The drought continued for Sporting on a rainy night in Kansas City. The 1-0 defeat to DC United was an ugly match all around. The weather... and the play of the field.
Peter Vermes fielded a lineup full of reserves as he was without Besler, Zusi, Mustivar, Coelho, and Espinoza tonight. Benny Feilhaber was available, but started on the bench. Although Sporting still had the better of possession, shots, and corner kicks; they were uninspired and dull.
It took until the 86' minute and even the breakthrough moment for the visitors was sloppy. Tim Melia came way off his line in traffic and tried to punch the ball away, but missed badly. The ball fell for Alhaji Kamara, less than a minute into his MLS debut, and he put it into the open net. Yet another bad mistake for which SKC was punished.
The home side actually began the game positively. They were on the front foot, but once again had nothing to show for it.
Jimmy Medranda, who was awarded another start at left-back, was lively and eager to get forward as always. In the 8' minute he curled in a beautiful ball right on the head of Dom Dwyer. The striker did very well to get enough pace on the ball but it bounced just wide of Bill Hamid's post.
With Mustivar on international duty, Lawrence Olum stepped in to provide the best chance of the match for KC. In the 37' he rose up for a header and forced a fantastic save from Hamid. On the ensuing corner kick the ball bounced for Olum in the box and he struck a volley that skimmed over the bar onto the roof of the net.
The match was delayed again for an hour during halftime, after the opening kickoff was delayed by two and a half hours. The weather cleared enough for play to begin in the second half, but things were still very ugly. Feilhaber was subbed on, but disappointed once again. The defense was the only good thing about Sporting KC tonight. Kevin Ellis made several big tackles and Ike Opara was a force all over the pitch.
It never felt like Sporting KC was threatening to score and you just kind of knew the winner was going to come for DC United. Even though the lineup was missing key players, the lack of bite is very troubling. Benny Feilhaber is simply not the same player as last season, and the play in the final third is terrible.
The loss moves the record to 5-8-2 and KC is in in 7th place, beneath the red line. Moreover, they've played 15 matches which is more than anyone in MLS. The defending US Open Cup champs have just one win in the last ten matches.
Next up is the LA Galaxy at the StubHub Center on Thursday, June 2nd.