You ever cook a really big dinner for yourself? Only, it isn't very good? The chicken's too dry or the sauce is too watery or the pasta is a little too al dente? But, since you made a lot of it and because you're hungry/frugal/broke/waste-conscious you slop the remainders into some tupperware for later in the week.
The Kansas City Star
You know that feeling?
That's exactly how I feel this morning. Sporing Kansas City's 2-1 loss to the Columbus Crew on Saturday night was a horrible dinner but I've got to pop open the plastic lid and re-heat them for you. IT'S ALL WE HAVE! Here are some facts, stats, notes and quotes from the match.
We'll start with a few big/good numbers to get this rolling on a positive note.
• Sporting Kansas City is now 11-7-4 on the season and 6-3-2 at home.
• In 2011, KC won 13 games. Perspective.
• With 37 points, KC is even with the Houston Dynamo for second in the Eastern Conference. New York leads the way with 38 points.
• KC is averaging 1.68 points per game. That's good for a tie for fourth-best in the league behind San Jose (1.91), Salt Lake (1.83), New York (1.73) and even with Houston (1.68).
• 332 minutes that KC had gone scoreless at home before Kei Kamara's first-half goal.
• Kamara has 8 goals on the season and is one of just three players to have eight or more goals in each of the last three MLS seasons. San Jose's Chris Wondolowski and Salt Lake's Alvaro Saborio are the others.
• It was Kamara's 28th goal with Kansas City. He's tied with Scott Sealy and Vitalis Takawira for sixth-most in club history.
• He leads all of MLS in shots (87) and shots on goal (36).
• The announced attendance on Saturday was 18,938. It's the ninth-straight sellout at Livestrong Sporting Park. The stadium has been sold out 10 of the its 11 games this season.
• Kansas City surpassed three million fans all-time for regular season home matches.
• Only Columbus (20) have allowed fewer goals this season than KC (21).
• KC has allowed only 11 goals at home this season, which is best in the league so far.
• Saturday was only the second time this year an MLS opponent scored two goals at Livestrong Sporting Park. Montreal's 2-0 win on May 5 was the only other time. (In non-MLS matches: Montpellier scored three in a friendly and Orlando SC scored two in a U.S. Open Cup match.)
Now, it's time for the dominant but meaningless portion of the Leftovers.
• Kansas City outshot Columbus 25-12 on Saturday.
• Sporting took 19 shots in the second half. That's an all-time record for the franchise.
• They also held Columbus to just one shot in the last 55 minutes.
• The possession stats were wildly in KC's favor: 68.5% to just 31.5 for the Crew.
• Graham Zusi: "The chances have been there, but the finishing has been an issue as of late. If we can keep creating the chances, I think the finishing will come. We've said that a lot recently, but as a player you've just got to keep thinking the goals and the wins will come."
• Kansas City have a league-leading 356 shots in 2012.
• Also, KC leads MLS with 138 corner kicks. (Zusi leads the league with 91 taken.)
• However Kansas City's 27 goals are tied for 9th place in the league.
• Peter Vermes: "I thought we started the game very well. Fifteen minutes in we were good. The two goals in the first half, they were just terrible mistakes both on our part. We made it too easy for them to score. We gave a ball away in a routine play coming out of the back and it put us behind the eight ball but second half we had total domination. We had a ton of chances, we hit it all, we were just all around it, but at the end we just didn't put it away."
• Only twice this season has the KC defense allowed two first-half goals: The 4-0 loss to Philadelphia and Saturday's defeat.
• That same defense hadn't allowed a home goal in 228-straight minutes before Jair Arrieta's 17th-minute goal.
• Jimmy Nielsen: "We completely dominated the game and gave away two sloppy goals. We got punished very hard for that. We created I don't know how many chances, and everything went great except for the result. You can't ask for more chances. Now it's just a question of putting them in (the goal)."
• Kamara: "I don't know how many times we've talked about us dominating the game and not getting the win. Dominating is not good enough. Sometimes it's better to play dirty and get three points. A lot of people will say, 'We worked hard, we put up a good fight,' but that's not good enough. It's better when you play (ugly) and get three points than doing well but nothing comes your way."
• Kansas City hasn't scored at home in the second half since APRIL 14. Really? Really. That's seven-straight matches without a goal in the second frame.
• KC is 5-6-2 against the Eastern Conference this year. They have 12 more games against Eastern competition including six against teams currently in the playoffs (New York 3, Houston 1, D.C. United 1 and Chicago 1).
• Some Crew players had a little fun chiding a Kansas City fan on Twitter after the match. (The language is NSFW.) The three things Twitter is good for: 1) Hearing every single person's every single thought during a live sporting event, 2) Getting spoiled on TV and sports and 3) seeing athletes respond with immature taunts to opposing fans. You stay classy Crew players.
Time for some individual stats and notes.
• Nielsen's career regular season goals against average is 1.10. That's the second best in MLS history among goalkeepers with more than 4,000 minutes played.
• The Danish captain is also the only KC player to appear in all 22 MLS regular season matches so far.
• Adding injury to the insult of the loss, Kansas City lost in-form forward Jacob Peterson to an apparent shoulder injury in the second half.
• It's unknown how bad the injury is. Vermes said the team expects him to have an x-ray today.
• The injury list is growing. Aurelien Collin missed Saturday's game with two facial fractures suffered in the MLS All-Star game. Chance Myers missed his third-straight game with a groin strain.
• UPDATE: I've also learned today that C.J. Sapong was not able to go on Saturday night with an unspecified injury. Which would explain in part why KC didn't have another offensive player come on trailing 2-1.
• Star midfielder Roger Espinoza is currently with the Honduran Olympic team. He's having a great run so far in London. He picked up the assist on the goal that knocked Spain out of the Olympics on Sunday.
• Honduras will face Japan on Wednesday at 10 a.m. A win will advance them into the knockout stage. A draw and a Morocco loss will do the same.
• Wide midfielder/defender Korede Aiyegbusi saw his first MLS match action of 2012 as a second-half substitute for Peterson.
• Defender Neven Markovic also saw his first MLS match action ever coming on for Lawrence Olum in the second half.
• Michael Harrington started his 125th regular season game of his MLS career. He's the only player on the team's active roster to have 125 starts in a KC uniform.
• Kamara started also started his 125th regular season game of his MLS career. He is one of four players on KC's active roster to have started at least 125 regular season games. Paulo Nagamura (152), Bobby Convey (165) and Harrington are the others.
• This was Columbus goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum's first MLS game in his hometown of Kansas City.
• He had a fantastic game in front of his parents, friends and family. He made five saves, including two point blank saves on Teal Bunbury and this one to keep Zusi from winning the Goal of the Week competition.
Time for the lightning round. Sporting Kansas City is
0-4-0 when trailing at halftime in 2012.
• 4-5-2 when the conditions are above 75 degrees in 2012.
• 9-6-4 when wearing Sporting Blue uniforms this season.
• 10-6-3 on natural grass playing surfaces this season.
• 6-5-2 in the Central Time zone this season.
• 3-2-2 in July in all competition and 37-31-22 all-time in MLS action during the month of July.
• 6-5-0 in games decided by one goal in 2012.
• 9-5-2 when outshooting an opponent in 2012.