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Sporting KC v LAFC Highlights; Plus Eight Quick Observations

And the full quote from Peter Vermes on why, after five straight games of one sub or fewer, he chose again to only make one sub with the game lost.

MLS: Sporting Kansas City at Los Angeles FC Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Sporting Kansas City will be looking to forget their 4-0 loss to LAFC on Friday night, but before we fully move on, let’s look back one more time. We’ll start with the highlights. Lowlights?

Quick Observations

  • God I hate zonal marking. On the opening LAFC goal three players charge from the top of the box into a tight space and all Eduard Atuesta had to do was clear the bunched up Kansas City defenders and there was a huge gap. Khiry Shelton was the closest player as there is a bit of a gap between him and Andreu Fontas (I’m not sure who’s fault that is). Fall heads it home and KC never recovered. Why is Shelton so bad in the air for such a tall guy? He doesn’t even jump actually on this one, but he probably should to at least attempt to throw off the attack.
  • I mentioned it in the piece on the Roger Espinoza red card, but it’s all a bunch of bad luck. Espinoza makes a lung-busting run all the way down the field, wins the ball, but crashes into Ilie Sanchez who steps at the same time. They give it away and Espinoza immediately commits his foul. I’m not sure if Ilie should be stepping back with Roger approaching or if it’s just bad luck, but it was generally unlucky all the way around with the unintentional serious foul play right after.
  • I have to reiterate, though it’s not in the highlights, that Shelton didn’t foul Latif Blessing to setup the second Los Angeles FC goal. Blessing crashes into Shelton who has position but since Shelton is bigger and stronger (and Latif is known to go down easy), it’s Shelton who is incorrectly called for the foul.
  • The game was over at that point. Yet once again Peter Vermes only made one sub. That’s five straight games with one sub or fewer. In the post-game presser, Vermes had a frustrating response when asked about only making that one sub.

“Again, there is no rule that says you have to sub players,” Vermes began. “So I don’t... when you ask the question... sure could I sub guys? Yeah, I could. But, I didn’t. I don’t know what you want me to say to you. I just chose not to.”

  • On that second goal, it’s not clear who’s marking Fall, but he had the first goal so it’s clear they should have been marking him more closely. It almost looks like it’s Johnny Russell or Graham Zusi’s assignment, which seems like a big mismatch. There wasn’t a lot of size on the field from SKC to deal with LA, but of all the guys to not mark stronger, Fall had just freakin’ scored!
  • It’s notable that Sporting don’t have a single highlight in the package until the 65th minute of the game. Who knows if they turn it around if not for the red card, but they sure weren’t putting it on LAFC for a huge chunk of the game.
  • It’s very odd to me that the “highlights” don’t show Ilie Sanchez being offside on his goal (he was). Why not put that replay in? They had the replay of Bryce Duke’s first half miss somewhere around 1,000 times in the highlights. Maybe they are guessing not a lot of people are going to watch a 4-0 beatdown in the highlights? Little do they know what a glutton for punishment I am (and apparently you are).
  • Finally, the Instant Replay crew (well, just Charlie Davies because he was flying solo) agrees that it was a red card on Roger Espinoza. But you already knew that because I laid out the case. Fun fact: even if they’d have given a yellow, that would have been a suspension for yellow card accumulation for Roger. I suppose we can look forward to that after he returns from suspension. I’m frankly stunned he went this far into the season without picking up that suspension.