I'm a running a little behind here in recapping Saturday night's game, so let's not waste anytime with the preamble. Here are 11 questions I have in the wake of Sporting KC's 1-1 draw with the Colorado Rapids.1. What's that weird number in the points column?
For the 56 days (yeah, 56), Sporting Kansas City sat on a meager, measly, malodorous 4 points. So, it's understandable if you can't quite wrap your head aroundthis picture
Not quite. While the draw and the 5-0 U.S. Open Cup victory signal the best week for Sporting thus far in 2011, KC is still 18th in a league of 18 teams and has the second-worst goal differential (-7).
At least KC has its coach, though. Vancouver and Chicago (both with 9 points) got out the axe this weekend. KC also has a road victory, something that Vancouver, Chicago, Houston, Columbus, New England, Toronto and Portland haven't done yet.3. What did Peter Vermes have to say after the game?
"If I look at it now, it’s a monumental step forward for us, and it’s a huge point on the road. It helps us going into our final game in this 10 game road stretch into Toronto, and we just have to stay focused on what we’re doing, and just continue to get better, and eliminate some of the mistakes we’ve made."4. How hot is the seat under Vermes now?
This might not be a very popular sentiment in some fan circles, but Vermes isn't worrying about his job right now. The seat heats up starting on June 9th.5. Who was the man of the match?
Ryan Smith. Not only was he the goal scorer (and what a goal it was), he was the most dangerous player on both sides of the ball. While the timing of his entrance to the game was more a reaction to Seth Sinovic's injury, he brought a threat to the game that KC couldn't muster in the first half.
Smith, a naturally left-footed winger, did most of his work on the right wing. It's something that KC has been toying with since Smudge returned from injury, allowing him to cut in from the right onto his strong left foot. It changes the angle of attack and makes him a dual threat to shoot or pass. Of course, his goal came from the left side.
Whatever side he plays on, he needs to play more often.6. Who was the goat of the match?
Aurelien Collin. It was his mistake that directly led to Colorado's goal.7. If it was Julio Cesar who bungled that and not Collin, would it have made a difference in your perspective?
Absolutely. For Collin, that was his first technical mistake in MLS. And he atoned for it by bottling up Conor Casey after the mistake and generally playing better. If that was Cesar, it likely just would've gotten worse from there.
Whatever the case, Cesar needs to play less often.8. What has been the biggest change in the team's philosophy?
With nine games now as evidence, I don't think this team is organized as a transition team anymore. Well, at least not the same sort of transition. Last year, the point of the pressure was to turn the ball over in midfield and play out from the middle and then up the field.
This year, the ball is being won in the middle or the outside and then played long, bypassing both short wide passes and long central runs (which perhaps explains why Davy Arnaud hasn't scored yet this year, that was his type of run). It's hampering the team's possession and doesn't seem to play into the strengths of Teal Bunbury (who's much better off running onto a ball, not holding it up).9. Do chicks dig the long ball or something?
Perhaps I just need to come to grips that the long-ball is a road strategy designed to take pressure off the backline. Perhaps I need to keep telling myself the team will get more expansive and possession-oriented when they play at home.
Perhaps I need to keep thinking I’m going find a bag of unmarked $100 bills on the street someday.10. Did Michael Harrington slaughter a bag full of kittens before the game?
What on Earth did Harrington do to draw the ire of Rapids fans? I can't really figure it out. If you've got a reason, I'd love to hear it.11. What's a "hospital ball"?
I'm pretty sure that Callum Williams' co-host used the phrase three times. Not one of those times did I even understand what it meant. Any ideas?