Now that was a beatdown.
The Columbus Crew came to Sporting Park on Saturday night, and left with their tail between their legs, losing 3-0 and in the process being thoroughly outclassed.
Thankfully for the visitors, it might have been the lowest attended game of the season. It makes sense I suppose – KU played their opener in Lawrence about an hour beforehand. The Royals were at home in a big series with the Tigers. And it was a sweltering 98 degrees at kickoff.
But earlier in the week, Columbus interim coach Brian Bliss was talking some smack, saying, “It will be nice to go in there and punch the bully in the nose.”
Might want to re-think that one.
Sporting started strong with a different looking lineup due to several factors – the USMNT taking the talents of Zusi and Besler, Dom Dwyer being shipped down to Orlando City for their league final, and the departure of Kei Kamara to English side Middlesbrough.
Early on, Sporting was on the front foot, and Benny Feilhaber looked like he was more comfortable than ever with a second tier lineup out there for him to lead.
And lead he did, in just the 7th minute when he slalomed through several Columbus defenders with little touches inside the box before being brought down. The ref did not hesitate in pointing to the spot, and Claudio Bieler sent the keeper the wrong way putting KC up early.
For the next 20 or so minutes, one thing became pretty clear. Columbus, while technically still in the playoff race, is a team that is reeling. They looked disorganized and disinterested at times. And of course they fired their coach a week ago, so it’s usually a bit of an adjustment period when that occurs midseason.
Long story short, Columbus was just outclassed.
And then the wheels fell off in the 41st minute when Soony Saad beat a defender on a half break, cut inside, and smashed a roofer right over the Columbus keeper’s head.
Things were getting about as ugly as I can remember for a long time.
And the Sporting dominance continued into the second half, when within the first ten minutes they put another one in the back of the net. This time, it was CJ Sapong getting on the end of a diagonal cross from Uri Rosell. The Columbus keeper was forced to come out and make a play on the ball, but the athletic KC forward leaped higher and flicked the ball home.
Columbus just looked really, really bad.
They could barely get the ball out of their defensive third. And their effort was poor, which is unforgivable. Be a pro for chrissakes. Shameful.
The last 30 minutes of the game were almost unwatchable. And by almost I mean totally. I really don’t know what else to say other than Columbus has a real shitshow on their hands. And no one wants that on their hands.
KC boss Peter Vermes was pretty direct afterwards. “It is always nice when the opposing coach gives you some motivation with previous comments that have been made before game day. It makes my job of motivating the players really easy.”
And Sapong echoed his coach, saying, “I feel like there was extra motivation going into the game due to said comments, and I believe 3-0 was the statement that we made.”
With the win, Sporting KC remain atop the Eastern Conference, still tied with New York and Montreal.