Today: The Reason Why Sporting Kansas City is Major League Soccer’s Worst Team

It’s not like what I’m about to tell you is a huge secret…

Not to the players on the soccer team known as Sporting Kansas City. The worst overall soccer team in Major League Soccer for the past three years.

Forget the non-excuse excuses offered up by team management earlier this week. Yes, it was super dumb front-loading the schedule with nonstop away games.

The team skittered into its first home game at the new stadium with but one win in 10 tries.

But playing a poorly-planned road schedule with all those losses and ties isn’t really the problem.

It’s the coach, Peter Vermes.

"The players on the team don’t like him or respect him," confided one player. "He acts like the judge, jury and executioner."

A combination poor team moral and uninspired play for three years running has players scratching their heads.

"He would have been fired three months ago if he was coaching any other team in MLS," says the player.

Look, I know it’s barstool common for fans to call for the coaches heads when a team sucks as bad as the Wizards and Sporting have the past three years.

But we’re not talking fans and barstools here.

We’re talking about the players on a team that played as boring and uninspired a game as imaginable. On a night  they totally needed to make an impression in a spanking new, sold out stadium.

At a game that Star sports columnist Sam Mellinger embarrassed himself twice this week by describing as "the most important"  in the history of Kansas City’s Major League Soccer franchise. True, they were statements that hammered home the fact that Mellinger has no clue about MLS soccer or the team’s history.

There’s only one way last night’s game could possibly garner the slightest bit of importance in the scheme of things. And that’s if somebody among all those SKC suits rummaging about clues into the fact that the players are playing for a coach that don’t believe in and can barely stand.

Because like KC Confidential soccer scribe Matt Donnelly said last night following his sixth visit to the new stadium, the novelty has already worn off. The team now needs to start playing inspired soccer or they’ll soon be back to drawing 6,000 and change like last year at the ridiculously awful for soccer T Bones baseball park.

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15 Responses to Today: The Reason Why Sporting Kansas City is Major League Soccer’s Worst Team

  1. bschloz says:

    Isn’t that sorta good.
    Give them a couple of years…I think it looks like fun out there! Congrats to SKC

  2. Cliffy says:

    Tuned in on ESPN2 for awhile. New stadium looked nice on TV. Looked like everybody was having a good time. I couldn’t watch the game for very long … just not interested. However, I also thought I didn’t like hockey until I went to a StL Blues game. It was great. Maybe I’ll give SKC a shot before the summer is out.

    At least SKC put Kansas City in their name. Unlike the speedway, which only promotes Kansas.

  3. smartman says:

    Tea Baggers
    Watched on TV in silence. What’s with the Brit announcers on radio and TV? With all the unemployed in the US can’t they find some straight talkers to call the games? It’s like listening to a bad PBS documentary. Is it supposed to make us believe we’re watching REAL FUTBOL?

    The Cerner boys have little downside in this deal. They sufficiently cornholed KCK and the State of Kansas. At worst they trade dollars with themselves at best they make a bloody fortune.

    Still waiting for Neal Patterson to blow a gasket on the teams performance. He’s been to calm for too long.

  4. Hearne Christopher says:

    Correct. A draw in soccer is sorta good – each team gets one point in the standings. Versus 3 for a win and 0 for a loss. But when you’re the worst team in soccer for like three years running, playing before a packed house in a brand new stadium. A crowd arguably most of whom aren’t even soccer fans but rather locals who got swept up in the stadium season ticket selling frenzy.

    Now you play poorly. As you have for three seasons. There’s no score, which American sports fans have difficulty getting their heads around to begin with.

    And they’re going to be excited to come back again – even using free company or family tickets – why? Because of the $7.75 been and bacon-wrapped hot dogs?

  5. Hearne Christopher says:

    Do give it a shot.

    But what are the odds of your enjoyed a Royals game where they got nobody on base (and nor did the other team) and after nine innings of uninspired play, called the game a draw?

  6. Hearne Christopher says:

    That’s an interesting observation. It’s well known that the Cerner chieftain not only likes, but demands results.

    Well, to a certain extent he’s gotten results.

    The new stadium, respectable season ticket sales.

    However the team has never suffered through as long and/or as awful a dry spell as they have on his watch. The problem is twofold; they risk turning off the few actual soccer fans in KC that there are. And how are they going to attract new fans to sport with such uninspired play?

    It’s a lose-lose situation.

  7. Tom Violence says:

    Vermes must go
    Thanks for writing this, Hearne.

    SKC is awful. I’ve watched every game this year. They have no idea what they’re doing. They play the most unimaginative offense in the league. Their defense played fairly well last night, but that’s more likely an aberration than any possible long-term trend. Their middle defense is very soft. Jimmy Nielsen might be one of the best goalkeepers in MLS, but he’s not getting much help back there.

    Right now, SKC is playing like a side controlled by an overmatched video game player who doesn’t know what the buttons on the controller do.

    And another thing, before anyone goes on too long about the non-call on Omar Bravo. Yes, it should have been a penalty kick. But the way Bravo stayed on the ground until the stretcher came and then got right back up and into the game was a disgrace. He should have been shown a red card the moment he stepped back onto the field. What was more shameful was the fact that he gave up on several loose balls in the penalty box. CJ Sapong was the only player who seemed to hustle out there. At least on offense.

    Last night was such a blown opportunity. Playing your first game in a $200 million stadium with a huge and phenomenally enthusiastic crowd against a bad Chicago Fire team required a 5-0 victory and nothing less. The 0-0 draw, and the way they got about getting it, was a disaster. So many people walked out of there, exposed to SKC and MLS for perhaps the first or second time, having their worst fears and stereotypes about soccer confirmed. That it’s an unexciting game played where the ball just gets gummed up in the middle of the field and nothing really happens. It would have been one things if Chicago’s goalkeeper was on fire (hee hee) and stopped several phenomenal SKC shots on goal. But that’s not what happened.

    The excuses are over. The schedule is no longer an issue. The injuries and international call ups are not longer an issue. The issue is the team and they way they are coached.

  8. Johnny Utah says:

    boring soccer
    great stadium and crowd (until the cauldron started throwing trash on the field).

    FIFA needs to institute a rule that it’s 3 points for a win, 1 for a draw, 0 for a loss, and 0 for a scoreless draw. no more scoreless draws. they kill the sport. you don’t score a goal, you can’t get a point.

    whether it’s the strategy or players, the team has a major problem, and Vermes is in charge of both. I give him two more games. he needs at least a win and a draw from the next two home games, and goals in each, or he’s fired. His incompetence is killing the good vibe.

    Nice job taking off our best offensive player (bunbury) when the keeper got sent off. classic vermes.

  9. smartman says:

    Act 1 Glazer’s Plaza Apartment

    GLAZER: On the phone listening

    GLAZER: OK, I hear ya. I’m sorry, send me the bill. I’ll see what I can do….hangs up the phone

    GLAZER: mumbles, Racist Pricks GLAZER: yelling BLACK BARBIE!
    BB: comes running… What baybee?
    GLAZER: That was Woodside on the phone. The water filter in the pool burned up. It was filled with weave and fingernail extensions.
    BB: So?
    BB: How day no dat? Maybe day yos? GLAZER: They’re not trust me. You gotta get that shit under control. We’re meetin’ Stan and his wife for dinner later. We need to practice.
    BB: Practiss what? GLAZER: Your articulation!
    BB: Uh uh, I ain doin’ yo daddy. GLAZER: NO damnit. The way you speak! BB: whatchew sayin Greg?
    GLAZER: C’mon, here we go, repeat after me THE BLOW IN TOWN IS NOT THE BEST AROUND.
    BB: I herd dat! GLAZER: SAY IT DAMNIT!
    BB: Greg, u actin’ crazy. U need me to tug on yo head….the little one?
    GLAZER: NO! I need you to speak like a LADY and not a whore!
    BB: Den we in da rong play Greg. Dis da King of Sting and not My Fair Lady. By da way where is Sting. You said he was comin’. He all freeky wit dat tantric sex.
    GLAZER: No, I said I was setting up another STING!
    BB: So when he be here?
    GLAZER:Barbie Baby, I love you. But you really need to practice sounding more white or it’s not gonna work with us.
    BB: OK what if I watches da Jeffersons.
    GLAZER: Yeah, do that, I gotta go out for a bit.
    BB: Way u goin? GLAZER: Mermaid just texted me. She needs some help with her tail.
    BB: I din no u knew anything bout flooring. U so sweeet. Teller I said hay,

  10. Hearne Christopher says:

    Well said. And by somebody who obviously likes and cares about soccer.

  11. Hearne Christopher says:

    I like your suggestion. Although in Europe and elsewhere – where the overall quality of play is so much better – they probably don’t need this rule. But in the USA, where we have a long way to go in interesting apple pie eating American sports fans, it kinda makes sense.

  12. Jack White says:

    I was there last night. I thought it was a really fun way to spend the evening. I’ll be back out there next game. As most casual soccer fans know, home pitch is a big advantage. SKC has played one home game and ten on the road. Nonetheless they have a better road record than almost half of the teams in the league. Although they were shut out last night, they are averaging better than a goal per game, just under the league average. As a comparison, one of the highest scoring leagues in Europe, the English Premier League, set a record for goals this season at 1.4 goals per team per game. Good teams or bad anywhere in the world, if you are expecting to see 5 to 3 scores regularly, soccer is not for you.

    No, I don’t think SKC is a great team, but I don’t think anyone would look great opening the season with ten consecutive road games. I am going to wait until they have had a chance to play a decent number of games in their park before giving up on the season.

    Oh, and Smartman, really? Is this how you spend your free time? While i generally like what Hearne is trying to do here, when I read a post on here like yours it does remind me of Deadspin’s description of the site – bottom feeders.

  13. Jack White says:

    One Last Point
    Just to show how difficult playing on the road in soccer is, this past year Manchester United won the league in the top tier of English football by nine points, one of the largest margins in league history. In their 19 road games they totaled 25 points on 5 wins and 10 draws. At the other end of the standings Birmingham City produced more points than only one other team and played so poorly they were demoted to a lower division for next season. But at home they produced 26 points on 6 wins and 8 draws.

    A team relegated for poor play was still able to generate more points at home than the acknowledged best team in the league could produce on the road. So regarding SKC’s chances this season, I think I’d wait a while before declaring the patient dead.

  14. bschloz says:

    @smart…waiting for you to breakout the kcc Artistocrats…hope you leave me out of it.

    SKC …Have a feeling SKC will be smashing success…judging them in the past is like judging a bank while its operating out of the mobile trailer. Let them get open and start giving away the toasters.
    This is a real Kansas City team … bring back The Toby Kimball fan club! What’s a Cauldron?
    ROYALS 7 out right here right now….Harley?? where’s promised Royals coverage? Hosmer watch 0-4 last night .301
    NBA– I’ll take the over on Lebron “KING” James no way Dallas wins this thing….I think its even money.
    Stern’s NBA needs a bigger court and need to raise the basket…the steroids are winning.

    Sell in May and go away.

  15. smartman says:

    BRILLIANT IDEA! The KCC Aristocrats. My brain just had an orgasm.

    If Hearne would promise not to delete them and maybe put a XXX Disclaimer on the comments section it could be a nice exhibition of our depraved skills. I’m up for it anybody else want in? All in good fun of course!

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