It must be a huge confidence boost to Sporting Kansas City to not only win, but to claim victory with such authority, without key men. Peter Vermes’ team absolutely took apart visiting Columbus at Sporting Park.
That wouldn’t have been a surprise 10 days ago, especially considering Columbus was missing offensive talisman Federico Higuain. But the boys from Sporting Park were missing some key elements, too, including playmaker Graham Zusi and center back Matt Besler, both of whom were starters in Friday’s U.S. loss to Costa Rica.
The team is also adjusting to life without Kei Kamara, who has accepted an offer from England’s Middlesbrough just before the international transfer window closed earlier this week.
The final stats won’t even reflect Kansas City’s overall dominance, as SKC removed some of the pressure after taking a 3-0 lead in the 55th minute. Claudio Bieler (pictured from a previous match) had a goal and an assist. Soony Saad and C.J. Sapong also scored for Kansas City. The home team took 11 of the game’s first 14 shots and, with Benny Feilhaber commanding the midfield once again, held 58 percent of the possession over the first hour.
The loss took some of the sheen off last week’s debut for interim Crew manager Brian Bliss, whose days in charge (following Robert Warzycha’s dismissal after five years in charge at Crew Stadium) began with promise in a win at home over Houston.