Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Sporting Throw Away Their Best Chance For Silverware

I've seen some bad Wizards/Sporting KC performances. June 14, 2008 comes to mind. If that date doesn't ring a bell, it was a 3-0 loss to the Columbus Crew at CAB and they looked relatively putrid.

I'm not saying this game was that bad, but it wasn't great. As Peter Vermes said in the postgame press conference, they weren't hard enough to play against defensively. They gave the ball away too easily, were susceptible to the counter attack and just didn't play well at all.

When he was asked about Dom Dwyer's goal, being his third in three games in all competitions, Vermes said he didn't really care about the goal. It was the result that mattered. Dwyer said pretty much the same thing in the locker room. He said he wasn't really thinking about the goal, considering the way the match played out.

While this team gets a chance at immediate payback in Portland three days from now, I'm not sure they can get it. While they have the talent, I'm not sure they have the urgency. While part of me is kind of greedy for the USMNT to play as long as they can in the World Cup, this team needs Matt Besler and Graham Zusi back as soon as possible.

The next game I'm even concerned about is the next home game against Chicago on July 6. It's a holiday weekend and kickoff is scheduled for 2:00 in the afternoon. If that doesn't give this team some urgency, I don't know what will.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Sporting KC Defeat MN United 2-0, Advance To Play Portland

To be honest, the first half of the U.S. Open Cup fourth round match-up between Sporting Kansas City and Minnesota United FC wasn't very good at all. The fact the jerseys for both teams were fairly similar didn't help. Sporting KC changed to their training kits at halftime because Peter Vermes said the players were having trouble with passing to the wrong people, or just finding their own teammates.

The second half was much better. The entry of Alex Martinez for the hosts was a lift, both in terms of energy and the quality of possession. The 50th minute red card shown to defender Cristiano Dias for an aerial collision with Dom Dwyer didn't hurt either, although both coaches disagreed on what color the card should have been.

MN United coach Manny Lagos said after the game that the red card had "ruined a good night of soccer." He said that both teams were playing well, but the ref had changed the game. Lagos said that while there was a player down on the pitch, the ref didn't check to see how Dwyer was, but just went straight for the red card. He also said that Dwyer was back on the pitch five seconds later. He said that he thought it was a yellow card, but not a red.

Vermes, on the other hand, thought it was a reckless challenge and deserved the red card. He said they've seen a lot of different kinds of red cards in league play and he thought the play deserved the ejection. Vermes also said he thought there could have been one earlier in the match on a play in the penalty area that Dwyer ended up on the ground but there wasn't even a foul called.

Sporting's victory turns next week into a virtual home-and-home series with the Portland Timbers, who advanced with their victory over the Orlando City U-23s yesterday. The two teams will clash at Sporting Park in the U.S. Open Cup's fifth round on Tuesday, June 24, before traveling to face each other again in league play in Portland on Friday, June 27.