Many an obscene word was shouted as Seattle punched Sporting KC in the gut with a late goal. Again.
This leaves Sporting with three points of a possible nine from their three game home stretch. After last night's match, there is certainly a lot to talk about.
1) Kei Kamara is back
Let's start off with some good news. Fan favorite Kei Kamara returned last night to an extremely vocal reaction. I've only heard Sporting Park get that loud twice: The home opener and when Eddie Johnson skied the final PK in the US Open Cup final. Kamara subbed into the match in the 73rd minute and added a good attacking presence on the wing. Sadly, there was no significant offensive movement once he came in, but the return of Kamara brings two big advantages to Sporting KC. First, there is a natural winger playing on the wing. Sporting has missed the good service that Kamara provides on his crosses and his assists will be welcomed back with open arms. The second thing that he brings is height. It's always good to have a tall winger available to jump over everyone in the box on set pieces. I don't know how long we'll be able to keep Kamara, but I'll enjoy his presence in the next couple of months or so.
2) Freaking Seattle again.
When asked in the postgame interviews both Peter Vermes and Graham Zusi called the tendency of late goals from Seattle "a coincidence." And it probably is, but there's an argument for Sporting KC being unfortunate against Seattle. 2011 saw Seattle win in Seattle on a 1-0 score in the final seconds, then they won at Sporting Park with a 92nd minute goal to end Sporting's unbeaten streak. This year they won it again in extra time. Of course there isn't any real reason why Seattle tends to beat Sporting late but it's becoming increasingly frustrating.
3) Peterson is close, but not fully recovered
Jacob Peterson is well on his way to recovering fully from the injury that sidelined him for many months. He's been going farther and farther into matches, but he's not there yet. One has to ask if it's worth sending him out on the wing every match if he's going to have to be subbed in around the 65th minute. Of course you're going to want a possible starting winger to get some game experience while he recovers, but his status limits some of the moves that Vermes can make down the stretch when he has to sub him out because he can't go the full 90 yet.
4) Rosell turning into a star
Uri Rosell played another fine game against Seattle. His passes were on point and his holding down of the midfield was admirable. Ever since he came on for Sporting last season he has been an excellent holding midfielder. While the presence of Nagamura was missed last night, Rosell stood out in the middle of the park. Sporting Kansas City may have a big future in Uri Rosell on their hands.
5) It's not time to panic.
There are some people who are really starting to get concerned about this team. Now, while three points in three home matches is certainly disappointing, there is no need to be concerned about this squad. For one, they have not been at full strength for the last couple of matches, especially on the back line. Second, Vermes' squads have always done poorly in May for whatever reason that may be. This looks like more of the same. The key is that they always do better in the later months and wind up In a strong position, at least in the past couple of years. If Sporting is still having these types of issues in mid-July, then panic would be warranted. Today, however, there is no need.