Sunday, August 07, 2016

Road Woes Continue for Sporting

For the seventh time this season, Sporting Kansas City fell on the road, 3-0 to the Portland Timbers at Providence Park. What made the loss hurt more is the fact that Kansas City spent most of the first half up a man and couldn't take advantage of it, failing to record a single shot on goal up a man after Diego Chara's first half red card. His card was followed by a red card to KC's Soni Mustivar late in the first half that forced both teams to play 10 on 10.

KC had the better of the early going with Saad Abdul-Salaam forcing a good save from Jake Gleeson after he was played in on goal by Roger Espinoza. In the 12th minute the game took its first big turn when Diego Chara was sent off for violent conduct for getting his hands into the face of Benny Feilhaber after the two had scuffled near midfield. The Portland midfielder was sent off and Portland was down to 10 men. For almost the next 30 minute, Kansas City controlled the game, pinning Portland in their own end for long stretches, but couldn't make anything of all that possession. They failed to record a single shot on goal in those 30 minutes as the game remained 0-0. The ineptitude of KC's offense was no more apparent than a stretch where the club had a stretch of about five or six corners where they had trouble clearing the first defender. Benny Feilhaber seemed dead set on striking a driven ball to the near post even though Diego Valeri had lined up 10 yards from the ball. Immediately after that stretch Soni Mustivar got his marching orders. After Gleeson collected a corner, he fired a quick pass to Valeri who was racing up field. Mustivar tried to knock the ball away and kill the counter attack but missed the ball getting Valeri. Initially Baldomero Toledo looked set to pull out a yellow card but after a conversation over his headset produced a red card for the Haitian removing both team's deepest midfielder and making the game 10 on 10.

Early in the second half things went from bad to worse for KC when Roger Espinoza picked up a yellow card, suspending him for next week's game against FC Dallas, meaning two-thirds of KC's midfield will be available for the game. KC continued to control the game though even with more space on the field, but couldn't create anything in the way of chances. The inability to create chances came back to bite them in the 65th when a Vytautas Andriuskevicius cross was headed by Ike Opara into the path of Diego Valeri who volleyed the ball past Alec Kann and into the net to to put the Timbers on top 1-0. Kansas City continued to push numbers forward looking for an equalizer and had a number of decent opportunities with Graham Zusi firing over from the top of the box and Jacob Peterson pushing an effort wide of the post after some good combination play by KC to create space in the box. Peterson though couldn't get his effort on goal and Portland remained on top. With the push for a goal Peter Vermes finally threw Diego Rubio on the field at the same time as Dom Dwyer, the first time the pair have been on the field together this season. Rubio helped give KC a shot of energy and it seemed like KC may just be able to find a goal and steal a point. Unfortunately in the 87th though Portland put the game away. After Darlington Nagbe turned two KC defenders he laid the ball back to Jack Jewsbury who fired a ball past Kann and into the net doubling the lead. Things got worse in stoppage time as the KC defense seemed to quit a little bit, Fanendo Adi got some space and slotted a shot past Kann and into the net to make it 3-0 for the Timbers. KC now head into their busy stretch of the season with five games in five cities and three countries over a two week period. And they'll start it without two-thirds of their starting midfield in Dallas.

Wizards Man of the Match - Saad Abdul-Salaam - Had arguably Kansas City's best chance of the game when he forced a good save out of Gleeson. Wasn't on the field for the late meltdown.

Player Ratings - Kann 4, Abdul-Salaam 5, Opara 5, Olum 4, Sinovic 4, Mustivar 3, Espinoza 5, Feilhaber 5, Hallisey 3, Dwyer 3, Peterson 4. Subs Zusi 5, Myers 4, Rubio 5.


Anonymous said...

Too high on Myers, I hope he's no longer on this team next season, hallisey is worthless and the defense needs a wake up call. Piss poor defending

Moop said...

I saw four Vermes quotes that you (Mike) re-Tweeted from Sam McDowell. Essentially the quotes were about SKC putting themselves in the bad position, giving the ball away, not making good on chances, and letting the other team back in the game. The only thing missing at the end of each quote from Vermes was "again" based on how this season has been going. I commend his candor, but it's becoming a broken record.

Unknown said...

If there was ever a game to play for a tie it was yesterday. SKC went from a strong playoff position to on the bubble with loss and suspensions. I think calling their approach naive, and overconfident with almost no points on road from previous games, is accurate

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ky said...

I don't think we will miss out on the playoffs this year, but I do not think a cup run is going to happen (barring the miraculous). At what point does the club decide it is time to retool? From my perspective, there are scores of players on the bubble for next season.