Saturday, September 8, 2018

Three Thoughts from Sporting KC v. Orlando City SC

For the first time in a while, I actually managed to make it to a Sporting KC game at Children's Mercy Park. It was good to get back out to the park and see the guys. Here are three thoughts from tonight's game.

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Andreu Fontas made his SKC debut. The former Barcelona defender played very well. He and captain Matt Besler pretty much put the clamps on Orlando forward Dom Dwyer. Dwyer was limited to 17 total touches and four shots (only two of which were on target).

When Dwyer did manage to get a shot off, Tim Melia came up big to make the save, including on a breakaway in the first half. Melia came out and cut down the angle like you're supposed to as a goalkeeper.

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The key to Sporting's dominance on ball possession in the first half wasn't, at least to me, their duels won percentage. In the first half, Sporting won 52.4 percent of the 50-50 balls they went in on, but they had 64.5 percent of the ball.

Key to Sporting keeping the ball was their passing accuracy. In the first half, the home side completed 274 of their 308 passes (88.9 percent). Orlando, on the other hand, completed 141 of their 174 passes (81.0 percent).

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For thought number three tonight, I thought I would include something that is a little personal to me. Sporting KC and Children's Mercy are partnering to launch an anti-bullying campaign. It's called "Red Card: Call It When You See It."

"Students whoa re bullied report more physical symptoms, such as headaches or stomachaches, and mental health issues, such as depression and anxiety, than other students," said Jo Steuve, interim CEO of Children's Mercy. I can attest to that. I was bullied a lot as a kid and I've still got mental health issues.

Steuve went on to say, "In some cases, bullying has led to devastating consequences, such as school shootings and suicide. Our hope is that with the Red Card campaign, we can help increase awareness and inspire action within our Kansas City community to put an end to bullying."

I would have benefited from having a program like this when I was a kid. Maybe some other kid will be saved from a lifetime of mental health issues because of this initiative.

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