Donnelly: Always Change A Losing Strategy – SKC Flounders at Columbus

Shavar Thomas versus Columbus Over the weekend Sporting KC lost to Columbus, 1-0, in a game that many had pegged as a win.

This dropped SKC to 1-2-1.

There are not a lot of positives to take away from the game. In fact, the team seems to have reverted back to its 2010 form. 

SKC managed just one or two shots on goal for the entire game.

Yes, the ownership group is passionate and innovative and yes, the stadium looks sweet – but that doesn’t matter without the result on the field. 

The next few games will be key in determining just how big of a party we can expect for the home opener at the new stadium on June 9th.

Among the immediate issues is the midfield play.  I know, most observations have been focused on the center of the defense.  However, Sporting’s inability to possess the ball came to the forefront after this lackluster effort in Columbus.  That being said, I expect new signing Julio Cesar to be gone within the next few weeks, replaced by French newcomer Aurelian Collin

The main thing though, is that I would have to question whether Davy Arnaud is the man for the center midfield job, and whether his pairing with Birahim Diop and Milos Stojchev is going to work.  I like Stiojchev, but Davy has been invisible for a few games and he may need to be benched.  Since he is the captain, this will be a hard decision for Vermes to make, but for the good of the team it’s necessary.   

The Columbus game was back and forth, with neither team getting any real chances on goal. 

But in the early stages of the second half, Columbus broke through with a goal on a ball in behind the KC defense.  Sporting goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen played admirably and made some nice saves, including a kick save on a ball that should have been put away, but that wasn’t enough to salvage much positive from the event.

In my estimation, Sporting is missing a midfield that could allow it to possess the ball in the attacking third.

The combination of Arnaud, Diop, and Stojchev is not working. 

Granted, the attacking core of SKC is solid, with CJ Sapong, Teal Bunbury, Kei Kamara, and Omar Bravo (when he is healthy), but that doesn’t work if no one can get them the ball in attacking positions.  Davy Arnaud vs. Columbus

That’s not giving the defense a blank check or anything.  Julio Cesar was spotty, before being awarded an undeserved second yellow, but that’s not really the issue. 

Sporting continues to play an uninspired style that creates little and relies on opponents mistakes to score goals. 

All this when their "style" is to impose their high pressure attack on opponents.

Given, the team would be better with Omar Bravo and Ryan Smith, both of whom are injured, but this Sporting team needs to find a way through this tough 10 game road trip and at the least forge an identity out of it. 

At the moment it seems like SKC is asking more questions than it has answers for, which at this stage in the season is not what what anyone would hope for. 

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10 Responses to Donnelly: Always Change A Losing Strategy – SKC Flounders at Columbus

  1. % says:

    Spot on
    Matthew,

    You’re right on with this write-up. The whole center of SKC’s field is very suspect. Nielsen’s actually playing well, but he won’t carry the team far if the center defense doesn’t shore up. And you’re right, the ball just isn’t moving up the field and the offense looks feckless as a result, despite there actually being some talent among the front cavalry.

    They’re playing just like they were at the midpoint of last year. What’s worse is while last year decent squads like New York were working over SKC, Columbus isn’t even good.

    Very troubling loss for SKC.

  2. Succer says:

    Why? Did they suck really bad in 2010?

    I’m asking because honestly, I don’t really follow soccer, nobody I know follows soccer, and when your fan base is under 1% of the population, all of who show up at this Palace of the Fans that’s gonna open up, don’t act surprised.

  3. smartman says:

    Matthew and Spot On Get Room
    Smoke signals and pounding drums would’ve reached KC faster than this report about a team and a game so few care about. Sally Struthers gets better numbers Feeding the Children at 3:00 am. Sporting KC, what a stupid fucking name. Sporting moves the ball up the pitch. Nice transition by Sporting. Sporting really needs to come together in these final minutes. Sporting, Sporting, Sporting, Marcia, Marcia, Marcia. The better name would have been KC United. Simple, classic and appropriate.

  4. % says:

    Thanks, smartman
    I understand if you don’t care about the team. Move on and godspeed.

  5. jimmyd says:

    Hopefully
    Sporting KC will play better when they get home. They have been boring lately

  6. jjskck says:

    When it comes to soccer, I’m neither fan nor hater.

    But this:

    “SKC managed just one or two shots on goal for the entire game.”

    …has to be excruciating. Regardless of your level of fanaticism.

  7. legendaryhog says:

    Vermes is gone
    Vermes has about two games left for his team to show improvement or he’s out. They may keep him around for the rest of the season since they are launching a new stadium, but we all know who the first person who gets fired when a team goes downhill.
    Also, his

  8. smartman says:

    Hogsense Better Than Horsesense
    God Bless You Legendaryhog! Like the Scouts, Kings, Comets, Chiefs, Royals, Wizards, et.al this team is stinking it up. It’s like the KC Metro is a Bermuda Triangle for mediocrity. Hate the sin, love the sinner. Hate the teams, love the sports.

  9. Johnny Utah says:

    The winning franchise
    I gotta tell you, soccer haters, in this town of Chiefs and Royals fans, the Wiz/Wizards/Sporting is much closer to a winner than the big boys. Title in 2000 and cup in 2004. Royals last postseason appearance was 1985, so NO ONE younger than 30 can remember that. Chiefs? no playoff wins since ’94 and last title in ’69? You can’t be younger than 50 and remember a chiefs title.

    Agree, Arnaud is playing badly, but also out of position. He’s a forward or winger. He’s just not a good enough ball handler to be in a 3-man midfield. No need to panic over one game. Sporting is scoring a lot this season, and w/o the fluke comeback in the Vancouver game, they’d be in great shape.

    No one thought the opening road trip would be easy. Relax. Vermes is not about to get fired.

  10. JP says:

    If you don’t like Soccer
    Fine, don’t post on here. I am sick of the ignoramuses coming on this blog, ripping soccer. These are the same people that find left turn driving contests entertainment. (Yes, I’m talking about NECKCAR I mean NASCAR). I don’t like NASCAR, but I don’t go on blogs of people that love NASCAR and bash the sport. If you don’t like soccer, don’t come on an article and bash it.

    As for the Sportings, their defense has let them down big time. The Vancouver game was won, when they let 3 goals in the last period. They are clearly tired of being on the road. They need a big win this weekend.

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