Donnelly: Sporting Hang on for First Win of the Season Against San Jose

Photo by Jamila St. Ann

San Jose made the trip to chilly Sporting Park on Saturday, with both squads suffering tired legs from busy early season schedules that included CCL losses last week.

It wasn’t quite as cold as the championship game last year, but there was a frigid north wind howling through the stadium that helped escort out droves of fans at halftime.

Those fans should’ve stuck around, because early in the second half Sporting was awarded a penalty after the ball deflected through a scrum of players in the box, striking the arm of San Jose forward Steven Lenhart.  It was hard to tell exactly what happened live when the ref pointed to the spot.

“It was definitely a handball,” said San Jose and US defender Clarence Goodson afterwords.

Dom Dwyer stepped up and sent the keeper the wrong way, and the lone goal would be enough to secure the win, though the visitors certainly had their chances as well.

“We had a couple chances,” said San Jose manager Mark Watson.  “I think both teams are a little tired. It’s been a long stretch of games and that showed in the performance a little bit.”

Photo by Jamila St. Ann

The visitors’ best chance of the night was probably in the second half around the 70th minute, as a ball found its way through Sporting’s defense, rolling across the box around 16 yards out.  But Chris Wondolowski missed the mark, firing wide.

Unfortunately, only a few minutes later, Sporting began taking the air out of the ball by delaying all throw ins and goal kicks.  New keeper Eric Kronberg deservedly received his second yellow of the season for his dilatory behavior.  And KC also started taking the ball to the corner to shield whenever they had the chance.

There’s still 15 minutes of game left, I was thinking.  Who does that?  Even some legitimate scoring breaks were aborted in favor of dribbling to the corner and trying to burn clock.  Why is KC doing this?

Photo by Jamila St. Ann

“The thing I’m proud about is the fact that we really managed the game really, really well,” explained KC boss Peter Vermes.  “The last 5-9 minutes of the game was excellent by us. It’s recognition of what we needed to do. It’s one thing, positioning is very important. The other is making good choices with the ball and I thought we were good in that area.”

Ok, a few things.  5-9 minutes?  No. More like 15 minutes.  Why not put the game to bed with another goal, especially when things are opening up so much since San Jose was chasing?

Goodson may have summed it up best: “Would anyone really say that either team is a pretty team?” he asked.  “Kansas City might think they are. I think they are kidding themselves if they think they are that pretty.”



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5 Responses to Donnelly: Sporting Hang on for First Win of the Season Against San Jose

  1. Markus Aurelius says:

    Odd comment by Goodson. No MLS teams look “pretty” 3-4 games into the season. Besides who cares if they look “pretty” anyway — the name of the game is “winning” regardless of what it looks like.

  2. Mysterious J says:

    We are at about 10 hours in all competitions without a goal from the run of play from a non-defender. This club has problems.

  3. legendaryhog says:

    That was an ugly game. I mean, Sporting isn’t the most fun team to watch anyway, but it is getting pretty brutal. As I have lamented before, the MLS game is too fucking physical. The refs let too much contact happen. It is killing the watchability of the league. I can think of no other league that allows so much contact. It basically neutralizes any “skill” player. You just can’t expect an exciting game when every time a midfielder or forward touches the ball he has a guy hanging on his back and no whistle. Just horrible.

    Also, why the fuck are you trying to kill the game with 15mins left? Vermes is proud of the way SKC “controlled” the last 15mins? Shit, that is when San Jose had the most chances! Good god. I hate when teams do this. Just possess the ball. Why try and take it into the corner? What is the best case scenario? You get a throw-in and kill some clock? If the ref is worth two shits he’s just going to add more time to compensate for the delay tactics. So…fucking…stupid. SKC almost gave up a goal because of this stupidity. Is Kronberg trying to get yellow card accumulation so he can take a week off? (not that it really matters because he is probably going to lose his job soon the way he is playing.). Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

    It’s a strange feeling to be disappointed by a win, but there isn’t much to praise on this performance.

    I did get an offer on my coveralls at the game though. That was funny. People, you are going to an open air stadium and it is 31 degrees out without the wind….and you brought a sweatshirt to wear. Really?

    Boots. Jeans. Long-sleeve t-shirt. Hoodie. Overalls. Carhart coat with hoodie. Gloves. Pint of whiskey. I was perfectly fine. You spent $100 on two tickets and you let your girlfriend show up in skinny jeans, flats without socks, and a sweater. Enjoy listening to the second half on the way home buddy.

    • the dude says:

      Yeah, not pretty at all. Between Lenhart attempting to rape, kill and bury Collin on the field and the corner time eating this was a game better to forget about.

  4. Hot Carl says:

    “Enjoy listening to the second half on the way home buddy.”

    And good luck doing that since it’s damn near impossible to find SKC on the radio.

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