The game in 100 words (or less): Not to sound any alarm bells or anything too quickly, but we need to have a talk about Sporting Kansas City. For a little over a month now, they’ve not exactly been great, and they’ve certainly not been dominant at any point of that 10-game stretch, which includes Saturday night’s 2-1 defeat to the Colorado Rapids. Sure, they’ve racked up a decent enough record over that timeframe (5W-1D-3L in all competitions), but a team can only overcome early deficits and win in spectacular fashion so often. It’s not a sustainable strategy over the course of a 34-game season. Roger Espinoza is a huge miss in the midfield, but the central unit is far from the only bunch worthy of blame. Set-piece defending has been borderline atrocious for some time now, and the full backs have been constant turnstiles as opposing wingers race bace unabated again and again. Peter Vermes navigated an injury crisis for a few months, but it’s safe to say it’s catching up to Sporting KC now. With Saturday’s loss, they could sit as low as fifth at the end of the weekend (40 points).
Three moments that mattered
47′ — Dwyer hammers home after Nemeth weaves his way in — Krisztian Nemeth went on a dizzying, weaving run through the Rapids midfield, split three defenders and poked the ball into the path of Dom Dwyer, whose left-footed blast found the back of the net just inside Clint Irwin’s near post.
53′ — Figueroa benefits from a deflection, ties it back up — Someone forgot to pay attention to Maynor Figueroa, a two-time World Cup veteran, making the late, late, late-arriving run at the back post. When the ball arrived, Figueroa had a go, took the deflection off Graham Zusi in stride and used it to sneak under the crossbar at the far post.
76′ — Doyle rises up, heads home from close range — Step 1 to being a good defensive team: Mark the tall men inside the penalty area when a cross comes into the box. Sporting forgot to do this as Vicente Sanchez hit a floating ball to Kevin Doyle at the back post. Doyle, all 6-foot-nothing of him, headed the ball home with ease.
Man of the match: Vicente Sanchez
Goalscorers: Dwyer (47′), Figueroa (53′), Doyle (76′)