Sporting KC Fall Flat Against the Houston Dynamo

Sporting KC continue to struggle as they fall to last place Houston Dynamo at BBVA Compass Stadium.

What is there that can really be said about this game? It ended poorly and was mostly a rough game to start. Going into the game there was reason to be optimistic. The starting lineup looked like the team that would have been on the field if health allowed at the beginning of the season. Soni Mustivar was back, Chance Myers returned from injury and if I had to guess at an ideal starting XI this is it.

Ideal turned out to be far from the case. Tim Melia had some great saves but looked shaky at times. Seth Sinovic was screaming at him on multiple occasions for not coming out and getting the ball. If you’ve ever been to a game, Sinovic is a vocal leader on the field, so this isn’t shocking, but it seemed more prevalent. One has to wonder if Melia is questioning his aggressive play since he’s given up two fouls that led to penalty kicks this year.

My hope is this lineup just needs time to gel since they haven’t all been on the field together until this moment. Without further complaining, let’s get to the recap.

The game actually started off pretty well with Sporting Kansas City getting up the field and putting lots of pressure on the Dynamo early. Dom Dwyer set Graham Zusi up with a great chance in the 9th minute that just missed wide.

After the opening 10 to 15 minutes Sporting started to lose control of the game. First, the game was really rough with a combined 32 fouls (Houston had 18). That said, there were only four yellow cards given out and Espinoza’s was soft. Alex had a relatively early yellow in the 29th minute for what I think was persistent infringement because he had a series of fouls up to that point and an obviously blown yellow just minutes earlier. After that though, he was fantastic for Houston consistently breaking up the SKC attack.

Things really went south in the 30th minute when I believe Nuno played himself out of position allowing Cubo Torres to win a ball and send Giles Barnes through. Barnes would then hit it first time for a beautiful strike that would put Houston up 1-0.

Houston quickly tried to add to their lead but Tim Melia came up big on two saves within a brief period of time. Here is one.

Things only got worse as halftime approached. In first half stoppage time Andrew Wenger broke in on goal and blasted one past Melia. It looked like Melia thought it was going over the bar as he pulled his hands back as it raced into the net. That would make it 2-0 and Sporting would never recover.

At halftime I was tweeting that Diego Rubio should come on for Chance Myers and let Zusi “play” right back again to give extra attacking options. That wouldn’t exactly come to pass but in the 62nd minute Jimmy Medranda came on for Myers and Zusi did fall back to play defense. Five minutes later Rubio would replace Brad Davis who didn’t have a memorable return to Houston.

Medranda actually played quite well again. He is so fun to watch on the ball. He does make mistakes, but he also makes dazzling plays. If he could just find that final ball. Rubio had a poor performance making several bad touches and just generally not making anything happen. The same can be said of nearly every SKC player though, so I won’t pick on him too much.

There were really only two good chances the rest of the night for Sporting KC. Nuno Coelho barely missed on a set piece (which isn’t even a skill I knew he had). And Seth Sinovic nearly got onto the end of a ball into the box.

This is now six consecutive games where Sporting KC have failed to win. Interesting side note, Justin Mapp wasn’t even in the 18 after finally making his first appearance for the team last week. Let’s hope he isn’t injured again and Vermes is just being cautious with him.

SKC won’t get much time to mope as they travel to Colorado to play the Rapids for the second time this season. This is also the second time these teams have met on a Wednesday, which could mean the lineup is full of backups, or at the very least tired players from today. We’ll keep you updated on everything you need to know heading into that game.