Sporting Kansas City at Chicago Fire: Three Talking Points

Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

Three talking points from Sporting KC's fourth loss in five matches, losing 1-0 to the Chicago Fire.

1) Statistical domination doesn't translate to the scoreboard.

As seen with many Sporting Kansas City matches this season, Sporting held possession for long amounts of time and had good passing accuracy at 81%. Coupled with the 59% possession and the stats would look to point to a Sporting Kansas City victory. However not once in seven corner kicks, nor sixteen shots, was Sporting able to get one past Sean Johnson in the Fire goal. Sporting is able to do very well until they hit the 18 yard box, then they fall apart. The attacks fall short and it becomes evident that the Sporting forwards do not strike fear into the hearts of their opponents. However we've seen matches where they've done really well scoring, such as the New England match, but those seem like a distant memory compared to matches against Chicago and New York.

2) Kamara is really, really important.

Every week I get angrier and angrier at Andy Dorman for his late foul in the New England match that has sidelined Kei Kamara for the past two matches. Kamara is obviously one of the better wingers in the league due to his goal total and interest from clubs abroad. Without him, Sporting's attack has been toothless, not registering many good chances up top. Without Kamara, Sporting KC loses a huge aerial threat and a speedy target going down the flank. It allows defenses to not have to sit back and defend Kamara and instead go out and meet the other Sporting forwards in CJ Sapong, Soony Saad and Jacob Peterson.

The worst part about these past two matches is that Sporting should've had a much better attack with Kamara on the pitch, but due to a classless foul he has been out for what is now two straight losses. I'm not excusing Sporting KC, since they have proclaimed to have had the depth to deal with this type of scenario. However, some blame should fall on Dorman since he has altered these past two matches by injuring Kei Kamara.

3) It's not time to panic.

Contrary to my immediate thoughts after the match, it's not time to panic at all. Sporting is still doing well with possession and passing accuracy. They have Graham Zusi back and will soon have Kei Kamara return. The schedule after next week's fixture with Colorado lightens up considerably and Sporting Kansas City have lost four out of five matches the past two years. The same years they've finished at the top of the Eastern Conference. Even if Sporting doesn't win the East again this year, making the playoffs is the most important part and they're in a good position to do so. While chasing after the Supporters Shield is nice, and still very possible, any team can squeak into the playoffs and dominate for those matches, such as last year's Galaxy team.

Is the team playing to it's potential and hype? No. I think they should be performing much better and I think they should be the team to beat for the Supporters Shield. There's still a lot of soccer left and it could go either way for Sporting KC. If they're still playing this way in October then yes, it is time to panic. However this year may still be the year they go on their typical unbeaten run at the right time...

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