Remember last week when Sporting KC boss Peter Vermes went off on his team for conceding a late goal against visiting FC Dallas?
“It’s unacceptable and it’s not who we are,” said Vermes at the time.
I wonder who Vermes thinks they are now, after a 5-1 beatdown at the hands of Mexican power Cruz Azul. The brutal loss knocks KC out of the CCL, after they had beaten the Mexicans at Sporting Park last week, 1-0.
At least KC scored that lone goal – a nice, near post strike off a short corner from Benny Feilhaber. For a brief few minutes there, KC was actually eyeing the podium, leading Azul on the away goals tie-breaker rule.
Then things got out of control, to say the least.
Azul’s wingers feasted on Sporting’s outside backs all night, turning Kevin Ellis, Josh Gardner, and sub Mechak Jerome inside out over and over again. They pinged long diagonal balls, getting in behind almost at will. There were even a couple of break aways that were flagged for questionable offside calls.
So yes, it easily could have been 7-1 or 8-1.
And newly minted starting keeper Eric Kronberg certainly didn’t do much to help. His questionable decision making again cost Sporting, particularly on one goal where Ellis got beat along the endline. Kronberg came out early and couldn’t make a play on the ball, only to have the Azul winger dink the ball back into the path of an onrushing teammate who fired a shot off Matt Besler, then into the back of the net.
With Kronberg’s last few shaky performances, I expect to see the Hebrew Hammer, Andy Gruenebaum taking the starting spot very soon.
What else? There’s really almost nothing positive to say. Outclassed. Worked over. Tired. Embarrassed. Jerome should have got a straight red for going over the ball cleats up on a tackle late in the game. Move on.
“Unfortunately we learned a good lesson here today and the good thing is that as a team we’ll grow and get better from these types of games,” said Vermes.
I sure hope so.