over the cross bar and out as well. KC's early pressure led to no goals for the team though as Portland's defense held firm and kept KC out of the net. As the half went on, Portland started to get more of the play, but KC's defense and Luis Marin both held firm keeping Portland off the board.
The second half saw both teams trade possession without much in the way of chances. In the 60th minute, Fanendo Adi broke past Jalil Anibaba and raced in on goal, but his shot from a tight angle was right at Marin. It had enough pace on it that Marin could only knock it away, but Marin kept it out of the net. KC's best chance of the second half came in the 77th minute when a cross by de Jong was put right on the head of Opara, but Opara put this effort just over the bar. Minutes later, Anibaba had a glancing header go just wide of the goal. In the end though Kansas City really lacked in terms of creating chances last night, and creating dangerous chances. KC recorded 16 shots, but only placed two of those on goal. For the most part Dwyer was marked out of the game by Portland's back line, and Benny Feilhaber's role last night left him so far away from goal that he wasn't able to really be involved in KC's attack, something that leaves KC without a lot of dynamic play when it comes to their attack.
Wizards Man of the Match - Luis Marin - Not a lot on the field to be really impressed with overall, but Marin had himself a very good game, making some good saves and his distribution was on point more of the night.
Player Ratings - Marin 7, de Jong 6, Besler 6, Opara 6, Anibaba 6, Feilhaber 5, Nagamura 4, Espinoza 4, Zusi 4, Dwyer 4, Medranda 5. Subs Anor 4, Carrasco NR, Mustivar NR.