Sporting Kansas City finally scored a home goal, but it wasn't enough as KC dropped a disappointing 2-1 loss to the Columbus Crew on Saturday night. Here are three quick thoughts on the result.
The Kansas City Star
Sporting needs a finisher
The international transfer window shut yesterday and didn't improve what is now a glaring deficiency: Finishing. (It came out late Friday night that KC were trying to get a transfer done for Spanish forward Javi Guerra, but as Robb Heineman put it, it "didn't happen.")
Despite ending a 332-minute goal scoring drought at Livestrong Sporting Park on Saturday, the offense still sputtered where it matters most: In front of the goal.
Against Columbus, Kansas City took 25 shots. KC dominated the game with nearly 70 percent of the possession.
But the failures in front of the net were glaring.
Teal Bunbury missed an absolute sitter (not to mention a few other great chances); Kei Kamara had a ball roll off the line and wide; and Seth Sinovic and Matt Besler (defenders, granted) missed close chances.
Since beginning the season on a seven-game winning streak, Sporting is just 4-7-4 since. A lack of scoring is a big part of that record.
If you can stomach a second viewing, here are the Keystone Cops-esque lowlights.
Right now, this team misses a guy like Omar Bravo soooo much, don't they? Wonder what happened to him?
What was with the substitutions tonight?
I'm not a coach. Obviously. And, despite my hours logged on Football Manager, I'm not an expert on substitution patterns or how Peter Vermes wants to tweak his team.
But I do think I'm qualified to say that the move to field three defensive substitutes when trailing 2-1 didn't work.
The addition of Julio Cesar I can understand. In fact, I think that, as longs as he's healthy he should be on the field. He gives KC a certain amount of patience on the ball that nobody else on the field can provide.
I can also sort of explain the Korede Aiyegbusi substitution. Vermes had planned on bringing on C.J. Sapong before Jacob Peterson got injured. He opted for Korede Aiyegbusi instead. Nominally because Sapong isn't a winger and Aiyegbusi is.
But the Neven Markovic for Lawrence Olum swap in the 84th minute is a stumper. Especially considering that Markovic kept clattering into Crew players and giving Columbus time wasting opportunities.
Sapong, at the very least, would've given KC a better aerial option in the box on corners, long balls and set-pieces.
Sporting is losing points to teams they shouldn't be losing points to
These are very tough points to lose for KC.
Kansas City has now dropped three points in successive weeks to New England and Columbus (both teams are out of the playoff picture at the moment). What's more, Kansas City have dropped points this season against cellar dwellers Portland and Philadelphia, expansion Montreal and out-of-the-playoffs Colorado.
How important will those theoretical 18 points be come the end of the season?
Man of the Match
Even in a loss, someone had to stand out for Kansas City. That guy was Kei Kamara. He scored the only home goal and, despite his one gaffe near the end, was a constant threat to the Crew defense.