The Full 90

Tactical Thinking: What Sporting KC can learn from Dortmund

Last weekend, I finally got a chance to study Borussia Dortmund (at the behest of my Bundesliga-obsessed colleague Pete Grathoff), who are (quite literally) running away with the Bundesliga. Through 19 games, they have 47 points (an 11-point edge over second-place Bayer Leverkusen) and 43 goals (having conceded only 12).

They have reached this status playing an intensely high-octane style of play. They pressure the ball when out of possession and surge forward in numbers when they have the ball. Every inch of grass must be accounted for, defended and attacked in Jurgen Klopp's system.

Which struck me, as a keen observer of Sporting Kansas City's tactics, as fairly familiar.

Now, I realize that one game doesn't make for an adequate film study. And I'm not here to write the book on why Dortmund are successful. What I'm here to write about is how similar (and also dissimilar) Sporting KC may be to Dortmund, and what their success can teach Sporting KC fans.

Both teams play a variation of a high-pressure soccer.