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Monday Morning Fullbacking: Sunday Funday

Sporting Kansas City climb back into the top half of the table curtosy of a a Paulo Nagamura 75th minute goal and Tim Melia gets a clean sheet in his first match with SKC.

John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

For stretches it was entertaining, for stretches somewhat lousy, and man, that 0-0 score line at half time could easily have been 2-2 or more. In the end though, Sporting ground out a 1-0 victory and Peter Vermes' moves all seemed to play out, as Tim Melia had a very good outing replacing Luis Marin and Paulo Nagamura scored the game winning header after coming on as a substitute.

Melia did well controlling his area coming off his line, in one instance getting well outside the box to break up a potential breakaway. Outside of a nervy clearance on a cross early on Melia looked good, and I expect we see him get more time this season.

Matt Besler had a very good outing as well, and is starting to look more "Besler" like after what I've thought was sort of a slow and somewhat uncharacteristic first few games.

Benny's haircut was awesomely terrible or terribly awesome, and I would say as much even if he hadn't done it for charity.

Graham Zusi had a good shift as well.

Our forwards, less so. Dom Dwyer missed a header that just needed to be placed low to get into the net. Not that it was an easy sitter miss, but the Dom Dwyer of last year probably nets that.

Seth Sinovic got fairly lucky not to be sent off for a second yellow card after tugging on a jersey just outside the penalty box. The ref played advantage and Chicago failed to score, and I think Seth was lucky the ref, who didn't officiate a great match and was fairly inconsistent, didn't come back to him after play stopped and give him the second card.

On the other side, David Accam's sending off was probably harsh. It did look like he flailed his arm out a little after clashing with Jalil Anibaba, but on replays it didn't look like the elbow to the face the assistant referee seemed to indicate.

In any case, Sporting recorded a shut out and got a home win. Definitely movement in the right direction. To cap it off, lets look at some player ratings.

Chicago Fire
Sean Johnson 4.5
Jeff Larentowicz 4.5
Joevin Jones 5
Eroc Gehrig 4
Adailton 4
Matt Polster 4.5
Lovel Palmer 4.5
Harrison Shipp 4.5
Shaun Maloney 5
Chris Ritter 4.5
David Accam 3.5
Quincy Amarikwa 4.5
Kennedy Igboananike 4.5
Guly 4.5
Team Average 4.5
Sporting Kansas City
Tim Melia 7.5
Matt Besler 7.5
Jalil Anibaba 7.5
Seth Sinovic 5.5
Kevin Ellis 6
Amadou Dia 4.5
Benny Feilhaber 6
Roger Espinoza 5.5
Graham Zusi 6.5
Paulo Nagamura 6
Jacob PEterson 4.5
Soni Mustivar 5
Dom Dwyer 4
Krisztian Nemeth 4
Team Average 5.5

So Man of the Match probably to Tim Melia, and not just for the novelty of it. Once he settled in he had a really good game, made a few good saves, and had a few really great defensive clearances.

So Sporting are now level on points with the LA Galaxy and have scored more goals. I think that's sort of a nice, interesting perspective on where the season is at so far. I'd like to think we started underperforming, and Vermes has been juggling the lineup a bit much (though in some cases that's been forced upon him). Maybe once the team starts to settle and get more consistency we'll see more good results come this way.