What Is Wrong With Sporting KC?

We ask “what the heck is wrong with Sporting Kansas City” as they struggle through the early part of the season.

Sunday’s tie makes it five games now for Sporting KC without a win. Some fans are extremely frustrated with the team, especially having played so well during the beginning of the season.

Sporting did start the season strong, getting 12 points from the first five games. I think what frustrated fans the most was the fact that Sporting were playing against ten men and still couldn’t find a goal. After yesterdays game it marked 153 minutes this season that SKC has been up a goal, and during those 153 minutes they have just one goal. So what the heck is wrong with this team that started off the season so hot?

Missing Mustivar

Aug 15, 2015; Kansas City, KS, USA; Sporting KC defender Soni Mustivar (93) passes the ball down field against the Vancouver Whitecaps FC during the second half at Sporting Park. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

Aug 15, 2015; Kansas City, KS, USA; Sporting KC defender Soni Mustivar (93) passes the ball down field against the Vancouver Whitecaps FC during the second half at Sporting Park. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

I don’t think there’s any argument about this, that Sporting simply have missed Soni Mustivar playing defensive midfielder. Prior to the beginning of the season, there was all this discussion about how this team is deeper than previous years. I wouldn’t argue this point except for at defensive mid.

The drop off from Mustivar to  Lawrence Olum is simply dramatic. For me, Olum is a very serviceable player to bring on in the 80th minute to come in and help kill off the game, but absolutely not good enough to start for this team. Nuno Coelho did a very alright job last night in midfield. The thing that I liked most about his play, was whenever he gave the ball up he was always the first person pressuring to win the ball back. My hope is that we continue with this Coelho experiment and allow Olum to come off the bench.

Not Hitting the Target

It’s simple, you can’t score if you don’t hit the target. Sporting Kansas City haven’t done that well this season. Out of the 71 shots that SKC have taken in the past five games, only 18 have hit the target (only one of 16 hit the target last night). Last night during the game Sporting also had several chances to shoot from outside the box and didn’t take them, opting to pass it rather than have a chance.

The other thing that I have to say is absolutely ridiculous to see is Dom Dwyer over a free kick. Why is a player like Dom standing over the ball when you have a team with quality free kick takers like Benny Feilhaber and Brad Davis. Dwyer actually does do a pretty good job of winning balls in the air. With him, Opara, Coelho, and Besler also in the box, surely one of them can get on the end of the cross a ball from either Feilhaber or Davis.

Games Piling Up

Sporting during April had to twice play three games in a seven-day span. Also worth mentioning is that they had to play three away games in a row. When things aren’t going well it’s very hard to turn things around when you don’t have enough time to fix things in training. Not helping the situation is playing on the road. This might seem like a very minute thing, but believe me the schedule hasn’t really been Sporting’s friend during this rough patch.

I think Sporting is turning the corner. At least this rough patch is happening now in April and May, as opposed to in October right before the playoffs like last season. This is a long season, and even though they’ve struggle during the last couple of games, SKC is only three points out of first place. Don’t panic quite yet quite yet SKC nation, Vermes will surely make adjustments.

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