Column: Scoreless once again for Sporting KC as Rapids snatch all three points

Johnny Russell and Sporting Kansas City aim to find a win this season.

Hugo Von Reis, Staff Writer

Sporting KC desperately wanted to grab their first three points of the season against a struggling Colorado Rapids on Saturday, April 8. Instead, it was a frustrating night at Children’s Mercy Park once again. 

  Going into the game, both teams were looking for their first win and to rise from the bottom of the league table. The Rapids are the ones heading back to the Rocky Mountains with all points after scoring the only goal of the game (0-1).

  Sporting’s struggles in front of goal continued as they only found the net two times in seven games, an average of one goal every 315 minutes or one goal every 3.5 games. 

  Kansas City achieved a dubious distinction by becoming the second team in MLS history to score merely two goals in their opening seven games, the first being the 1999 then-Kansas City Wizards. 

  It was a slow start to the game as the first-half display represented how the season is going for the two teams; lack of creativity, speed and quality play. It was scoreless at the break. However, the home team in sky blue came out flying in the second half and dominated the game for the remaining 45 minutes. 

  “Second half, we were all over them, but not enough high-quality chances. So, in the end, we don’t get the result,” said Sporting Kansas City’s coach Peter Vermes after the game. 

  It was clear to me that Sporting was the more dominant side on the night, but just as Vermes said, that isn’t important. They couldn’t create clear goal-scoring opportunities and find the back of the net, which is all that matters. 

  So far this season, Sporting KC’s struggles have been consistent. In their match with Colorado, they had the majority of possession with 60% but only managed to get 2 shots on target out of 18 attempts

  Additionally, they failed to create any significant opportunities. The expected goals for each team were also quite low, with Sporting KC at 0.82 and Colorado at 0.52. These numbers accurately reflect the team’s overall performance this season.

  “Some of it is recognition, one of these balls has got to drop, and we have got to keep staying determined to try to do it,” Vermes said. 

  Upon observing Sporting KC, I perceive a lack of quality and creativity. However, what stands out the most to me is the players making the wrong decision in the final third. Players pass when they should release a shot, shoot when a teammate is in a better position or take an extra touch and the chance is gone. 

  “We do it every day, we do it all the time, it is putting them in those situations, but you’ll get to be able to do it in the game,” Vermes said about his players’ struggles in front of the goal. 

  Undoubtedly, Vermes and his team are eager to move past the disappointing start of the season. As a coach, the challenge is to motivate his players to rise to the occasion and strive to overturn their fortunes. 

  On April 22, the New England Revolution will host Sporting KC as they travel northeast. 

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