Saturday, October 17, 2015

Sporting's Late Season Struggles Continue

For the sixth time in the last 10 games Sporting KC were unable to pick up any points as they fell 1-0 on the road to the San Jose Earthquakes. The loss was KC's 17th straight game without a win in San Jose, a streak that dates back all the way to the 2000 season. KC now heads into the final two games of the season at home still needing a win to secure their playoff spot for this season. They've missed out on the ability to win the Western Conference though with the loss.

Things started out okay for Kansas City as they had the first decent chance of the game as Erik Palmer-Brown flicked the ball towards goal with his head after a long cross from Matt Besler, but Palmer-Brown's looping header went just over the cross bar. While San Jose had much of the early possession though it was KC that continued to create better chances. In the eighth Dom Dwyer really should have done better after he got in behind the San Jose defense, but his shot was knocked away by David Bingham in the San Jose net. The Quakes though started to get more into the game and put more pressure on the KC back line. Quincy Amarikwa was a major pain for the KC back line, similar to how he was when the two teams met earlier this year at Sporting Park. Neither side though was able to find a break through in the first half.

Early in the second half though the Quakes were able to get themselves on the board. A long ball up the field by Bingham was brought down by Amarikwa as Besler and Seth Sinovic dropped off. Amarikwa dribbled up field before playing the ball wide to Shea Salinas. Salinaz crossed the ball back across the box to Chris Wondolowski who fired a ball across the face of goal. At the back post where Anibal Godoy beat Palmer-Brown to the ball knocking it into the net to give San Jose the lead. San Jose had a great chance to double their lead in the 55th as Amarikwa got played in behind the KC defense, but after he spun around to avoid a recovering Besler Amarikwa fired his shot at Tim Melia who stood tall to knock the ball away. Minutes later it was Wondolowski as he got played in and his first touch set up a nice volley but it was right at Melia who made the save. KC's best chance of the second half came in the 71st when Benny Feilhaber played a nice chip from near the top of the box into it for Mikey Lopez, but Lopez's header was just over the bar keeping the score at 1-0. KC tried to push late but really didn't create much in the way of chances and now things are a lot tighter in the West as KC is just 1 point away from behind on the outside of the playoffs looking in.

Wizards Man of the Match - Tim Melia - As he's already done many times this season he kept the score from being a lot worse for Kansas City with some good saves and some good positioning. If KC had stuck with Luis Marin this season I don't think they're in a playoff position at this point.

Player Ratings - Melia 6, Sinovic 4, Besler 4, Palmer-Brown 5, Myers 4, Nagamura 5, Feilhaber 5, Lopez 5, Anor 3, Dwyer 3, Zusi 4. Subs Nemeth 5, Okugo 4, Abdul-Salaam 5.

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