ORANGEBURG, N.Y. — An avid lover of basketball, New York City FC coach Dome Torrent often talks about the differences in that sport compared to soccer.
Generally speaking, he said the better teams are rewarded in basketball. If you have more chances to score on the court, its likely your team wins. But that’s not always the case in soccer.
A sport some label cruel, soccer Torrent said, sometimes punishes teams.
That has been the story this season for Sporting Kansas City, NYCFC’s next opponent tonight at Yankee Stadium.
“Sometimes soccer is not fair to them,” Torrent said. “I watch the game against [LAFC] and they lost the game 5-1, but when I saw the first 45 minutes it was incredible because they play really, really well.”
Despite SKC’s 6-8-7 record that has them five points adrift of the playoff line in the Western Conference, Torrent knows there’s too much quality on Peter Vermes’ team to count them out down the stretch of the regular season.
“Sometimes that happens in soccer, you deserve more, but the results are about that,” Torrent said. “But I’m sure they have time to win games and games and games and I’m sure they have more possibilities to play in the playoffs.”
According to Torrent, Sporting is still “one of the best teams” because they have a clear identity. He remembers defensive midfielder Ilie Sanchez and central defender Andreu Fontas from their time with Barcelona B, and spoke highly of SKC’s wingers, especially Johnny Russell.
“He plays all the time positional 4-3-3, he has a clear style and I like that,” Torrent said of Vermes. “I prefer to play in this style. They play positional, they want to play all the time. You have to be focused all the time in the game because they are able to take the control of the ball and create many, many opportunities in 10 minutes.”