This is pretty much what you’d expect when one of the league’s best teams hosts one of its worse. Sporting Kansas City, who we had at the top of this week’s Power Rankings, got its biggest win of the season, getting a brace from Dom Dwyer after an own goal from Calum Mallace en route to a 4-0 over Montréal. The result kept the Impact at the bottom of the Eastern Conference (now the only Major League Soccer team with four losses) while Sporting passes Columbus for first.
It’s the type of result that makes almost any analysis redundant. We knew Sporting were probably better than the Impact. We knew they were probably much better, something the final score confirmed. The defending champions also outshot their guests 12-3 (7-2, on target) while holding 61.8 percent of the ball. Even though it took a seemingly content Kansas City 71 minutes to find a second goal, this may have been the most one-sided performance in the league this season, one that embodies where each team sits seven weeks into the season.
Particularly after New York got a result on Wednesday, Montréal is clearly the league’s worst team. We joked about it in our alternative season preview, but the joke’s piece of truth remains: The team seems to have no really identity. Ever since Marco Schallibaum started messing with the formula that worked so well at the beginning of the 2013 season, this club has nothing beyond “Let’s see what Marco (Di Vaio) does.”
Kansas City is the exact opposite. Even when Peter Vermes was rotating his squad in the face of CONCACAF Champions League commitments, you get the same performance every night. Same style. Same effort. Even the same cynical tackling everybody loves to point out is the same. As Sporting rotated its best players in and out of the team, it didn’t get the same results, but its identity was clear. Now, with all of its regulars back, Sporting’s results are clear, too.
I get the feeling a lot of people are going to trumpet Sporting’s quality this week. A four-goal win makes it easy to do so. I also get the feeling that, when I sit down to take another look at this game, I’ll see the same Sporting team that’s been there all along.
Tonight, at home against the league’s worst team, Vermes’ side was given a chance to remind the league of its virtues. The team seized that opportunity.