Sunday, July 24, 2016

Sporting KC, Weather Down Disinterested Sounders 3-0.

Standard disclaimer: Just because I may represent an organization doesn't mean they necessarily agree with my opinions. It's great if they do, but don't assume they do.


To say that it was hot for Sporting KC's match with the Seattle Sounders in Kansas City, KS, on Sunday would be an understatement. One of the guys would would know told me it was 111ยบ on the field before the game. The fact that the league would mandate playing in this weather seems pretty brutal.

Benny Feilhaber said he didn't think it was "humane" to play in this weather, but I can't say that he's wrong. There are a few places in the league you could get away with playing at 2:00 in the afternoon in July, but Kansas City isn't one of them. Considering the way summers usually go in this part of the country, you can expect it to be hot and humid. Period.

As former major league pitcher Jim Bouton once said, "What's better than a Fourth of July doubleheader in Kansas City? Anything up to, and including, a kick in the ass."


Don't get me wrong, I've never been a fan of the Sounders, but manager Sigi Schmid is someone you can't help but feel a little sorry for. The last time his club had consecutive wins in league play was early May. Since May 7th (a 2-0 win over the Earthquakes), the Sounders are 2-8-1 and are averaging 0.91 goals per game over that span. That last stat is actually a little misleading. They beat FC Dallas 5-0 on July 13th and have been shutout six times, including this afternoon against Sporting KC.

Schmid looks like a broken man. He looked like he hadn't been sleeping well, hadn't shaved before the match, and was very blunt in the post-game press conference, saying that his club wasn't very good today. He even went so far as to say he thought Sporting was "trying to pour it on" late when pushing for another goal. As long as Peter Vermes has been the manager of Sporting KC, would you expect anything less?

I think part of Schmid's demeanor goes to the fact that he's probably a dead man walking. Honestly, I would be surprised if he is still the Sounders manager by the end of the week. Sometimes, when you're pretty sure you're going to lose your job, you say things you wouldn't normally say.


It would be fair to say that if the performance had been better in front of goal, Sporting could have hung a seven-spot on the Sounders. Connor Hallisey should have had at least one and Sounders goalkeeper Stefan Frei made three saves. Some of the shots were just wide but probably would have gone in if they'd been on frame. That's not to say Frei wouldn't have stopped them, but I'm not sure he would have, either.


To say the defensive performance was good is a fairly major understatement. Sporting's defense officially allowed one shot attempt. Not one shot on goal, but one attempt period. It came in the 88th minute by Joevin Jones and it wasn't much of a shot. It looked more like a cross, to be perfectly honest.

It also came from someone who shouldn't have even been on the field. Jones went into Roger Espinoza two-footed, studs showing, and from behind. If I saw a foul like that in I game I was officiating, they would have been shown a straight red and they would have earned it.


Up next for Sporting KC is the first of a home-and-home with the Portland Timbers. SKC's task became a touch easier yesterday with the injury to Nat Borchers of the Timbers, but it will still be a tough ask, if only because Portland is playing fairly decently and are the defending champs. Kickoff is set for 1:00 on Sunday, July 31st.

Also, next Sunday is the media game at halftime of the match with the Timbers. Yours truly will be on the field and I'm praying as hard as I can that it's cooler then than it was today. Probably wouldn't be a good look for the club if the media people are puking all over the field.

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