Sunday, June 19, 2016

Sporting KC Down FC Dallas 2-0, Lucky to Come Away with Three Points.

Thoughts about today's match at Children's Mercy Park between Sporting KC and FC Dallas only reflect the sounds echoing around in my own head. If you think that sounds bizarre, it goes along with the match we just watched.


In the 16th minute, Lawrence Olum directed a pass back towards his goalkeeper, Tim Melia. Well, towards where he thought Melia was. Melia appeared to get back and clear the ball off the line.

One problem. Replays (and many still photos) later showed the ball was approximately two feet over the goal line and should have counted.

To be fair to the AR on that side of the pitch, Sean Hurd, a sliding Tim Melia was between him and the ball, screening him on the play. The center official, Jorge Gonzalez should have to be the one that made the call, but I honestly don't think he would have had a shot at making the call.

It's calls like this, or non-calls in this case, that make video replay or goal line technology that much more important to get done. Sometimes they try to make it sound like all officials are against technology, but that's not true. I am an official and the most important thing for me is getting the call right. However, I also don't want them to entirely remove the human element from the game. It's part of what makes sports so compelling.


You know you're living in a bizarro world when, among other things, Fabian Castillo was in alone on Melia and took a shot that bounced off the post and right to Melia. If the own goal no call didn't, this should have alerted Dallas that today wasn't going to be their day.


How much did Dallas control the game in the 2nd half? They controlled almost 72 percent of the possession and out-shot Kansas City 10-1. In fact, they took the last ten shots of the game. The key, however, is that not one of those ten shots was on target.

Another sign that Sporting wasn't getting forward as much as they usually prefer? They weren't awarded a single corner kick for the entire match. Now, I'm sure part of that could be attributed to the fact that most of the SKC starters went 120 minutes in the midweek Open Cup match in Minnesota, but Dallas also played 120 minutes on Wednesday, beating Oklahoma City in penalty kicks.


Something else that was odd about this match was the fact that referee Jorge Gonzalez actually handed out three yellow cards for time-wasting in the 2nd half of this match. The thing is, Sporting KC players weren't doing anything they hadn't seen their opponents do in previous matches.

It seems to me that referees in this league don't punish time-wasting like they should, with plenty of yellow cards. Yellow cards add up (just ask Bobby Wood) and players will get suspended if they get too many. Yet, too many players consistently do things to waste time and yet aren't punished for it when they're playing here at CMP.


As if the game wasn't bizarre enough, there was a movie star in the locker room after the game, Paul Rudd, in town for the Big Slick fundraiser for Children's Mercy Hospital, was in the Sporting KC locker room after the match. Rudd, a Kansas City native and big sports fan, was wearing a Benny Feilhaber jersey. I know some people will say, "Pics or it didn't happen," but I am not permitted, by the terms of my credential to take personal photos in the locker room.

What's the worst that could happen? I'll tell you. "Any unauthorized use of this credential or violation of any term of this credential automatically and immediately revokes all permissions granted in this credential and subjects bearer to ejection from the stadium and possible prosecution for criminal trespass." Ain't worth it.


Next up for SKC is a date with Montreal on Saturday, June 25th at 6:30pm CDT. They return home on Sunday, July 3 to face Columbus, but not before a trip to Houston (June 29) for the Round of 16 match-up in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.