It wasn't exactly the start that Peter Vermes and Sporting Kansas City hoped for, falling down 1-0 in the first half. But a determined Graham Zusi and company more than made up for it with three unanswered goals and a solid second half. Here are thoughts and highlights after the come-from-behind win.
1. Graham Zusi might have a higher ceiling.
After turning in an MVP-caliber season (he finished third in league voting in 2012) and earning a regular spot in Jurgen Klinsmann's United States roster, many could have reasonably expected that Zusi had reached his full potential. Or was at least near his ceiling.
I think we know the answer to that now. He has the capacity to be the best player on the field AND his team's leader. Taking him from solid competitor/All-Star territory and into legitimate star range.
He was involved in all three scoring plays, hammering home a well-taken rebound to level the match before halftime and placing a beautiful free kick into the path of Oriol Rosell's head. For good measure he snagged an assist on the third goal.
But, more than that, he grabbed this game by the scruff of the neck and forced KC back into it. For 30-40 minutes, Kansas City seemed out of sorts and stumbling through the game. Then Zusi started popping up everywhere and dictating the pace and style of the game.
That's a level of player KC hasn't had here in a while.
Goal of the Night
This folks, is why Kansas City is paying Claudio Bieler big bucks. Calm. Composed. Collected.