“When you don’t score, you’re not going to win,” explained Sporting head coach Peter Vermes after another disappointing result, this one at the hands of the Chicago Fire.
And just like always, KC had more possession and more shots than their opponent. But shots and possession obviously don’t mean much unless you can translate that into points.
Once Chicago got on the board about 15 minutes into the first half, they were able to do what every smart team does to KC – sit back, bunker in and make Sporting try to create something, which usually means swinging cross after cross into the box.
“We gave up a very amateur goal early in the first half,” said Vermes. “It gave them some life. We were chasing ever since.”
The Chicago goal was scored after KC defender Chance Myers got caught napping on his mark, and a cross got in behind the back line. Myers’ man found the ball inches before it crossed the end line and touched it back across the 6 yard box, finding his teammate Hunter Jumper (yes, real name) who went low with his header for the easy finish.
Once they went down a goal, Sporting seemed to wake up a little bit, creating some more dangerous chances and even pegging one off the crossbar. But they could never break through.
“I felt like we put them under a lot of pressure and they didn’t have too many chances other than the one they put away,” said Teal Bunbury, who earned his first start since going down injured last season. “We had a decent amount and could have done better. Overall, I felt like we had a really good game, despite not putting goals in the back of the net.”
“You don’t win games when you don’t score goals,” commented KC keeper Jimmy Nielsen. “We created some good chances but we weren’t sharp enough to score with them.”
Unless Sporting KC can turn things around quickly, there is a real possibility that they could be scrapping just to get into the playoffs – an unthinkable proposition to the newly minted legions of fans in the Cauldron.
As it sits now, the East is tighter than tight, with the top 7 teams between 34 and 41 points. KC is third with 39, but they’ve also played the most games of anyone in the conference.
“We should probably not focus on winning our division now and we should focus on making the playoffs now,” continued the White Puma. “Focus on the next point. The last five [games] we’ve got five points and we are still in it, which is impressive but the train is going and if you want to be on it, it’s now.”