It would seem Sporting KC has found themselves a full-on nosedive, and with top-of-the-table aspirations, they could be facing a five-point deficit in the East Divison standings after this week.
KC picked up a point, drawing with Toronto, but they had themselves the full spoils until Bradley Orr brought 10-man Toronto FC back level in injury time and pegged KC back yet again.
It’s not a total nosedive as other teams would see it, but if they fail to secure a top seed later on down the stretch, this could be a period they look back on with disappointment. Tonight was the perfect opportunity to end a short skid, and instead they found themselves with their heads down at full-time.
With Steven Caldwell sent off in the 63rd minute, KC bagged the potential winner (after some wary moments earlier), Dom Dwyer’s second, and things looked fine and dandy.
Well, things aren’t fine and dandy anymore. They need to figure out soon how to get results without their top players, or else this season could start really going south.
Little mistakes continue to plague Sporting KC in a big way. They gave rookie Nick Hagglund just a tiny bit too much space, and he made them pay with a clutch cross. With a chance to kill the game, they couldn’t get by a solid Joe Bendnik.
It’s not all bad. Dwyer now sits atop the MLS goal tally, they did get a point from this match, and they host a Red Bulls team next weekend that has been iffy on the road. A win there puts this all in the rear view mirror, and they can head out on the road for three tough matches with new confidence.
But it’s the potential for things to go further south that have this match a turning point in either direction, and right now, that direction is down.
Enough about Sporting KC, let’s take a moment to praise Toronto for their confidence. They scored both goals a man down after Caldwell’s red, and Hagglund and Justin Morrow were phenomenal going forward.
The result is a big one for Toronto, sitting in sixth position but still a few games in hand. Their point on the road gives them redemption after a so-so homestand. Without Michael Bradley, they come home for another pair of games – their third and fourth in five matches – with a chance to really gain ground in the middle of the table.
It’s too early to say these teams are headed in the opposite direction, because one result for either could bring them back down or send them back up. But these teams are on the verge of tipping off the scales one way or another.