Luis Marin

MLS Snapshot: Sporting Kansas City 3-2 Philadelphia Union

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The game in 100 words (or less): Soccer on drugs. I really could leave it at that, but I’ll expound a bit more. Three absolute howlers from the two goalkeepers, a pair of goalmouth scrambles leading to nothing and a pair of goals in second-half stoppage time. Three points is three points for Sporting KC, but the ragged, uninspired performance for 91 minutes can’t be ignored. Peter Vermes’s side has a long, long way to go if they want to make the playoffs in the Western Conference.

[ MORE: Saturday’s 5-game MLS roundup ]

Three moments that mattered

3′ — Marin’s early mistake puts the Union ahead — Luis Marin’s first MLS howler put the home side down early, as the Chilean goalkeeper completely whiffed his attempted punch of Sebastien Le Toux’s corner kick. One of Andrew Wenger or Jacob Peterson, positioned at the back post, chested the ball goalward and Jalil Anibaba’s attempted clearance was ruled a millisecond too late by the assistant referee, as the ball had already crossed the line.

16′ — Molhi’s with a howler of his own — Rais Mbolhi matched and perhaps one-upped Marin with his latest howler. Benny Feilhaber’s corner kick was sent to the top of the six-yard box, where Mbolhi’s poor route to the ball left the Algerian ‘keeper well short of the high cross. Dom Dwyer headed the ball downward to net his first of the season.

94′ — Nemeth steals it for the home side — Feilhaber’s stoppage-time corner kick found Matt Besler at the near post, where the U.S. national team defender flicked the ball on for Krisztian Nemeth at the far post. Nemeth and Raymond Lee combined to bundle the ball over the line and send the Sporting Park faithful into raptures.

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Man of the match: Rais Mbolhi — In all honesty, this game exuded the quality of a really poor 0-0 draw, if not for a number of shoddy goalkeeping blunders. Mbolhi “wins” out here, because he committed more horrific errors than his counterpart, and his team lost the game. Sorry, Rais.


Sporting Kansas City: Marin, De Jong (Sinovic 46′), Besler, Opara, Anibaba, Carrasco (Mustivar 78′), Espinoza, Feilhaber, Medranda (Nemeth 64′), Dwyer, Peterson

Goals: Dwyer (16′), Anibaba (91′), Nemeth (94′)

Philadelphia Union: Mbolhi, Fabinho (Lee 79′), Vitoria, Edu, Gaddis, Wenger, Carroll, Lahoud, Ayuk (Sapong 71′), Le Toux, Aristeguieta

Goals: Peterson (OG – 3′), Aristeguieta (19′)

Sporting KC adds former Chilean World Cup vet at goalkeeper; What’s next?

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Out: Eric Kronberg and Andy Gruenebaum.

In: Luis Marin and a player to be named later.

That’s essentially the “trade” in goalkeepers for Sporting KC this early offseason, as longtime backup Kronberg (Montreal) and suddenly well-traveled Gruenebaum (San Jose) found new homes and KC boss Peter Vermes turned to 31-year-old Chilean vet Marin as one piece of his goalkeeper competition.

Marin went to the 2010 World Cup on a Chile goalkeeping unit that included Claudio Bravo and Miguel Pinto. He’s made eight appearances for the national team and went on loan to Universidad de Chile last season after several years with O’Higgins.

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With respect to the pair he replaces, it’s an upgrade in resume. And with 21-year-old Homegrown kid Jon Kempin — a US youth national team vet — will KC be looking for a veteran backup or more young competition? The former is more likely, though Vermes could look to a strong GK class at the 2015 SuperDraft in order to bring in competition; Penn State’s giant brick wall Andrew Wolverton will be joined by Syracuse’s Alex Bono and Northwestern’s Tyler Miller as hot young prospects, but all three would likely require Sporting’s No. 10 overall pick.

It’s easy to see Marin between the sticks on Opening Day, and he joins a KC team that wasn’t porous in the back. Despite dealing with several injuries and the World Cup absence of Matt Besler, KC allowed the fourth-fewest goals in MLS and finished a win out of the third seed in the East. One more goal save here or there could’ve done the trick.

Sporting also added Hungarian striker Kristian Nemeth and Haitian mid James Marcellin. Read Vermes thoughts on the trio here.