Thursday, August 20, 2015

From the Highest of Highs to the Lowest of Lows

After the dramatic comeback on Saturday against the Vancouver Whitecaps you had to expect a bit of a letdown at some point soon. That said I'm not sure anyone expected this much of a letdown. Last night at Sporting Park, Sporting KC suffered their biggest defeat ever at Sporting Park and the second largest home defeat in the club's history as the San Jose Earthquakes came in and got their first win in KC in 11 years in emphatic fashion, playing KC off the field to the tune of a 5-0 win for the Quakes.
Things started out poorly for KC as they fell behind in just the third minute when Shea Salinas beat Chance Myers down the right and squared the ball into the middle to an unmarked Cordell Cato who easily finished putting San Jose on top. Things got worse for Kansas City in the 17th minute when Myers knocked over Quincy Amarikwa in the box on a cross and was whistled for a penalty kick. Chris Wondolowski stepped up and sent Tim Melia the wrong way to double San Jose's lead and the rout was on. Recent signing, Anibal Godoy made it 3-0 in the 27th minute after being played on by a back heel by Amarikwa, Godoy raced into the box, cut back on Kevin Ellis to get open, then easily slid the ball into the corner. The first half was a disaster for KC, they didn't record a single shot on goal, the back line struggled to connect passes, and the midfield wasn't following runners. At half time Peter Vermes made two changes, pulling Amobi Okugo from his first start after just 45 minutes, inserting Mikey Lopez and inserted Marcel de Jong for Amadou Dia.
The second half though didn't bring a change of fortunes for KC though as the Earthquakes continued to run all over Kansas City. In the 52nd, Wondolowski should have scored his second after Salinas again got open down the KC right side and squared a ball into the middle for an unmarked Wondolowski, but his attempt to touch the ball back into the near corner as Melia came out went just wide of the post. It didn't matter though as six minutes later, Salinas combined again with Cato for the second time on the night to make it 4-0. A minute later KC almost pulled one goal back through Krisztian Nemeth. The Hungarian received the ball out wide, cut inside and fired a shot from about 25 yards out that goalkeeper David Bingham got a hand on to push it just enough that it hit off the inside of the post and bounced right back to Bingham to collect. Minutes later, San Jose would make it 5-0 and Wondolowski would make amends for his earlier miss. From San Jose's right side, Fatai Alashe played in a nice cross into the box for Wondolowski who placed a nice header that Melia could only get a hand on as it went into the net. As if the 5-0 score line wasn't bad enough, KC went down to 10 men in the 71st minute when Benny Feilhaber had the ball taken from him in KC's half by Amarikwa. Feilhaber pulled back on his jersey and fouled him as he raced towards the box. Feilhaber was given a straight red for denial of a goal scoring opportunity. While Feilhaber tried to plead his case I can't argue with the red card, while Matt Besler could have possibly made it back, I don't think it's enough that Feilhaber didn't clearly deny Amarikwa a goal scoring opportunity. With the man advantage and a five goal lead, the Quakes took the air out of the game, keeping possession and denying KC much in the way of chances as they cruised to victory.
Wizards Man of the Match - The Cauldron - I do have a precedent for doing this, I gave the TFC crowd man of the match back in their first home game in their team's history. Last night even with the performance on the field being as bad as it was for KC the Cauldron didn't stop last night, the capos in the middle worked as hard as I've ever seen them work to try to get people involved. So they deserve the award for last night. If I had to choose a player for the game last night, it'd be Tim Melia. While it's not often a goalkeeper gives up five goals and is named man of the match, but Melia kept it from being a lot worse with five saves as his defense really let him down.
Player Ratings - Melia 3, Myers 2, Ellis 1, Besler 3, Dia 2, Okugo 1, Nagamura 2, Feilhaber 2, Nemeth 3, Dwyer 2, Peterson 2. Subs Lopez 2, de Jong 2, Zusi 3.

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