Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Better Than Saturday, But Far From Good

Sporting KC were unable to stop their current skid and extended their winless streak to seven games with a 1-0 loss against the Colorado Rapids. Making four changes to the lineup that lost 2-0 on the weekend, including club captain and vice captain Matt Besler and Graham Zusi, along with the team's reigning MVP Benny Feilhaber, as Peter Vermes hoped to find a way to end the club's run without a win. Unfortunately the changes Vermes made did little to improve the team's attacking ability, and while the overall performance was better, the toothless offense is a big worry.

One thing that has plagued Kansas City during this current run has been mistakes at the back leading to goals for opponents. In the 20th minute a KC giveaway almost saw it happen again as a poor pass by Ike Opara ended up going right to Sam Cronin who fired a one time shot towards goal with Tim Melia out of position, but the shot went wide of the post. Another giveaway by Roger Espinoza after he tried to clear a ball instead of shielding it out of bounds went to Luis Solignac who cut inside and fired a shot that deflected wide of goal. The defensive mistakes still didn't seem to be cleared up. KC's best chance of the first half ended up being a fairly tame shot by Espinoza that was easily collected by Zac MacMath in the 42nd minute.

The Rapids have scored quite a few goals early in the second half and almost did again tonight off an early free kick as Jermaine Jones had a chance on a shot that Melia spilled, but eventually KC cleared it away. Minutes later, Colorado and Jones had another chance, this time Jones beat Melia, but Dom Dwyer was behind the KC goalkeeper, backing him up to clear the ball off the line to keep the game scoreless. KC again had plenty of the ball but really could do nothing with it going forward, with three defensive midfielders, KC really struggled to link their defenders with the forwards and mainly resorted to long balls over the top to Dwyer who was going against the the 6'5" Bobby Burling and 6'7" Axel Sjoberg. Those aren't match ups that the 5'9" Dwyer is going to win a lot of. Meanwhile the Rapids continued to push forward and in the 76th minute found themselves up a man on an interesting call by referee Jose Carlos Rivero. Jermaine Jones raced towards the corner flag with Opara marking him, Jones cut the ball between Opara's legs towards goal and then tried to race onto the ball but instead ran into Opara. Both players went to ground and an obstruction foul appeared to be called on Opara, a fine call even if there wasn't much Opara could have done to avoid it, but then Rivero produced the yellow card, Opara's second of the game and KC was down to 10 men for the final 15 minutes. The Rapids immediately made Kansas City pay off the free kick. The initial cross was cleared, but the ball fell to Dillon Serna who dribbled across the top of the box before getting a yard of space on Jacob Peterson and firing a shot through traffic that Melia didn't appear to see until it was too late and the ball made it into the corner to give the Rapids a 1-0 lead. Down a goal now KC tried to push forward but again struggled to create much at all going forward. KC's best chance to find an equalizer didn't come until stoppage time when Nuno Coelho ran over a free kick and touched it to Dwyer who fired a shot on goal but it was blocked away. Minutes later the final whistle blew and KC will now head home having gone winless in seven and just one win in their last nine.

Wizards Man of the Match - Nuno Coelho - With Matt Besler not playing, Coelho became the organizer of the back line and did a good job of keeping Colorado from getting many looks on goal at home. He continues to be the best defender for Kansas City this season (discounting his performance against Houston).

Player Ratings - Melia 5, Sinovic 5, Coelho 6, Opara 5, Abdul-Salaam 5, Olum 4, Mustivar 5, Espinoza 5, Davis 2, Dwyer 2, Medranda 3. Subs, Dia 5, Hallisey 2, Peterson 2.


Anonymous said...

Dillon* Serna
You're not starting to wonder if Melia is the right guy in net at this point? The last three goals at least i felt were very savable. Judging by his own reaction after each I'd say he thinks so too. Obviously there are other issues with this team but I haven't seen Tim get much blame if any at all and I'm surprised.

Mike said...

Not sure where Diego came from... Thanks

As for Melia I think he's not getting much blame because there are bigger issues with this team right now that starting Kann or even Kempin won't fix. Stupid giveaways in front of him, horrible counter attacks, and an offense that is flatter than pancake. Melia certainly deserves some blame, he's not been playing that well this season, but there are bigger issues.

Anonymous said...

3 for medranda? we must have been watching different games, i thought he was their best player on the night.

Mike said...

Our entire offense was poor last night, that includes Medranda. Couldn't do much of anything in the offensive third. He was the best of the attackers, which is why he didn't get a 2 like Davis, Dwyer, Hallisey, and Peterson

Adam said...

Yeah... though it was arguably the 3rd best offensive performance by a forward during this winless stretch. The first and second best performances also being Medranda... yet Davis, Dwyer, and Zusi all get 4s from the weekend game?

We're all frustrated with the offense, but we hold you to a higher standard Mike. More consistency, less knee jerk reaction.