Well, what can you say? Another road game for Sporting Kansas City, another disappointing result.
Despite getting on the board first Saturday night at the Home Depot Center in LA, by the time it was all said and done, SKC was on the wrong side of a 4-1 stomping at the hands of Landon Donovan’s LA Galaxy.
Simply put, LA is just a much better team than KC is right now.
Which was obvious to anyone who watched the game. LA has a handful of game changers – Donovan, David Beckham, Juan Pablo Angel – while KC’s best two players, Ryan Smith and Omar Bravo, have been out due to injury.
Smith actually got in the game for the last 20 or so minutes and created a nice scoring opportunity, but by that time it was too little too late. Bravo has not played at all in about a month because of a sports hernia, but he should be available within the next week or two. Even so, there’s no excuse for the play Sporting’s been exhibiting of late.
Again, mental lapses and silly defensive mistakes appeared, only to see LA capitalize. Shortly after KC went ahead 1-0 off an own goal, Roger Espinoza took Beckham down in the box and the referee made the easy call awarding a penalty.
The next LA goal came off a simple throw in to Donovan, who then proceeded to dribble at the KC defense, combining with a teammate for a nice give and go and clinically slotting home the finish.
Once they took the lead, LA never looked back.
Time and again, long through balls turned around the Sporting defense. LA’s third goal came on a play that seemed to catch KC center defenders Aurelian Collin and Julio Cesar asleep, as Juan Pablo Angel snuck in behind both players and waltzed his way to a one on one that he cooly buried in the back of the net.
Collin raised his hand begging for an offside call from the linesman, but none came, and he was horribly out of position to do anything about the streaking Angel.
Just to put a cherry on top, Beckham curled in a sweet free kick to notch LA’s fourth and final goal of the night.
At this point it’s tough to come up with much positive to say.
Team captain Davy Arnaud acknowledged that there are no excuses at this point. The team needs results.
"It was not good enough to come out in the second half and let the game go the way it did – it’s just not good enough," said Arnaud. "We have been talking about the same thing about playing on the road, we have known that. It is not easy but at the same time it is not so difficult that we should turn in the second half performance we did tonight. It is just not obviously what we wanted and it is very disappointing."
Sporting KC now finds themselves at the bottom of the Eastern Conference with just 4 points to their name, and a 1-5-1 record. Before the season began I thought that SKC would need about 12 points in hand by the time they played their first home game on June 9th.
It’s still doable, technically, but not likely.
With three more road games before the home opener there are 9 points on the table for the taking. Two wins and a tie would put KC at eleven points, and give hope that Vermes and his boys can still turn this thing around.