An uninspired performance in the Mile High City against the Colorado Rapids led to Sporting KC leaving with a 0-0 draw. While most of the SKC players lacked the spark to really influence the game, a couple continued to impress. Let's dive in!
Before we get into the ratings let me describe my scale (same as last week’s):
1 - Never Play Again. You shall be cursed to the fifth generation for your travesties.
5 - Your play was completely unoffensive. You are a cream wall in an office park building.
10 - You are the chosen one! They will forever sing of your aptitude! You are the most interesting man in the world!
Finally, for all of the player ratings I am giving them an early season grace period. So, a 5 today may be a 3 in August. Let’s get to it!
John Pulskamp - 5
Pulskamp put out a good if unremarkable performance between the sticks. He ended the evening with 4 saves and would probably be a 6 but he looked a little shaky during the opening 10 minutes of the game.
Graham Zusi - 6
Graham locked down his side defensively and sprayed a number of diagonals throughout the night. Despite that, his ball rarely seemed to generate a positive run of plays which prevents him from scoring higher. There was also the not called own goal that came off of Zusi although he had little he could do in that situation.
Robert Voloder - 5
Bounced back from his season opener challenges to put in a stable game. No real complaints but also did little to progress the ball.
Andreu Fontas - 6
Fontas continued his season opener form finding some nice line-cutting balls and providing defensive solidity.
Ben Sweat - 4
Ben Sweat struggled in the opening 30 with Michael Barrios and Darren Yapi constantly finding space behind on his side. His game improved and he had a few nice interceptions in the second half.
Remi Walter - 4
Walter came back to earth from his opening game heights. The midfield struggled throughout large portions of the game to shut down the opposition, and as the defensive midfielder, I hold Walter particularly liable for this.
Roger Espinoza - 5
Looked nominally better than Walter in the midfield but still struggled to advance the ball.
Erik Thommy - 7
Continued to show off his capability to progress up the field with the ball at his feet and was one of the few players to really test the keeper.
Marinos Tzionis - 4
Played a conservative game tracking back and helping out defensively. However, as a forward, you are judged by your ability in the final third where Tzionis was silent all night.
Willy Agada - 3
Continued to struggle to find the ball and did not seem willing to drop into space to collect it. He also routinely failed to press the backline as the center forward is expected in the Peter Vermes system. Really looking forward to having the option to change the game by bringing in Alan Pulido.
Daniel Salloi - 4
While Salloi certainly got more chances on the ball than his forward counterparts he could not to generate much more danger outside of a nice run in the 86th minute leading to his best chance. However, he put most of his shots into the bodies of the Colorado defenders and struggled to combine in the final third.
Felipe Hernandez - 4
Played with the energy we have come to expect from him but could not get on the ball and looked a little bit lost in the midfield.
Khiry Shelton - 4
Got on the ball a few times but did not really know where to go with it. Also, for such a physical specimen he sure plays like a small man, which was particularly apparent as he tried to muscle off Rapids players.
Tim Leibold - 4
Showed some neat ideas for passes but none of them quite came off. He also gave away a scary free kick in the 92nd minute.
Cam Duke - 6
Looked lively in his brief cameo. Running at the defense and putting himself into the right spots defensively.
Peter Vermes - 4
Like last week corners did not seem to be something his team know how to capitalize on. More than that I feel like this game plan needed a pretty massive rethink at halftime. It was clear the team was not dealing well with the Rapid’s press and was not generating quality chances. Maybe bring in Duke early for Agada and play him as a false 9?
I think SKC should feel pretty lucky to get out with a point, both the early goal ruled offsides and the missed own-goal call feels like non-reproducible moments. And while the team generated an excellent 11 shots-on-target the resulting total 0.7 xG (expected goals) speaks volumes of the team's ability to generate high-quality chances this game. Here is to hoping things look better next week.