The tight race for the Eastern Conference crown is coming down to the wire and Sporting Kansas City is right in the middle of it. With the pressure of finishing 1st and being out of a playoff spot is separated by a few points, no game is a gimme and every game is a must win. Sporting KC came off of a loss to the Chicago Fire for a little action south of the border in Honduras where Sporting faced off against CD Olimpia in the CONCACAF Champions League Group Stage. The game may not have impacted the MLS standings but it was still a must win for the team and the fans. Just like in CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying, it’s tough for a team to win on the road. Away matches in other countries are always tough and the fans there are intense.no comments
Sporting Kansas City, who seems to be playing in big game after big game, had another must win game in San Jose against the Earthquakes last Sunday. Knowing both teams, it was going to be a physical and hard fought game. San Jose is a tough team for Sporting KC and past results have proven that. Even though they haven’t played in San Jose every year, Kansas City hadn’t beaten a team in San Jose since 2000. A lot (almost everything) between the two teams have changed since then but losing in San Jose remained the only constant with Kansas City.
One of the great things about MLS is that it’s so young as a sports league; a lot of us were around for the beginning. I was 8 years old when MLS had its inaugural season in 1996 and while I watched MLS in their infancy, I vaguely remember watching it. I rooted for DC United solely based on geography and they were closest and I remember not being able to watch many games. Doesn’t take a genius to wonder why, there weren’t many nationally televised games in the 90’s and the Internet definitely wasn’t what it was back then. Except for DC United and them winning the MLS Cup, I wouldn’t have been able to tell you anything else about MLS at that time but I was playing youth soccer so I had a slight interest in watching the sport on TV.no comments
Sporting Kansas City and the Montreal Impact squared off Saturday night and whatever the result of that game would end up being would shape the end of the season in the Eastern Conference. Sporting led the Eastern Conference over Montreal by four points heading into the game. Montreal still has to play two more games than Sporting so the margin isn’t as big as it shows. The game, however, would give one team an advantage if they could get a result. A Sporting win would stretch their lead to a possible seven points and break them apart of the other teams to land a playoff spot. A Montreal win would put them behind by one point with two more games to play and the Eastern Conference would be wide open with about six teams in the hunt for first place.
I watched and rewatched and rewatched the FC Dallas and Sporting Kansas City game and my reaction has been the same after the game was over. I was very confused as to what exactly happened. Questionable calls by referee Mark Geiger were buried with confusion and, for better or worse, created the exciting/heartbreaking finish. Penalties, own goals, red cards and questionable subs all played a role in the 2-2 draw.
The story of the DC United/Sporting Kansas City game essentially began and ended with the offside call on Ike Opara’s disallowed goal in the 30th minute. I was at the game, sitting where the RFK Stadium visitors are, deep in the back of the stadium behind the goal. It’s a bad angle to see an offside call but I must’ve been in a better position than the linesman because Opara was clearly onside to me. Looking at the screencap confirmed matters but the damage was done. Regardless of multiple players causing Opara to be onside by about five yards, the goal wasn’t going to be given back and Sporting would have to try even harder to get the leading goal and the three points.