Through March and most of April, Sporting Kansas City represented the gold standard in MLS. Peter Vermes’ team won every match in a record-setting start – generally not even letting things get close.
So what an unsettling, stark reversal we’ve seen in three games since, when SKC simply cannot get it right.
Vermes’ men lost their third consecutive match Saturday, this time to Chicago. Sporting went ahead but gave up a penalty kick and then lost a man to a red card, falling at Toyota Park, 2-1.
Credit the Fire for a swell rally, but SKC’s gangly fall down the stairs is the story landing with more impact this morning.
“We played very well for 60 minutes, executed our game plan, had the game locked down,” Vermes said of Saturday’s setback. “Then we got out of position, didn’t read the situation, didn’t cover well enough. One little situation like that allowed [Chicago forward Dominic] Oduro to get behind us.”
The two key moments are probably most troubling – and on two fronts. First, part of SKC’s success earlier was avoiding its Achilles heel: the potential for Roger Espinoza and Aurelian Collin to incur refereeing wrath. So how did SKC lose the plot last night? Collin gave up a penalty kick and Espinoza saw red.
Vermes says the red wasn’t warranted, but you can see for yourself. The complete match highlights are here: