Well, on the one hand, I didn't see that one coming, but on the other hand, we know we all kind of did.
Still a bit hard to digest, but I'd like to start out by saying that based on scoreline alone, a 1-0 loss to a good Seattle team in their stadium on a water logged plastic pitch is by no means cause to push the panic button. And to quell some of the pregame fears regarding the lineup Vermes threw out, let's take a step back and look at it. Of the 11 guys starting, 7 of them were in the starting lineup for the MLS Cup win. That's... pretty good. Of those that werent, I'd say all played, at least not poorly. Ellis had a few errant touches and clearances, but once he settled down he didn't look too out of place. Dare I say Gardner looked good at stretches? Peterson put in a good enough shift, and could have been a hero if he didn't totally Peterson that one time volley (admittedly that would be a tricky shot, but I think it's as good a place as any to use Peterson as a verb) and then there was Kronberg....
I'm going to say I actually thought he had an okay game. I'm not sure how much blame to assign him for the stoppage time goal. I think it's going to take some time before I get used to seeing an SKC keeper rushing off his line to punch balls out, but for most of the game his judgement was good and he kept his line organized. The last one? It did look like a cluster on all accounts... player out of position, Kronberg coming out when his defenders maybe had a good line on the ball, no one really watching who from Seattle was coming in. If we clear that ball off the line after Dempsey's crossbar, I think we're praising the Kronic (are we calling him that now? Or did we settle on Kronk?) for keeping a clean sheet against Seattle. But since they didn't, we aren't...
It's gonna take me 4 games before I really pass judgement on him, but I thought he looked like a serviceable MLS keeper on his debut, especially considering the lack of Myers and Sinovic.
Wanna do player ratings? Let's do player ratings.
For those not familiar with me (likely everyone), these ratings are based on the MLS Fantasy game point totals, which are based on the Opta stats for the match. They may or may not really reflect player performance perfectly, but it's a quick and easy way to assign ratings to players from any team for any match without having to really over think things.
|Seattle Sounders FC|
|Sporting Kansas City|
So, overall, Seattle's defense largely splits man of the match, holding what looked to be a pretty okay Kansas City attack to no goals. Besler, meanwhile, gets SKC MOTM nod, for putting in what I thought was a really good shift.
At this point, the best I can say is, we got maybe our hardest road game out of the way. Bring on Cruz Azul.