Sporting KC had an unbeaten streak going as far back as May 31. We all knew it would eventually end at some point and it would end after eight games in one of the most disheartening ways.
The game itself seemed to be rather even and then Vancouver went up 1-0 after Igor Juliao scored an own goal in the 17th minute. The goal was a mix of blame among Juliao and Andy Gruenebaum because it seemed neither of them communicated. Gruenebaum came out to collect the ball right when Juliao headed the ball back to him and resulted in the goal.
The entire Sporting defense had issues tonight. Juliao had his own goal, Seth Sinovic and Matt Besler both looked slow and were getting beaten by many Vancouver players which may or may not be attributed to Sinovic coming off a groin injury and Besler not getting a break after doing the World Cup and the MLS All-Star Game. The only time off Besler has had was getting a suspension due to yellow card accumulation. Aurelien Collin seemed sick because he was throwing up all over the field but it seemed as if he was having the best game out of the four. Vancouver went up 2-0 on a Darren Mattocks goal and would’ve gotten three if Collin hadn’t saved the ball off the line.
After an injury from Andy Gruenebaum, he was replaced by homegrown game MVP Jon Kempin. Kempin was playing on loan with Oklahoma City in USL Pro and came back to Sporting when Eric Kronberg was injured. Now he is the playing in his first competitive MLS game. Kempin got thrown to the wolves rather early but he impressed. He even saved a PK in the 2nd half so I say Sporting will be in good hands when the 21 year old gets more experience and it will be his time to be the main guy.
This loss was tough to take but I think this is an anomaly when it comes to Sporting KC’s season. They traveled across the country into Canada and four of those players also played Wednesday. If they put in the same performance against Toronto, I would be more worried but DC United lost as well this weekend so no harm, no foul.
(image courtesy of kansascity.com)