Sporting KC

Sporting KC looks to break three-game skid during trip to Vancouver

Sporting Kansas City Peter Vermes and his players are looking for answers, considering the squad has lost four of its past five matches.
Sporting Kansas City Peter Vermes and his players are looking for answers, considering the squad has lost four of its past five matches. along@kcstar.com

The compulsion is to modify the game plan or tweak the system.

Sporting Kansas City isn’t biting.

After winning four of its first five matches this season, Sporting KC will carry a three-game losing streak into a tilt in Vancouver late Wednesday, but it’s not ready to reinvent the wheel.

“I don’t think it’s a time to all of a sudden read too deep into things,” coach Peter Vermes said in a phone interview Tuesday. “It’s pretty simple. We’ve made a few mistakes in games that a lot of times don’t become problems, but other teams have capitalized on those mistakes.

“If you read deep into those things, you can get away from who you are. That’s not what we’ve done in the past, and that’s not what we’re going to do in the present or the future.”

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The results don’t paint the most accurate representation of the product on the field, Vermes says. Sporting KC has lost four of its past five matches, but every loss this season has come by a one-goal margin.

Ten days ago, Sporting KC felt it outplayed FC Dallas — and it indeed put more shots on target and won the possession battle — but it was doomed by a pair of defensive lapses. It followed with Sunday’s 1-0 loss to San Jose, a result that might’ve taken a different turn had referee Jair Marrufo awarded a penalty kick to Dom Dwyer in the 55th minute.

“I think we’re still positive. We understand that the season is a long journey and a process,” captain Matt Besler said. “I think everyone walked away from the last game against San Jose understanding that when we play the way we did, we give ourselves a chance to win every single time.

“Obviously, it didn’t work out that way for a couple of different reasons, but if we can do that game in and game out, I know we’re going to be able to win a lot of games.”

After the defensive lapses in Dallas, Besler said Sporting KC demonstrated a better attention to detail in San Jose. Even so, it didn’t garner a point.

A scoreless output didn’t help. If there’s an area in which the club needs to show the most improvement, it’s with its finishing touches. Sporting KC has scored only twice over the past three games, despite generating more scoring chances than the opposition. Only Dom Dwyer and Benny Feilhaber have scored more than once, and one of the two from Feilhaber came from the penalty dot.

“I still think we’re dangerous going to goal,” Vermes said. “I think a little bit of that is consistency — and I mean the consistency of the guys on the field. As we get more and more consistent with our lineups, that will be a big help for us, with the guys getting more comfortable with each other. That sometimes takes a little while.”

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