Donnelly: Complacent Sporting Team “Satisfied” With Draw on the Road

 

After starting off the season 7-0, Sporting KC hit a rough patch.  A month-long rough patch…  

The boys in blue have not won a game since April 18th, and have struggled to replicate the form they showed early on.

Over the weekend at Colorado KC had a golden opportunity to earn 3 points after heading into the locker room up 2-0 thanks to Teal Bunbury’s first half brace.  But Colorado notched two goals of their own in the second half and the game ended in a draw.   

“I don’t know if there was a certain point in the game where it really turned,” wondered Bunbury, “but I feel like we took our foot off the pedal a little bit after those two goals when I feel like we should have kept pressing them a little more.”

Yes, KC took their foot off the pedal.  But why?

Haven’t we learned by now that those crazy comebacks happen when a team gets a little too complacent with its lead and just tries to run the clock out?  Haven’t we learned that you’ve got to keep attacking?  Apparently not.

"We’re satisfied with the point," continued Bunbury.  "Obviously we wanted to win, but a point away from home is good."

No it’s not. 

Not when you’re up 2-0 at halftime it’s not.  Not when you are admitting in post-game interviews that, "We took our foot off the pedal."  It’s just not. 

"What we didn’t want to do was sit back and just bunker in," said KC boss Peter Vermes.  "But obviously we knew that they were going to come, they were going to come with everything they had. I thought for a little while there we were a little bit too deep."

So, the thing that KC "obviously" didn’t want to do was precisely what they did.  Right after they came out of the locker room.  Up 2-0.  Where is the disconnect, can someone please explain it to me?

And is anyone else getting a strong whiff of deja vu?  This is precisely the type of mistake that KC was prone to make last season, prompting me to write the now-infamous headline: Why Won’t Vermes Stay Aggressive Late?  SKC Crushed (Again) in Last Second Defeat.

Remember?  (C’mon, humor me).

Something is simply not clicking, and the team that looked so dangerous a few games back, that looked like it had learned how to COMPETE, is nowhere to be found right now. 

Captain Jimmy Nielsen was pretty blunt.  "I don’t know if we were too satisfied but we dropped too much and we stopped playing," Nielsen.  "And actually we didn’t start really playing until they tied the game."

Ouch. 

Obviously, something’s got to change to get Sporting back playing quality soccer.  Whether that’s personnel, mentality, or a bit of both I’m not sure. 

Remember, just a few short weeks ago KC was being called the best team in MLS, not just by reactionary media types, but by opposing players and coaches who know what the hell they’re talking about. 

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2 Responses to Donnelly: Complacent Sporting Team “Satisfied” With Draw on the Road

  1. the dude says:

    Save Bunbury’s goals,
    they have looked horribly flat these last outings. Offense was sputtering and defense was saving them early in the season and now defense is starting to flag. Somebody needs to step up, we don’t need to lose at home this weekend.

  2. % says:

    SKC
    It was a pretty terrible outcome for Sporting, and one that was probably totally avoidable. The Rapids were missing Marvell Wynne, their best defender, and were clearly in disarray in the opening 15 minutes of the game, hence the early 2-0 lead. But Sporting completely abandoned their offense after that. The Rapids looked like they were playing against a team that was a man down, patiently passing the ball on their attacking side and picking off selective shots on goal.

    Why Sporting didn’t just keep its foot on the pedal and amass a likely 4-0 or 5-0 lead eludes me. So granted, the Rapids tie it up in the second half and whaddaya know? Sporting then tries to play offense once again and mustered up some decent chances at taking the lead. To me, that signals that they willfully, as a matter of strategy, ceded the pitch to the Rapids and said, “Do your worst.”

    Vermes can’t lay this one at the feet of the refs. A mirror would be a good place to start looking.

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