For the fourth time in five games KC failed to get a win, and ran their winless streak up to five after they ended their cross country road trip with a 3-1 loss tonight in Orlando. The mistakes by the team are really starting to pile up and the number of games getting played by players who should be primarily back ups are starting to show. Sporting is now limping into a very important part of their schedule that isn't just important, but crowded as they'll play five games in 16 days, including the US Open Cup final. The wheels for the team certainly appear as though they are coming off.
KC was dealt a blow before the game even started as goalkeeper Tim Melia was held out of the game because of a leg injury, handing home grown goalkeeper Jon Kempin his first start of the season. Unfortunately one of the first things he had to do in the game was get the ball out of his own net. A foul 40 yards from goal gave Orlando a decent free kick from distance. Luke Boden played a ball to the back post where Adrian Winter lost Jacob Peterson and headed an uncontested header into the net past Kempin to give Orlando the early 1-0 lead. KC were shouting for an offside call that never came and very early KC was down 1-0. Two minutes later Orlando should have made it 2-0 as Kempin got a hand to a cross but it deflected off of Matt Besler and into the path of Lewis Neal who put his shot just wide of the post to keep the score at 1-0. KC had plenty of possession in the first but struggled to create chances. Their best came off the foot of Krisztian Nemeth who got just a little bit of space when cutting in from the left and tried to place a shot into the corner, but put it just wide of the far post.
The second half almost started as badly as the first as a poor give away by Graham Zusi allowed a 2v1 break against Besler. The ball came to Cyle Larin as Kempin rushed out to close down the angle. Larin tried to chip Kempin but sailed his shot over the bar keeping the score at 1-0. Orlando continued to come forward and in the 55th, after working down KC's left the ball got crossed into the middle for Neal who fired a shot on goal but Kempin got a big hand to the shot tipping it over the cross bar to keep KC alive. From there KC started to get more of the game and started to really come alive. Just four minutes after Kempin's save, KC was level. Nemeth received a ball from Benny Feilhaber and proceeded to dribble at former KC defender Aurelien Collin. Nemeth got some luck as the ball knocked off Collin right into Nemeth's path again, but Nemeth got into the box and fired a shot into the upper 90 to tie the game at 1-1. A minute later KC had a great chance to make it 2-1 as Zusi got played down the line. Zusi crossed into the middle for Dom Dwyer but he couldn't get the effort directed on goal with enough pace to beat Tally Hall. Orlando inserted US national team player, Brek Shea and he changed the game back in Orlando's favor. Defender, David Mateos played a long ball over the top towards Bryan Rochez who was challenged by Kevin Ellis. Ellis couldn't get enough of a jump to get his head on the ball and it went past both players into the path of Shea who had raced down the line. Shea dribbled the ball into the box before rolling it back for Rochez who had continued his run and he knocked it past Kempin to make it 2-1 Orlando. From there KC's heads seemed to go down and they seemed to really stop playing. They didn't really look likely to find a second equalizer. In fact it was Orlando that would go on to find a third goal. In the 72nd minute Rochez got played in behind the KC back line but Ellis did a good job of recovering and cutting the play out. From there though Ellis took a big touch looking to clear the ball up field and Rochez won the ball back off the KC center back. Rochez played the ball back to Winter who played a give and go with Neal and fired a shot past Kempin to make it 3-1 Orlando. Down two goals the game again appeared over for KC, but things would get worse late on as in the 87th minute Dwyer and Mateos got into a shoving match in the box behind the play. On replays after some shoving, Dwyer bumps Mateos in the chest which Mateos oversold as a shot to the head, going down holding his face. Referee Jair Marrufo produced the red card at the urging of his assistant referee and now KC not only finished the game with 10 men, but will now go into Friday's game against FC Dallas without their leading scorer.
Wizards Man of the Match - Krisztian Nemeth - The bright spot for KC tonight, was getting all kinds of space down the wing to work with and his goal was extremely well taken.
Player Ratings - Kempin 4, Abdul-Salaam 4, Ellis 3, Besler 4, Sinovic 4, Mustivar 4, Feilhaber 5, Zusi 4, Nemeth 5, Dwyer 3, Peterson 3. Subs Anor 4, Quintilla 4.