There's a trend going around Twitter today amongst Sporting Kansas City fans called #TheTerror. The terror is that feeling when one wakes up on match day and just knows that Sporting Kansas City will lose that day.
Many apparently had it the day of the Eastern Conference Final against Houston. Many also had it the day Sporting Kansas City traveled to Portland this season. As we know now, Sporting lost both of those games.
But today, there is no terror. Fans are extremely confident that Sporting KC will march into Philadelphia, ask the Sons of Ben "Who's your daddy?" and walk out with a win in the US Open Cup semifinal match.
Fans are excited for this match like no other, and they should be. It's the biggest match since the Eastern Conference final. But they are talking about revenge for the 4-0 walloping Sporting took at the hands of the Union earlier this season. Sporting players, including CJ Sapong, have mentioned revenge. Headlines previewing the game mention revenge. It seems everyone and their mother wants revenge on Philadelphia.
And that's what gives me "The Terror."
Here's the thing about Sporting Kansas City. They're a very emotional team. They start out pumped up, but get frustrated if they're not getting results. They start to play sloppy, and that hurts them in games.
We've seen it happen with Aurélien Collin getting frustrated in Chicago and against Montreal. That cost us two PK's. We saw the team get mixed into the emotions of a physical game in Seattle that got Sporting a couple of cards.
The reasoning for me waking up this morning with "The Terror" is that I fear Sporting Kansas City will take the mission of "Revenge" to heart, and go out on an emotional limb trying to embarrass Philadelphia. I fear it's going to lead to sloppy play, especially on the back line, and Sporting is going to get burned.
We've seen what happens when the back line let's their emotions get in control of them. We see Aurélien Collin turn into a tackle happy liability that makes poor choices, and concedes goals. When Collin turns bad, the entire back line suffers. If Collin, a sure fire fighter (He will kill for us), gets to strung up on the notion of revenge, then the back line will suffer, and the team will suffer.
The same applies for the midfield and forwards. It's not secret that Sporting has had some trouble finishing as of late. I would even go as far to say that Sporting's lack of finishing cost them the match against Houston this past Saturday. My take is that if the Sporting midfielders and forwards playing tonight are also strung up on this ridiculous notion of revenge, it will hurt their shot taking abilities, and they desperately need their shots to be on target tonight.
It's fine to be emotional. It's fine to be pumped up for this game. In fact they should be. It's a very important game with huge implications for the future of the club on the line. I just want to extend this idea to the Sporting players: Do not go into Philadelphia looking for revenge. Go in looking for a win. Go in looking for the chance to win the US Open Cup in your home stadium. Don't focus on getting revenge, focus on getting the win.
Above all else, don't play for Philadelphia, play for the Cup.