So I honestly did not know what to expect from this match. Initially, it felt like, sure, white flag thrown, we have no chance, here comes the beat down. Thinking further down the rabbit hole, I had a thought. We're going to be playing a young team of hungry guys who will probably be focusing on a "result" and not a win, whereas the Seattle Sounders will be coming in to try to run us over, grab 3 points, and get back into serious contention for the SS/MLS Playoffs. The clash of objectives could lead to a very negative game where we can steal a win with a good counter, provided we don't give up an early goal. If we score first, we bunker and counter. If they score first, they bunker, and our "B" team has all to play for.
Then, we gave up kind of an early goal, and all felt eery.
Rewinding somewhat, Sporting Kansas City started the match quite well I felt. Good energy. Good sequences. Overall we looked to at least want to match Seattle toe-to-toe.
Then Obafemi Martins did his thing. A turnover, a good pass, a great little bit of skill from him, Kempin just barely getting a piece of it, but it felt like the hammer had dropped in the 30th minute.
And yet, Sporting didn't wilt. At all. If anything, they looked more resolved.
I don't mean to skip ahead too much, the middle game stuff was good too, but when Dom Dwyer came in in the 75th minute, things got good. Well, good-ish.
Dom Dwyer, five minutes in, scored an excellent goal courtesy of a great cross from Amadou Dia. Here's what it looked like.
Dom's energy in general seemed a big lift. Seattle had played somewhat sluggish in the second half, as if conserving energy. As if they, and not we, were going to be playing for Silverware on Wednesday.
Five minutes later, Clint Dempsey will have one he'll see in his dreams. Well, he will, if he dreams about goals he misses in MLS matches, which I'd like to think he doesn't, but that's another conversation. Dempsey actually had two chances to put Seattle up again and scuffed both. I felt announcers were harsh on saying they were easy goals... They were "probably should have"s, but not clear blunders. And Kansas City would have one of their own, as Dwyer just missed on a header in the 88th, and then Stefan Frei came up big with another save that lead to a goal line clearence in the 90th.
All in all, what I felt like was either going to be an ugly 0-4 loss or negative 1-0 win turned out to be a great show of character from a team of youngsters who look to have a lot of promise, bolstered by a Dwyer who seems to be peaking in confidence at just the right time.
Looking ahead I hate to even think it, but I almost don't care about the rest of the season. Wednesday is big. Really big. Making the playoffs in MLS, while never a given, is not that hard, and Sporting is positioned well enough and has the right pieces to at least hit a wild card sport. But resting the eight highest paid players and getting a draw against a very good Seattle team, and the fashion they did it in, sets up everything well going forward.
Recent form has still been poor. Injuries suck. But there's still plenty of greatness possible with this group of players, and this is a draw I'm going to be celebrating like... maybe not a win. But a very, very good draw.
Bring on Philly. I'm flying out on Monday. I cannot wait. Literally. I'm packing as I write this.
Oh, hey, by the way, don't forget to check out the great lunar eclipse happening tonight? Details? Right here.
Soccer and astronomy. TBT has your back.
EDIT - I almost forgot the best part. Benny Feilhaber rocking the free-to-the-first-ten-thousand-fans Sporting Kansas City sunglasses. Class.