Sporting Kansas City suffered a tough 2-0 loss to the Colorado Rapids this past Saturday night. Sporting Kansas City played shorthanded with winger Daniel Salloi left in Kansas City due to an injury, Khiry Shelton questionable due to a calf injury, and of course Gadi Kinda and Alan Pulido still out recovering. This meant two big debuts for attackers Marinos Tzionis and Nikola Vujnovic, who just arrived in Kansas City Tuesday night.
The game started much like it ended, with wide open aggressive play from both teams. Tzionis began the game on the front foot, cutting inside from the left and taking on the Rapids back line. On two separate occasions he won free kicks in dangerous areas and could have had a claim for a penalty on another. The game didn't take long to turn in Rapids favor as former SKC man Diego Rubio struck in the 21st minute to put Colorado up 1-0 after the SKC back line was pulled out of position. The second half turned out to be much of the same when Mark-Anthony Kaye scored from a corner kick in the 51st minute to give the Rapids a 2-0 lead that they would never relinquish.
Tim Melia 7/10
Can’t fault Melia on either of the goals when his defense looked completely out of sorts. He even made a great save on Michael Barrios who had a great one-on-one opportunity. Overall solid day at the office for the big man between the sticks.
Graham Zusi 5/10
And I’m being pretty generous here. While Zusi made a few great defensive plays, he consistently got out muscled for the ball and forced poor passes into the midfield that led to several Colorado breakaways. Couple that with his poor deliveries into box and it just wasn’t his day.
Nicholas Isimat Marin 4/10
Simply put, Isi did not have a good game. He was the main culprit on the first goal as he left the back line to go aimlessly press Diego Rubio who then one touches it to Esteves and sends it back to Rubio for the goal. Outside of that, he made a few poor decisions out of back that nearly cost SKC a couple more goals. Also, not sure what he’s doing on the Mark-Anthony Kaye goal?
Andreu Fontas 6/10
Gave the ball away on a few occasions but overall was decent. His lack of speed seems to get exploited nearly every game though. Yikes.
Logan Ndenbe 5/10
Like his right back counterpart, Ndenbe did not enjoy the best game. He failed to cut in front of Rubio on the first goal and got caught ball watching on the near goal by Barrios.
Remi Walter 7/10
Very solid today. Regularly covered for the mistakes of his back line and did a great job pressing, recovering, and recycling the ball. Probably the best center mid on the team right now.
Felipe Hernandez 6/10
Pressed the ball very well, just didn’t do the best job of keeping it. Came off early with a shoulder injury.
Roger Espinoza 7/10
This game was tailor-made for Espinoza. The ref let them play most of the game and play Roger did. He pressed, won back possession, and had great opportunity for a goal. Faded late in the second half though.
Marinos Tzionis 8/10
By far the biggest attacking threat for SKC on the night. He relentlessly took on defenders and drew fouls and combined well with the midfield and Ndenbe. Despite his frame, he looked tough on the ball. Looking forward to seeing more from him.
Nikola Vujnovic 6/10
First week in KC and first game in Colorado? That’s tough. Had a hard time getting on the ball in the first half but flashed some good play in the second half after dropping a bit deeper to pick up the ball.
Johnny Russell 7/10
With the lack of attacking quality in the game for SKC, I expected more from the captain. He had a few good opportunities to run at the defense, and either lost the ball or got it nicked from him on all of them. The skipper is usually a slow starter to the season, but his play will need to pick up with the absence of important players in the line-up. Came off with what looked to be an injury.
Cameron Duke 8/10
Outside of Tzionis, Duke was the clear bright spot of SKC in this game. He showed a bite in the midfield, taking the ball of much bigger players and driving at the backline. Also had two great chances on the day including a 40-yard run through the midfield for a great chance on goal.
Jake Davis N/A
Ben Sweat N/A
Kortne Ford N/A
What a place to make your SKC debut right? Hard not to root for Kortne Ford.
Kayden Pierre N/A
MLS debut for Pierre! Surprisingly enough at right winger. Maybe some right back minutes in the future?
Peter Vermes 7/10
I honestly don’t know what more Vermes could have done this game. Your down your starting left winger and a midfielder comes off injured in the first 20 minutes. All his substitutes made sense except for Kortne Ford on for Fontas. I thought sure he’d take Isi off after a poor game and he looked absolutely exhausted at the end of the game.
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