I have been insanely busy lately as a handful of you know of my involvement with the Kansas City Shock (WPSL team kicking off towards the end of May (May 25th to be exact)) and have tried to watch the Sporting games to the best of my ability but even coaching both my two son's soccer teams has sometimes made it difficult not to mention my normal day to day, or as I've been told I can call it "bill paying", job to watch the games as closely as I would like and then be able to update my blog to reflect the game. Upon all these emotions and thoughts lately though I have realized that I think I've been approaching my blog post about post game (or in the past pre-game) thoughts all wrong and I need to make sure that I am using more of my own opinion about the games and just let it all out there, but I will still be trying to keep them short. With that being said let me quickly post my thoughts on the NY Redbulls and LA Galaxy games.
Sporting played pretty much how I expected them to play and got the result that I expected them to get. I am also not surprised that it was Collin that got the lone goal as he was pretty much due for a goal any time now. There was some issues towards the end of the game and if you know Sporting as well as some of the Sporting fans (like myself) or I guess you could view it more of an analyst (as I am also a very detailed and analytic type of person) you should have known that Jimmy was completely fine and but was selling it pretty good as it did get a Redbull player sent off but more importantly for Sporting it wasted a lot of time which I think is what Sporting was really trying to do.
Unfortunately this game also went the way I expected it too. I was really hoping that Sporting would be able to pull of a draw, possibly even a 0-0 draw and allow the shutout streak to continue, but I'm not in the business, or hobby for that matter, to say what I hope Sporting will do otherwise I would say I hope they win every game and which Sporting fan doesn't want that?
FC Kansas City get off to a fast start but have to hold on tight to survive 1-1 against Portland Thorns
In the very first game of the NWSL the Portland Thorns and FC Kansas City played to a 1-1 draw, which seemed to be the basic running theme for the first matches in the NWSL as 3 of the 4 matches ended in a 1-1 draw.
FCKC seemed to get off to a fast start scoring in just the 3rd minute with a nice run by Cuellar who should be a good player in this league if she can continue the same work that she started with. KC may have gotten to a fast start but seemed to just catch the Thorns off guard to start the game as the Thorns kept the ball in KCs half of the field for most the remainder of the 1st half and a good portion of the 2nd half as KC was only able to get a handful of runs at the Thorns goal, but couldn't keep the Thorns from attacking their own goal and slipping just a little too much and giving up a penalty kick that was smashed past Barnhart who dove the wrong direction.
FC Kansas City was lucky that the game only ended 1-1 as Barnhart made some really good saves which you could see why she is the back up GK for the Women's National team and with an injured Hope Solo has been getting some extra playing time. This was just the first match and their is a long season ahead of them but a lot of people are expecting good things from Kansas City, which would be good to see even more soccer doing well in the area with Sporting also off to another good start.
Sporting was pretty dominate for much of this game but just couldn't seem to get past the GK in Hamid for DC United until later in the game when Soony Saad came onto the field and started creating a bit of havoc and feeding a nice ball to Bieler who then slotted the ball into the opposite side of the net for the win.
Sporting really did seem to dominate this game although they did give United a few chances that could have been costly but were able to keep their recent form going and get another shutout and although I don't like talking about streaks for fear of messing them up but I must point out that Sporting and their current GK in Jimmy Nielsen are making a case to break the shutout streak, previously set by Wizards in 2000 when my other favorite GK in Tony Meola was the GK. I'm sure it feels like there is a long way to go being that they are just over 400 minutes and need almost 700 minutes to break that record.
Can Sporting accomplish it? It is possible but they sure don't have an easy road ahead of them as they have both NY Redbulls and LA Galaxy coming up.
Sporting came into this game having drawn the last game at New England in a game that most thought they should have easily won. Regardless they did what most teams hope to accomplish on the road and that is to draw.
Both teams started pushing fast and what else should you expect when you have two teams of this caliber the Impact are off to a great 4-0 start to the season and Sporting continues to be a dominating team. Its easy to see why one of these teams was able to get an early 5th minute goal and luckily it was Sporting, which now ended a scoreless streak.
Pretty good play between the two teams besides CJ taking an unchecked elbow to the small of the back and having to be carried off the field. Sporting saw a few more great chances with one of them no better way to go up 2-0 but Bieler just got a little ahead of himself and sent the ball sailing over the goal.
Sapong was luckily able to return to the field and is most likely looking for a bit of pay back. Hopefully he was good to go for the rest of the match but time would tell. Half closed out pretty solid as Sporting seemed to slow down a bit and take the 1-0 lead into halftime.
The Impact came out for the second half a bit more aggressive than they played in the first half. Probably realizing that they are currently the "better" team and would like to keep their winning streak going. Sporting being the "dominant" team they keep fighting to ensure they come away the victors, even getting a few chances themselves.
Well it was good to still see Sapong in the game, but the pressure from Montreal was making me nervous, but Sporting was fighting attack after attack. This game may have ended 1-0 or 1-1 but it was a good match by both teams. Sporting was holding on as much as they could and attacking when they could.
Thank You! Sporting got another goal and were riding a bit more comfortable and forced Montreal to adjust how they were playing but almost more to defense as they were almost acting as if they didn't want to conceed more goals. Sporting did what they tend to do in these situation and kill time and almost put on a clinic on time killing during a game.
Well dang it! Apparently I have lost my notes from this match up hence the reason why I don't already have it done.
Any way Sporting was coming into this game after a pretty brutal lose in Toronto and were looking to right the ship and get back on the winning side of their record. Well they didn't exactly do that but now have one win, one loss, and one draw for a total of 4 points in the league. The disappointing thing about this game is that it was their home opener and it was against what is considered one of their rivals in the Chicago Fire, a team that notoriously gives Sporting problems.
It must be said that Sporting was absolutely the dominate team control about 75% of possession and with the Fire going into a very tight defensive shell for most of the game there is no question about that. The Fire did have a few counter-attack chances but luckily Nielsen was able to make the save or Sporting's defense was able to recover and stop the attack.
That's not to say that Sporting didn't have some good chances themselves but most of their good shots were right at the Fire's GK and the ones that were shots but not all that great weren't fast enough to sneak by the GK as he was able to quickly gather the ball and redistribute.
Sporting next head off to play the Revolution in New England, a team that has begun struggling as of the last few seasons and could be a good chance to to get another three point decision but they will have to do it a little short handed, so it should be an interesting game to say the least.
The Comets came into this this championship series narrowly escaping yet another loss to the Wave (actually two including the mini game). This is the third championship series since the MISL reformed in 2010 with the Baltimore Blast being in the championship series each of the three years, but have been unable to win a championship. So they are really hoping third times a charm. Combine that with the Blast leading the season series 3-1 (overall since 2010 9-3) and the Comets are sure to have an up hill battle on their hands.
You know how a lot of times teams start off slow to try and feel each other out to see how they might play? Well this wasn't one of those times. Both the Comets and the Blast got after each other very quickly. Most likely because they wanted to try and get the early lead which worked for the Blast as the 1st quarter ended 6-2 withe the Blast on top. All four goals did come in the first half of the 1st quarter, so hopefully that isn't telling as to whether this game would be slowing down or not as that could hurt the Comets especially if they carry it into the next game.
I don't want to say it was looking bad for the Comets but it wasn't looking good as the Blast continued dominating the play of the ball. I don't know if the Comets just weren't ready for this level of game but the Blast appeared as if they were playing on a whole different level all together and the finished out the 2nd quarter 2-14.
Well at least this quarter went a bit better for the Comets with them cutting the Blast lead down to just 8 as the Comets found some form scoring three goals and allowing only one goal. 3rd quarter ended 8-16 with the Blast still on top. Hopefully its not because the Blast are trying to go into cruise control because the Comets will fight till the end.
And fight the Comets did all the way till the just about the buzzer as Assadpour spent about half of the 4th quarter in as a 6th attacker and I believe that everybody just spent about as much energy that they could spend trying to get some sort of result but literally just fell short getting as close as trailing 12-18 and fighting off several 3 point shots until they just couldn't get back in time against two attacking Blast players with less than 10 seconds on the clock which would then see the game end 12-21.
The Comets started off very weak but were able to slowly develop some form as the game went on and if they want to have a chance at this this championship trophy then they need to keep that form in the next game and the mini series and it will still be a fight.
Since the last blog about Sporting Kansas City and the Orlando City SC player loan, Sporting KC has signed two new players. Defender Mechack Jerome and Midfielder Christian Duke were added before the season started. Here is a quick look at both players as far as a loan to Orlando City.
Mechack Jerome - Mechack has been in the game day 18 for the 1st game of the season for Sporting Kansas City and made an appearance as a sub for Myers. With that evidence and the fact that I highly doubt that Sporting KC would sign a player just to loan him back from where he came from.
Christian Duke – Christian was drafted as a supplementary draft pick after spending time with Sporting Kansas City academy. Has not appeared for Sporting KC on the first team yet in his young career. Would not be shocked at all if he does in face go on a loan to Orlando City.
With the two additional players and seeing the game day 18 for two games it is a bit easier to have an idea on who will be going to Orlando City on the season loan. I fully expect to see Dom Dwyer, Kevin Ellis, Kyle Miller and Yann Songo’o be the four players to go on loan. Could see Mikey Lopez but with his Generation Adidas contract that would surprise me.
I was going to write this post as individual game recaps from the Milwuakee Wave vs Missouri Comets semi-final series but with the quick turnaround between games I've decided to do a series wrap up.
The Comets and the Wave meet again for the third time in as many years with the Comets looking to finally make it to championship series most likely against the Baltimore Blast yet the Wave was looking to win their third championship trophy in a row. This series would have been better as the championship series but that just isn't the way things worked out as these two teams fought hard and one team was able to come out alive but quite possibly not completely unscathed.
Comets got off to a very hot start at 8-0 just before half time, but the Wave being the Wave were able to withstand the onslaught and gradually fought back taking the game into overtime where they were able to just barely sneek the golden goal ball past Comets GK Danny Waltman late in the OT period. I wouldn't have really expected anything less from these two teams as they are both high caliber teams even though the Comets had their struggle throughout the season and the Wave started off the semi-final series very rough missing shot after shot and not even being on target.
I missed the beginning of this game and most of the 2nd quarter but didn't seem to miss too much as it appeared there was quite the defensive battle going on. The second half was very entertaining with the Comets slowly catching up then falling behind then finding the way to tie the game then with just a few seconds left on the clock the Comets were able to get the go ahead goal to then tie up the series at one game a piece in the unique fashion that each team had won their initial game at the other teams arena. This then meant that there would be a tie breaker game.
This tie breaker is a short 15 minute game to see who leads at the end of it and would be moving onto the championship series against the already determined Baltimore Blast. Well the Comets again got off to a hot start with a three point goal but the Wave battled back, much like the Wave do, and were topping the Comets. The Comets having been in this position far to often against the Wave put it all out there and were able to get another late goal that would seal the victory for the Comets and their first MISL Championship Series since the MISL was reformed three years ago.
The first game will be against the Baltimore Blast on Thursday March 14th at the Independence Event Center and this should be an interesting series to say the least.
Both Sporting and the Union came into this game with high expectations, The Union probably more so as they were starting the season at home. Sporting having been deep in the post season the last two seasons were hoping to come out and make an early statement as they were listed as one of the top teams to start the season even with the loss of a few top players like Kei Kamara and Roger Espinoza.
Sporting started off very shaky as the Union were dominating the match for the first 20 minutes even netting a goal against the 2012 top XI GK Jimmy Nielsen who had already made a couple of great saves and it was surprising that the Union weren't possibly up 3-0 within the first 25 minutes. Sporting being Sporting the last two season were able to settle down and thanks to no other than Zusi, with help from the new DP Claudio Bieler, was able to help Sporting get level at 1-1 before halftime.
Sporting was able to come back out and maintain the level of play they left the field from the first half and controlled the play of the game and netted two more goals with the third coming from Bieler late in the game to seal up the three points for Sporting and get a huge win in the first match of the season and on the road which is the real interesting thing to me.
I will have to admit that I was nervous going into this season with Sporting making as many moves as they did and then to start the first 20 minutes being on their heels I was starting to think that my assumptions were right, but I was really glad to see Sporting right the ship, and in mid play as well, and get any sort of result. Hopefully my fears are wrong but it was only the first game of the season and there are still a lot more to go.
Comets came into this game after a brutal match against the Chicago Soul which saw the Comets get just one goal and that wasn't till the final seconds of the game. The best thing for the Comets would have been to just forget about it and focus on winning this game and getting a playoff spot.
This quarter started off much like the last game which saw the Comets playing well but not even getting shoes off, but allowing the Wings to score three goals and take an 0-6 lead. The Comets needed to quickly change things or this game could have easily ended the same way as the previous match.
Not sure what the Comets Head Coach said during the break but the Comets found the spark they needed and took the lead in under two minutes of the 2nd quarter which included two 3-point goals from Brian Harris. That was pretty much it though besides both teams trading a lot of fouls. The Comets seemed happy to take an 8-6 lead into the half.
Again before I forget Comets GK Danny Waltman had some huge saves that the Wings really should have scored on and was sure to be frustrating the Wings and the harder they tried the worse it seem to get but the Comets weren't pushing back enough and the Wings were finally able to net a tieing goal.
Started off a bit nerve racking as the Wings retook the lead only 30 seconds into the 4th quarter. The Comets then seemed to gain a calmness about them and just took care of business netting three more goals to include a late 3-pointer to finalize the victory over the Wings 15-11.
With this win the Comets were able to secure their spot in the playoffs although it is not finalized as to wheter they will be playing against the Blast or the Wave, which should be determined after their final match up against the Chicago Soul which they recently played against before this Wings match up and hopefully they are looking for a bit of payback, but they may try to go light and just get prepared for the playoffs.