Is this the turning point of Kansas City’s season?
Thanks to goals by Reserve League Jesus Chance Myers, C.J. "Man Mountain" Sapong* and Aurelien Collin, an energized and lethal Omar Bravo, and a pretty stout defensive performance, Sporting KC did something they haven’t done since early April: Win a competitive game.
It officially enters them into contention for a piece of silverware named after former owner Lamar Hunt and lines up a few more potential games at Livestrong Sporting Park. I've read (but can't verify) that KC won't play an MLS team in the first round of the U.S. Open Cup proper.
Sure, it’s the Open Cup. Sure, New England tossed out some newbies and reserves. But it was 5-0. A five-goal win is an emphatic win, regardless of the competition -- that’s emphatic in a friendly.
It wasn’t just a result born out of hard work (though KC has put that in the last few weeks) but also of desperation. Because he needed to do something, manager Peter Vermes left five starters from the Seattle game (Bravo, Collin, Matt Besler, Michael Harrington and Craig Rocastle), re-inserted two regulars (Graham Zusi and CJ Sapong) and gave a start to a hot hand (Myers). It was a smart managerial move that will, hopefully, build confidence going into the home opener.
The man of the match for me was Omar Bravo -- who created three goals in the first half and is starting to round back into form after his sports hernia injury. Graham Zusi deserves honorary mention for his role in helping the midfield boss the center of the park with his passing and hard work.
And special notice should be given to Reserve League Jesus. Myers was the No. 1 overall pick in 2008 and has been essentially a bust. Well, until about a month ago, when he started banging in reserve-league goals and playing more as a forward than a defender. Might he be pushing for a starting job with Kei Kamara in line for a Sierra Leone call-up in June?
So, is this the emphatic turning point for Sporting or is it just a nice result that KC should build upon? What do you think?