Thursday, October 22, 2015

#TBT A Look Back at Another Late Season Collapse

Sporting Kansas City is on the verge of missing the playoffs this year after last night's 2-0 loss to the Colorado Rapids. Since beating the Vancouver Whitecaps 4-3 in mid-August KC has picked up just eight of an available 33 points. That stretch has seen Kansas City go from contenders for the Supporters' Shield to fighting for their playoff lives. It's not the first time that KC has seen a late season collapse, in fact the last big collapse came on another year that KC switched conferences, back in 2005 when the KC Wizards moved from the Western Conference to the East.

Back in mid-August of 2005 KC picked up a 3-0 win over the Chicago Fire at Arrowhead Stadium, their fourth win in a row. The Wizards moved to 11-5-8 with 41 points and moved into third place in the East, two points ahead of the Fire and 9 points clear of fifth place New York. With eight games left KC looked like they were at least going to make the playoffs.

For KC though that 3-0 win was Kansas City's last win of the season. KC would go 0-4-4 over the final eight games of the regular season, finishing on 45 points, two behind fourth place New York. Five of those eight games were at home as well, but KC lost 1-0 to the Columbus Crew, New York, and Chicago at home in that stretch. In the other two home games KC tied 2-2 with the LA Galaxy and New England Revolution having to come back late against the Galaxy and blowing a two goal lead against New England.

In the three road games KC picked up as many points as they did in their five home games getting a 2-2 draw in New York and in Dallas, but falling 2-1 to the Galaxy. The Dallas game was on the next to last day of the season, KC's first trip to Pizza Hut Park (now Toyota Stadium). KC once again fell behind 2-0, and again had to fight back. Davy Arnaud scored in the 77th minute before Preki with virtually his last touch of the ball as a player tied the game in the 90th. KC had another chance after Preki equalized, but Jimmy Conrad couldn't finish with his head.

Even with those results KC still had a chance to make the playoffs. KC needed the expansion Chivas USA to defeat the New York Red Bulls at the Home Depot Center and KC would still have gotten in. Unfortunately for KC, former goalkeeper, Tony Meola stuck it to his old club, standing on his head as Chivas attacked throughout the game. The Red Bulls hung on though and were able to score twice to win 2-0 and knock the Wizards out of the playoffs.

This year all the games in the West kick off at the same time and the team that can knock KC out of the playoffs, the San Jose Earthquakes, are on the road in Dallas. If KC gives up an early goal to the Galaxy Sunday there could be a lot of scoreboard watching, hoping Dallas can help KC out this year.

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