Saturday, March 22, 2014

I Have A Blog? Really?

Wow, almost two years since I wrote something here. Almost forgot this thing existed, really.

I'm sitting here in the press box at Sporting Park after the club's first league win of the season. The decisive tally came on Dom Dwyer's penalty kick goal in the 57th minute. It was the first goal from a forward or winger in 564 minutes, more than nine hours. How long had it been since a forward scored a goal? If you can believe it, it was the 63rd minute of the second leg of the Eastern Conference final against Houston, with Dwyer also getting the tally that night.

The match also marked the first the club has played since MLS and the referees' union finalized a new collective bargaining agreement. While tonight's "man in the middle" Ricardo Salazar had some Sporting fans remembering his call in the penalty shootout of the US Open Cup final in 2012 that Michael Gspurning was off his line, thus allowing Paulo Nagamura another try, it was not a great performance.

Firstly, there should have been a penalty kick in the first half. Sal Zizzo was taken down in the penalty area, but there was no foul given.

Secondly, his caution of Nagamura in the 81st minute for simulation was incorrectly given. Nagamura did make contact with a San Jose defender, but Salazar was behind the play.

Finally, in the 83rd minute, Salazar's caution of goalkeeper Eric Kronberg for time-wasting was a bit harsh. In the locker room after the game, Kronberg said he'd been talking with Aurelien Collin about something and may have lost track of time, but Salazar did not warn him before pulling the yellow.

However, the fact remains that Sporting KC picked up their first win in league play in 2014 and have now finished the brutal start to the season that saw them play five games in 15 days. They will now have a full week until they travel to Denver to take on the Colorado Rapids. Kickoff is set for 5:00 CDT on Saturday, March 29.

Maybe I'll get more into writing here. It's not so hard as I remember it.

Update: edited to reflect correct name of player taken down in the box in the first half.