Most Sporting Kansas City fans before the match would have been happy with a draw on the road as Sporting Kansas City travelled to Vancouver Wednesday night. Coming off a three-match losing streak, any sign of progress or of a momentum shift would have sufficed.
When the lineups came out, the feeling was amplified. Peter Vermes decided to go with a neutered front line in order to give the regular starters a rest. Jimmy Medranda and Connor Hallisey flanked Diego Rubio, who was getting his first start with Sporting KC. Alec Kann was a surprising selection in goal, while Tim Melia was on the bench.
The opening minutes were rough for Sporting KC as Vancouver controlled the pace and poor defensive marking led to opportunities for the home side.
The Whitecaps took full advantage of this in the 14th minute. A corner kick from Cristian Techera swung into the box and an unmarked Christian Bolaños was there to flick the ball with his foot on a volley, which found the back of the net and put the Whitecaps in the lead.
After that, however, Sporting Kansas City turned the match around and started to put more pressure on the Whitecaps defense. In the 27th minute, they found their equalizer.
Saad Abdul-Salaam got the ball the Olum on a short pass, and Olum turned around from just outside the 18 to find Diego Rubio positioning himself just in front of the net. Rubio knocked the ball in after Olum's pass and scored his first MLS goal to tie the match.
At halftime, Sporting KC were level and the match was up for grabs.
The second half started off with a game-changing moment. In the 51st minute, Kendall Waston cut down an advancing Diego Rubio as they neared the box. This gave Waston a yellow card which, compounded with his yellow card from the 40th minute, earned him an ejection and Sporting Kansas City instantly had an advantage.
Peter Vermes had not made any changes before this incident but after the match it became apparent that Sporting KC would search for the win. Vermes brought on Dom Dwyer, Graham Zusi and Brad Davis in the second half, which gave Sporting KC a front line with some bite to try and take advantage of the Whitecaps being down a man.
Sporting KC, however, could not take advantage of the gift from the Whitecaps. While they did push, they were unable to put a serious threat on goal and the Whitecaps were able to escape the match with a 1-1 draw.
This match ended Sporting KC's losing streak but extending their winless stream to four matches as they earned their first draw of the season. They have a quick turnaround as they host the Los Angeles Galaxy Sunday night at 7.