After barely missing the playoffs last year, Sporting Kansas City was expected to come out with fire in their eyes and was expected to be at least decent. The season was supposed to be magical for the re-branded Wizards (see what I did there?)
However, they are falling very short of their expectations so far this season. After a close 3-2 win in the opener to Chivas USA, Sporting has lost thrice and tied once in season play.
They sit dead last in the standings with a 1-3-1 record, and a measly four points.
It seems that since the Kansas City Royals are finally playing well, Sporting has taken the reins as Kansas City’s resident last place team. They are not horrible by any means, but they deserve to be in last in the entire league.
Sporting should have two wins, but their inability to close out games let Vancouver tie the game in the final seconds, and Sporting barely got away with a tie as Vancouver narrowly missed the game-winner in the last minute.
Now skip ahead to Saturday. Sporting traveled to Gillette Stadium to take on the New England Revolution. They were so close to at least pulling away with a tie. Sporting even had the lead at one point, but gave up the equalizer less than two minutes later. New England was then able to score again later in the match off of a fantastic header from Rajko Leki.
Once again, it was the inability to play defense at the end of the game. Hopefully Peter Vermes will realize this and find a way to fix it.
If the matches were only 80 minutes, Sporting would be 2-2-2 and not dead last in MLS. It’s the last ten minutes that are killing Sporting’s season. They will need to play the full 90 if they want to beat, or at least tie the New York Red Bulls on Saturday.
It’s very difficult for a team to start the season on a ten game road trip, but with the way they’re playing right now, not even a huge stretch with home games may be able to save Sporting.
If they get on a roll in the final five games before the new stadium opening, then Sporting may just be able to climb back up in the standings to return to the playoffs.
I mean, it is soccer. Deeper than that, it is Sporting Kansas City. The season is still very young, and anything can happen.