KANSAS CITY, KS - NOVEMBER 02: Matt Besler #5 of Sporting Kansas City heads the ball during the MLS playoff game against the Colorado Rapids on November 2, 2011 at LiveStrong Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kansas. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
2 Total Updates since May 19, 2012
about 1 year ago Update 0 comments
Great save, albeit on his own poor punch in the first half, and decent positioning throughout. Can't be blamed for either goal, but should have been more ready for the second goal. Another point blank save in the 85th minute iced the draw instead of a disappointing loss.
Just not his best day. Looked like a traffic cone in the first half and often got pulled in too narrow. Where Kamara and Myers were so potent in the winning streak, they haven't been linking up nearly as well lately.
Much more disciplined in his tackling this time around, and he threw in a trademark full speed lunge to clear danger on the touchline. Had an awful square pass that should have led to an early Colorado goal but Conor Casey tried to chip Nielsen.
Eventually, people are going to learn that clearing for long throws does not help them defensively. Besler was also solid in defense, the only blemish being that he unwisely left his man on the second goal to press the ball to no avail.
He's my man of the match. Solid throughout, and it's a testament to Michael Harrington that this type of match wasn't completely missed the past two games. Got an assist and again showed how dangerous he is overlapping down the left.
Julio Cesar Santos-4
Just doesn't seem to do much in the matches that I notice. Colorado didn't effectively attack the middle of the field, nor did he set up the offense often. Some abysmal long passes, but for the most part no harm, no foul.
While I scream to have him on the field when Julio Cesar struggles, I hope to never see them on the field together ever again. He was just as blah as Cesar, and he couldn't imitate Roger Espinoza's relentless pressure.
Didn't get many chances to show off his set piece strength and on the offensive end just missed out on many last passes and moves.
He again is responsible for a goal against as he mistakenly pushes off Tyrone Marshall right into being unmarked for a header, and shields Nielsen in the process. The starkest contrast between the winning streak and the current winless streak is Kamara's play.
I don't know what to say about Convey sometimes. His one-two for the first goal was spectacular. His inexplicable foul that set-up the first goal off a Colorado free kick, sums it up. Whereas some guys got a five for being unnoticeable, he gets one for being bipolar.
The goals were just what Sporting KC needed, and Bunbury earned his first full 90 minutes. His first touch is still not pretty, but no one is a more natural goal scorer. The nonchalance of his goals was inspiring to deadpan artists everywhere.
Again, he provided a bit more than Convey, even a little creativity on a nice backheel one-two to Sinovic. Only player who earned fouls in dangerous position for Sporting KC in the second half, when free kicks would have helped.
Second career game, so he was uneven. Followed a decent hesitation move on the offensive end with an equally disappointing turnover on defense.
Look ma, I got in the game.
about 1 year ago Update 0 comments
Sometimes you get really happy when you call your own shot, and after Teal Bunbury struck for two in the first fifteen minutes, I should have gone out and bought some lottery tickets. Alas, my prognostications continued to come true as the Colorado Rapids stormed back to earn a well deserved draw. The match will not go down in the annals of history as a gem of the beautiful game, but sometimes a draw where neither side wasted their limited chances can be seen for what it is.
When you score two goals, you are allowed to smile. Yet Teal Bunbury didn't even budge after either, almost as if he'd been doing that all season long. While not exactly the on the field character of CJ Sapong, Teal does possess the most potential and greatest finishing ability, given he's in the right place. The first goal was a mix of perfect timing on his run and clinical finishing. The second was a goal scorer's goal (known worldwide as either the Van Nistelrooy or El Chicarito, depending on your Man U viewing age) as it fell neatly onto his left foot where he calmly tapped it into an open net.
I still feel Peter Vermes doesn't exactly know what to do with his two strikers, as Teal's touch and hold-up play still leaves much to be desired. After conceding the first goal, it may have been wise to bring on Sapong to hold up play more as he does, and later to bring him on alongside Bunbury since having three central midfielders did nothing for possession. However, if Teal finds his scoring and CJ gets rested up and becomes early season CJ again, there are worse problems to have for a manager.
There is a casual recklessness to Roger Espinoza that is admirable. Like how you just knew James Dean was going to die in a car crash, you know Roger's going to get some red cards from time to time. It's not a enviable trait, but it's in his DNA. However, at this moment, it was probably the worst thing that could happen to Sporting KC as Espinoza has been their best midfielder and perhaps best player on the season.
In this game, the lack of midfield control was evident even while the goals came early. Graham Zusi doesn't have the motor to press at the same pace, and when he does successfully, simply lacks the Zusi to pass to to start the offense. Paulo Nagamura tried at times, but too often sat deeper with Julio Cesar and not in the positive way of holding possession from deep. Peterson Joseph, in only his second ever MLS match, showed a slight moment of offensive ability, but ultimately the value of Espinoza was never more clearly displayed.
Most of the time I try to keep the focus on Sporting KC as this is a KC site, but sometimes the hat must be tipped to the opponent. As goals go, there was nothing outstanding about Marshall's goal. The remarkable thing is it doesn't seem like he's making the right run, and then Kei Kamara shoves him back both creating the separation he needed and putting him right in the ball's path. The finish was perfect and gave Colorado the confidence boost to press forward and earn another free kick, goal, and the draw.
After the second goal, Marshall stopped several breakaways, helped neutralize Teal Bunbury, and blocked a couple of shots. It was a performance much like we are used to seeing out of our center backs and nothing less was expected of the veteran defender. If not for his timely interventions, Sporting KC may have run away with this match and Colorado would still be begging for answers. Now, each team comes out of the game with a little hope and we expect a realization that no regular season match between these two teams will ever end in a result.
about 1 year ago Article 0 comments
A trip to Colorado may be the elixir to Sporting KC's ills, but the goals need to come from somewhere. The absence of Roger Espinoza may be problematic in ending the slide, but lineup changes should change the feel of Sporting's attack.