The boys in blue left much to be desired during MLS’ fourth weekend of the 2013 season, thanks in large part to a lackluster outing by both home and away sides.
Although Sporting extended the longest shutout streak in the league,fans shouldn’t be pleased with another terrible offensive performance. At this point, the best thing that could happen to Sporting would be the return (not going to happen) of Kei Kamara. Kansas City recorded 13 shots in the game against New England Saturday, though only five of those were on goal, and none truly troubled the opposing keeper. It was a ghost of season’s past as Kansas City dominated the possession but showed a lack of skill in front of net.
For Sporting fans it’s just more of the same.
With Matt Besler and Graham Zusi out on international duty, the subs and normal reserves were left to pick of the pieces on the road, the third such outing in four games for one of MLS’ elite squads.
Mechack Jerome and Ike Opara earned starts for Sporting, and Benny Feilhaber was in the first 11 against his former side in Foxboro Stadium for this first time since the offseason. The atmosphere in the arena was lacking, as NFL stadiums sounds, look and feel empty with fans of a growing league barely filling the best seats.
Either way, it’s hard to argue Sporting KC did enough to earn any more than the single road point.
Passing on the artificial turf was poor for both sides, with each completing barely half of their passes. It was not a game that bade well for fluid movement and consistent attacking. That theme held true in the first half, with hardly any real chances presenting themselves for either side. The ones that did were sprayed either well high or well wide. It was amateur hour, to say the least.
It’s a season that has left many SKC fans wondering where the goals will come from. A season ago the burden fell on Kei Kamara, who was more than happy to lead the team. This year, with Kei overseas, SKC looks more than a little lost up top. In Saturday’s matchup, they fielded Soony Saad, CJ Sapong and Claudio Bieler, without much more than a cursory sniff at goal to show for it. It’s the same issue the side struggled with last year. Plenty of shots, plenty of possession, but nothing solid to show for it.
And nothing on the scoreboard.
Sporting entered halftime even at zeros and couldn’t get anything to fall in the second half either.
Manager Peter Vermes will argue a point on the road is a good result. Not for this team. Not for a side that’s come so close to an appearance in MLS Cup. Not for a side who’s fan base is thirsting for victory at the highest level. We need more.
But where will it come from? Sporting didn’t show much bite against New England and it’s not likely to come in Sporting Park next weekend against a Canadian side that’s unbeaten and undrawn so far in MLS.
Sporting KC fans will have to relax more this season as they wait for a goal scoring threat to emerge. It’s not going to happen soon, but it will happen before too long. Bill Self used to say about KU in “rebuilding” years, “We’re going to win some games, and it’s going to be ugly. But it’s going to be a fun season.”