After roughly 270 minutes of game play in just two and a half weeks Sporting Kansas City sits squarely at the top of the entire league. And in that time period not only have they reached top spot in MLS, they've also accomplished a lot. In all they've scored 6 goals, a league high, and are the only team to have a perfect record of 3-0-0. No losses, no draws, just plain good ol' wins.
For the fans of Kansas City soccer this is not an insignificant development. Not only is it the first time in more than 5 years that the club has won their opening 3 fixtures but it is also the first time in a long time that they are being considered serious Supporter's Shield candidates.
If you argue the fact however that they aren't Supporter's Shield contenders then you are simply ignorant. And if you argue the fact that they aren't the best team in the East, a conference where the only 4 teams in the league that are still without a win reside, then you are just plain unintelligent.
So no matter how you dissect the stats they all seem to point to an inescapable fact - that is of course that Sporting KC is a good team - I mean a really good team.
So what has been the key to Peter Vermes' success?
Read More For My 3 Reasons
1. For me one of the main reasons that Sporting KC has been so successful thus far into the campaign is that they've been consistent. Now when I say that they've been consistent I mean two different things. One, is of course that Sporting KC are churning out the results that they need. Most of the key players from last season have had a great start to the campaign and have maintained the high level of play we saw from basically the first couple of minutes in the season opener at DC United. Week after week the performances have been solid and they've looked like the attacking team that we should expect solely based off what we see on paper. More importantly they've gotten the wins and even when they haven't played to their full potential they've still found ways to secure all three points that a win in the game of soccer entails. Good teams find a way to win no matter what.
Secondly, Sporting KC's starting XI has stayed consistent and we've seen the same group of guys through and through each week. As many of you will remember this was not the case in 2011, a host of injuries and other positional movements made even predicting the lineup a tough task let alone picking it. Now however, we as fans have a firm grip on who we can expect Peter Vermes to pick every week and yours truly is 2-0 after the past two games at predicting not only the starting lineup but the final score as well.
2. The second reason Sporting KC has been so successful honestly just boils down to how much luck the team has had as of late. First and foremost we've been lucky to escape the past three games against physical teams without a major injury blow. That kind of ties in to how consistent our starting team has been but sometimes it just comes down to how the ball rolls, a misplaced ankle there or challenge on a standing leg there and Sporting KC could be one important player down. Imagine if we didn't have Graham Zusi in the lineup as our starting attacking mid due to an injury? It's hard to look at the roster and find someone that could step in and have as much of an impact that Zusi has had on this team from the attacking mid position.
We've also been lucky in the way some of our results have gone. Scoring an injury time winner against DC United was lucky, if someone had been on the back post for DC Sporting KC could have lost their mentality in the following matches and not have had as much success. Going up a man on an already injury-riddled side in the way of the New England Revolution was lucky, if the ref would never have made that crucial early call that saw Stephen McCarthy ejected then New England wouldn't have to put 10 men behind the ball when Sporting KC attacked and therefore could of had a chance at working their way through Sporting KC. As much as lady-luck left us in some games last season it would seem as if she is fully in our midst this year.
3. Sporting KC's team as a whole have obviously had a huge impact on the results that they've received but it has been some of the individual performances that have had the greatest effect on where the team currently is in the league. As good as our defense has been this year specifically Chance Myers and Seth Sinovic have had terrific starts to the campaign. They've both had one assist each and have been essential to the way the team attacks and moves the ball up the field.
Another huge individual player for Sporting KC this year has been Graham Zusi. The long haired central midfielder has been nothing short of prolific in the assists category. He has a team and league leading 4 assists and as if that wasn't good enough he's also added a goal to his attacking résumé. His ability on set-pieces is again as good as it was last year and he switches the point of attack for Sporting KC so well.
Yet another standout player in the attacking department for Sporting KC this season is none other than the ever-threatening Kei Kamara. Our Sierra Leonean right winger has 2 goals to his name thus far in the season and has tormented all three of the left backs he's come up against. The way he can link up with CJ Sapong and Chance Myers has also been huge. He's just a great guy to have on the team from an offensive standpoint but also does not forget his defensive duties.