Sunday, June 3, 2018

Three Thoughts From Sporting KC v. Minnesota United FC

Three thoughts from Sporting Kansas City's 4-1 win over Minnesota United FC at Children's Mercy Park in front of 20,422 fans on June 3, 2018.

All thoughts are my own and should not reflect on anybody else in a negative way. Well, except Maximiniano.


Citing a lack of urgency from the club in last week's scoreless draw against Columbus, Peter Vermes called out his club, challenging them to do better and saying the players would "feel it" in training this week.

After the performance the club put in, I honestly believe it wouldn't really have mattered who was in front of them on the pitch today. While Minnesota's record away from home is a dismal 1-6-0, they're still an MLS club and Vermes has never taken an opponent lightly, no matter what anyone else might think.

One indicator of the urgency the team was playing with, especially in the first half, is their Duels Won (%). To put it more simply, the percentage of 50/50 balls they won compared to their opponents. In the first half, Sporting KC's margin in that metric was 68.3-31.7. That domination led to a 64.9-35.1 possession margin.

I'm focusing on the first half if only because the Maximiniano send off skews those numbers, as they should. More on him in a moment.


More evidence of the work the club is putting in to its pro pathway was on display tonight as two former Academy players had impacts with the first team.

Following the early first half injury to Yohan Croizet, Wan Kuzain made his second appearance for the first team in as many games. It didn't take long to make his presence felt. Kuzain got his first goal for the club in the 35th minute. Described by some as the Malaysian Messi, Kuzain's goal played a little pinball on its way to the back of the net.

Jaylin Lindsey made his pro debut for the club just short of the hour mark, due to an injury to defender Seth Sinovic. Normally, Lindsey would be a right back, but Vermes said they were comfortable enough with him to play him on the opposite side of the pitch. Lindsey played well in his thirty minute debut, earning a press conference shout out from his manager.

The goal, according to Vermes, is to someday have an entire starting XI consisting of Sporting KC Academy players. They seem to be on their way.


From the "This is a record you really shouldn't want" Department, Minnesota United FC midfielder Maximiniano seems to be cruising towards shattering one.

What record does he seem to be on course to absolutely shattering? Fewest minutes played to a yellow card accumulation suspension. After subbing into the match at halftime, Maximiniano picked up his first yellow card two minutes and change into his appearance. Fifteen minutes and fifteen seconds later, he picked up his second, earning a red card and an early shower.

According to the fine folks at FiftyFiveOne, that made four yellow cards in only 106 minutes, an average of one card every 26:30 of play. One more and he gets a one match suspension (to go along with the suspension for the red card). I'm not sure what the record is, but I'm sure this guy will shatter it.

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