Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Not a Good Sendoff at All.

I have seen a lot of poor performances in my time at Wizards/Sporting KC matches, but I would have to say tonight's match with Philadelphia was one of the worst.

I think it was summed up best by defender and team captain Matt Besler, who said, "We played like crap."

He's right. The team seemed to lack any sense of urgency, or focus, come to think of it. After all, how do you score a wonder strike like Dom Dwyer's one minute and then give up a goal the next. Literally.

Given the depth of the centerback position for this team, or the lack thereof, Sporting KC fans are likely to be concerned with the 61st minute substitution of Aurelien Collin. In the locker room after the match, Collin said he may be out for two weeks. With Besler leaving for the USMNT training camp, that doesn't leave much cover for one of the most important positions on the field, in my not so humble opinion.

In addition to missing Besler for possibly the next six matches, Graham Zusi is also headed for Stanford, CA, for training camp. Zusi had some moments of brilliance tonight, but not enough to outweigh the absolute lack of desire from the rest of the team.

That's not to say there weren't any bright spots. Brazilian teenager Igor JuliĆ£o made the start at right back and went the full 90 minutes, becoming the youngest player in franchise history to do so in a league match. Since being acquired on April 4th, on loan from Fluminense FC (Brazil), he has done enough to impress Peter Vermes and earn a starting place with the defending MLS champions. I like what I saw from him and I'm looking forward to see what he can do as the season progresses.

Writing after a loss, especially a lethargic performance like this one, is not easy. The easy thing to do is simply go home, possibly stopping off for a pint on the way. Maybe this is my way of trying to divest myself emotionally from this team. Do I want the team to win? Sure, but I also don't want to take the losses as personally as I used to before I started obtaining media credentials and sitting in the press box. Removing a source of stress is never a bad idea.

Up next for the club is a match Sunday afternoon at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, IL, to take on the Chicago Fire. Kickoff is set for 2:00 pm CT and the match will air on KMCI-TV locally and nationally on UniMas, in Spanish.

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