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?
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.
Well after everybody getting so upset about it last year the MLS decided to award Kansas City with the MLS All-Star game for the 2013 season. It is sure to be exciting and although the opponent has yet to be announced I am thinking it could be a team like Liverpool. Liverpool has been travelling to the US quite a bit the last couple of years as their owner also owns the Boston RedSox it seems to make sense. Well at least in my head. Some of the other teams that have been making yearly summer travels over to the US have included Stoke City, Manchester City, Real Madrid, Barcelona, and Chelsea but Chelsea has been the team that the MLS All-Stars have played against the last two times and I would imagine they would want to change that up a bit.
Well this was definitely an interesting game for the Comets as it was a major early season test for the Comets as they played the current champions (again) and always dangerous Miluakee Wave. Comets again struggled a bit at the beginning and much like the first two games were able to battle back and send the game into extra time and were able to pull out the win.
Good: Comets continue to battle back in games and get the result they need. It is still early in the season, but this is an important part of playing the game that the Comets need to make sure they focus on as it is impossible to win games if you get down early and just let everything go. It also won't just effect the result of that game but mostly the next game and if it continues then the next game as well. Because the Comets are continuing to battle back early to get the results we should see them continue to battle back if they get down in other games as well. It may not always work out in their favor but the important part is that they are battling back.
Bad: Just as it is good that they continue to battle back it is also a bad thing as it can be quite exhausting on the body to continue to do so. It is also bad because simply the Comets should not be starting all their games off in the hole. This game wasn't as bad as the first two games as the Comets were able to keep the game close for most of the game, so it wasn't nearly the same battle they had in their first two games. I believe that these next three games to close out November could be telling to see how the rest of the season will go.
Good: The Wave being the all time leading champion and having won the last two years championship looked very good and the argument could be that they should of won this game, but they were playing against one of the best GKs in the MISL and the Comets defense when focused can easily dominate. The Wave with one of the best Head Coaches in the league and doubles as the US Futsal National Team Coach should be able to have yet another decent season and should expect any meeting with the Comets this season to be a good match to see.
Bad: Simply they let the Comets come back and even win the game. The Wave to me seems like a team that will just try to coast if they have any sort of a lead and if a team ties it up will just go and get another goal to regain the lead. It usually works for them obviously but as good as the Wave tend to be really should be able to go out there and just tear apart most teams.
Well it is all over and now that I think I have recovered from Sporting taking an early exit in the playoffs, with the help of all the other higher seeded teams also being dismissed, and again against the Houston Dynamo. I said in my preview that this game was going to be epic and it truly was even down to what most would say was an Epic Fail from the officiating and not giving Sporting a PK late in the game. Maybe that is all of us being biased but typically when a player is pushed down inside the other teams box that usually results in a PK chance. Had Sporting of been given the PK then they would have had a good chance of at least sending the game into extra time. We can talk all we want about what ifs but we really should focus on what Sporting did. Sporting was able to accomplish something that they haven't been able to do in their last five chances against the Dynamo and that was to completely beat them to include shut them out. This was by far one of Sporting's most difficult games and most likely in their history since being the Wizards in 1996. They fully brought their A game but again I said that they would have to bring their A+ game which would of meant that they would of finished some of those close chances against a great goalkeeper in Tally Hall which is going to give DC United problems and most likely see the Dynamo going to another MLS Cup. If Sporting had probably played half as good in the first leg of the playoff series as they did in this game then the 1-0 finish that they got again might of even been good enough to send them to extra time.
There seemed to be some concern that if Sporting had another huge let down that it could of damaged the reputation of the club in the Kansas City area and people would of started looking at them yet again as team similar to the Chiefs and the Royals but honestly with the way this last game was played they might of yet again gained an even bigger following. For example my father's side of the family has always been big soccer fans, but throughout the course of this season my mother and step-father seemed to also convert to being soccer fans to include asking me several questions and talking to me about it while we were recently on vacation. Even my wife has become a big Sporting fan and really gets into the games and excited for game days and has technically demanded me to get her some girly Sporting gear, so I guess I have my work cut out for me. Now if I could just start to get my blog to start being followed a bit more and start receiving feedback and what not. Kind of like how Thad Bell at the Backpost.net does and Mike Kuhn at Down the Byline. These are two individuals that I feel like I get along with and inspire to be similar to. Regardless I will continue to do my blog post and maybe during the Comets season and can further hone my skills and get back to some things that I was doing before that I thought worked well.
And we are just about off for the second leg of the playoffs between SportingKC and the Houston Dynamo. Sporting returns home after a 2-0 dubbing from the Dynamo where Sporting looked like a team just starting the season off and the Dynamo looking like, well a team that typically gives Sporting problems especially when Sporting is not at home. Sporting will be looking to pull out all the stops, hopefully to include stopping the ball from actually going in their own goal, as if they lose this game they are done for the year and in what most would consider a terrible end. Most people including just about everybody, sorry to be vague, are expecting Sporting to roll through this round of the playoffs and are highly expected to make it to the finals. Well if Sporting plays any remotely close to the way they played the last game or even last two games for that matter than this could be a short game. Sporting knows this and will be looking to put on an epic show for everybody, unfortunately not on television, just what they can do.
I fully expect Sporting to come out and control this game much like they have most of the year and firmly believe that they can win this game but how much can they win by and will it be enough to see them advance. I believe that it would be wise of Sporting to try and win this game out right even in extra time as I believe if this game goes into penalty kicks that the result might not be favorable. I've seen Nielsen in a penalty shootout but I have yet to see Tally Hall in one and although Jimmy is considered one of the best goalkeepers in the league that is considered more during regular matches and doesn't calculate shootouts as shootouts normaly don't happen and I'm afraid that Hall might have the slight edge at stopping penalty shots. But in a shootout you must also take the possible shooters into consideration in which case I firmly believe that Sporting and the Dynamo are probably just about level. This will be a very interesting matchup to say the least and I for one am ready for it to get started so we can see how it ends. Sadly I won't be able to actually be at the game tonight as I have a meeting to attend, but should be able to still watch it or at least listen to Callum Williams make the call on WHB 810.
Well I would like to say that this result was a completely unexpected but I believe a lot of people would agree with me as this result not being a surprise. Why you might ask is theis first leg game not a surprise? Because it's freaking Houston Dynamo! Combine that with the fact that Houston has yet to lose at home at all this year/since opening their new stadium. Luckily for Sporting and their worst performance by far this year they have one more chance at their own stadium. Sporting in all their dominate play through out the season played this match up much like it wasn't the first game of the playoffs but more like a team that won't make the playoffs in the first game of the season. For as bad as the NY Red Bulls vs DC United game was and both teams scoring on their own goals in a 1-1 draw Sporting's 2-0 loss to the Dynamo was by far the worst game of the four games of the Conference Semi-Finals so far. Sporting couldn't seem to combine any sort of rhythm and Houston took huge advantage of that. By all accounts (the proverbial on paper) Sporting should of dominated this game much like they normally have this whole season but that is why they play the game. One of the things that irratates me the most about this game is that it was on NBC and Sporting put up the terrible performance they did and made the Dynamo look like a competitive team playing against a recreational team for most of the game.
Sporting has just one more chance to get some sort of a result and possibly move onto the next round. This round of the playoffs each game is played at each other's home stadiums with the higher seeded team getting the second home game as if the aggregate score is tied after the second match the two teams will play extra time and then to penalty kicks if needed. It has already been well talked about amongst Sporting fans that several years ago the then Kansas City Wizards losing their first game 2-0 were able to come back home and win 3-0 and move on in the playoffs. Well I really hope that people are not expecting the same result. Would it be awesome? It absolutely would, but to expect the same result would be a bonkers idea. This is not that time any more and Sporting is going to have to bring their A+ game from the start whistle till the game is decided whether is be in regular time, extra time or even penalty kicks.
Well we are finally to the playoffs for Sporting and they have to start off with the team that knocked them out last year from possibly going to the MLS Cup in the Houston Dynamo. The Dynamo have definitely had their ups and downs this year but they seemed to be able to turn it back on in time for the playoffs but have they possibly exhausted themselves by already playing one match against the Fire that saw the Dynamo controlling most of the match until close to the end where the Dynamo had to fight off the Fire's dying efforts that almost worked. This match was also just played a few days ago so the Dynamo have only had a few days rest while Sporting had ten days of rest, which you could argue that a team could be getting too much rest.
These two teams always seem to play each other very closely even though the Dynamo seem to always have Sporting's number even when Sporting is at home. Add that on top of this game isn't just on National Television but it is on NBC. Not just NBC Sports (formerly versus) but NBC a channel that everybody gets so anybody that turns on the TV to watch this first game is going to see Sporting taking on a team that have yet to lose at home, but Sporting was able to be the first team to go into Red bull arena and take down the New York team that had also yet to lose at home and late in the season. So with all that being said this game is sure to be a very interesting one to say the least although it may not be as interesting as the first leg of the DC United vs NY Red Bulls game.
I am not even going to even attempt to think of an outcome because really I think it is just too difficult to do when these two teams play each other and I'm nervous enough as it is for this series to be over and hopefully see Sporting advance to the Conference Finals again this year against either DC United or NY Red Bulls which again either team will cause Sporting to continue their top play if they even want to have a chance at making it to the MLS Cup final this year and with any luck San Jose will get knocked out and Sporting will have a chance at hosting the MLS Cup right here in Kansas City this year, and on December 2nd which will be as cold as one could imagine.