Monday, May 02, 2016

Sporting's Winless Run Hits Five

The winless run has hit five for Sporting Kansas City after the club was unable to break down another bunkered, shorthanded defense in their 1-1 draw against the LA Galaxy last night at Children's Mercy Park. After a 3-0 start to the season, Sporting has now gone 1-4-2 over their last seven games to see them fall well down the standings in MLS. With that fall, Peter Vermes made some changes to the lineup for the game against the Galaxy and even went to a new formation to try to get more out of the team. Vermes played all three of the club's healthy center backs, and seemed to go from a three man back line to a four man back line depending on whether KC was defending or attacking. If KC had three in the back it was Sporting's three center backs. When they switched to four in the back, Seth Sinovic and Graham Zusi took over the outside back positions with Nuno Coelho sliding up into the holding midfield role.

The formation switched paid off for Kansas City as they came out and controlled the game against the Galaxy, but really failed to test goalkeeper Brian Rowe. Finally in the 30th minute though KC found a way through the Galaxy defense. A long ball by Matt Besler was knocked into the path of Brad Davis by Zusi, the left footed winger dribbled at his defender before cutting inside to his left foot where he curled a shot around Jelle Van Damme around Rowe and into the far side netting, a beautiful finish by Davis to put KC on top 1-0. Kansas City kept up the pressure but was unable to add to their lead. The inability to capitalize on their possession came back to bite them in the 40th minute when a quick counter by the Galaxy led to the equalizer. A poor header back by Benny Feilhaber was picked off and Gyasi Zardes immediately raced up field before playing a ball over the top to Giovanni Dos Santos. Dos Santos took a shot touching the ball into the box and then softly chipped the ball over an on rushing Tim Melia and into the net to tie the game at 1-1.

With the game tied again it set off a flurry of activity for Kansas City in front of the LA goal but they were still unable to find a second goal. Feilhaber and Ike Opara both missed good chances on goal from inside the box, putting efforts wide of the posts as the teams went into the half tied at 1-1.

The second half continued to be more of the same for Kansas City as they pushed forward and kept the Galaxy pinned back for the most part. Kansas City though couldn't get through their defense and get a good look at goal. The game changed further in KC's favor in the 69th and 70th minute where Galaxy defender Ashley Cole picked up a pair of yellows in a matter of a few seconds. The first came as Cole was getting ready to take a throw in. He took longer than referee Chris Penso liked and the referee handed him a yellow card. Seconds later after the throw in Feilhaber won the ball and was heading towards goal when Cole came sliding through, getting the ball but putting his exposed studs right into Feilhaber's ankle. Penso went to his pocket again and produced a second yellow for Cole giving him his marching orders.

Up a man for the fourth time this season Kansas City kept up the pressure but remained unable to break down the Galaxy defense. Over the final 20 minutes KC couldn't manage a single shot on goal during that stretch, in fact KC recorded just three shots in those 20 minutes, two of which were from distance and blocked away. In the end KC again couldn't take advantage of the man advantage and ended with a 1-1 draw with the Galaxy

Wizards Man of the Match - Jimmy Medranda - The Colombian has had himself a good run of games with Kansas City this season. After playing the Swope Park Rangers first game, Medranda has pretty much been a fixture for Sporting KC and has been making the most of his time too. He's been dangerous on the wing and has caused plenty of trouble so far.

Player Ratings - Melia 5, Besler 6, Opara 6, Coelho 6, Sinovic 6, Espinoza 7, Feilhaber 6, Zusi 7, Davis 6, Dwyer 4, Medranda 7. Subs Mapp NR.


Sean Curry said...

I'd rate Feilhaber a 5. He's not creating chances. Also Zusi put in a lot of work, but was ineffective on offensive end, rate him a 6. Liked the changes to get more of the better players on the field. Goal scoring still an issue. Would have liked to see Rubio on the field with Dwyer

Sean Curry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ky said...

I keep patiently waiting for the chances to start coming; it looked like we had that with Nemeth. In spite of all the talent we have on the pitch, we really are not generating the offensive production necessary. We can applaud work rate, but when it does not produce, it is a wasted effort (poor Jake Peterson is a shining example of that).

rigitrite said...

That last 20 min looked like we were trying to open up spaces and create a crafty beautiful goal. Yeah....well there ISN'T any space to open up. LA had that goal bunkered! At that point, you just keep hammering stuff into the box and hope to get a favorable rebound. I fail to understand how this has happened two games in a row.