Jul 28, 2018; Kansas City, KS, USA; Sporting Kansas City goalkeeper Tim Melia (29) makes a save during the first half against FC Dallas midfielder Michael Barrios (21) at Children's Mercy Park. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken/USA TODAY Sports
Sporting Kansas City lost 3-2 to FC Dallas Saturday in front of its home crowd. Here are three things we learned from the team’s rough night:
Peter Vermes has had it with MLS officials
Saturday wasn’t the first time this season that Kansas City manager Peter Vermes has ripped officials. Earlier this year, he spoke of the lack of consistency in the VAR system. His frustration with officiating once again boiled over this weekend.
“When they’re bad, they’re bad,” Vermes said of the referees. “For me, I’m just amazed to watch at times how games are managed in our league by the referees. They get one guy – you’re losing, and he doesn’t say anything to the other team when they’re slowing the game down, then you tie and you’re starting to win, and he’s telling you to play faster. It’s a hard one for me to understand, and the only thing I can say is maybe he doesn’t understand.”
Boos rained down at various moments Saturday, as FC Dallas seemingly delayed the match, specifically on throw-ins. Vermes also spent time after the match in animated conversation with the officiating team.
This team’s problems are more serious than injuries
There’s no question Sporting has been out of sync the past few weeks, with players shuffling in and out of the lineup. Injuries, suspensions and national team call-ups have all affected playing time. Still, Kansas City is getting closer and closer to full health, and it’s still losing. Felipe Gutierrez was back in the starting lineup for the first time since March. Matt Besler and Ike Opara were both back on the field.
Despite players returning to the lineup, Kansas City still suffered its third straight loss Saturday. The team allowed three “silly goals,” per Vermes’ wording, and until a stoppage time goal from Daniel Salloi, was on the verge of losing by multiple goals once again.
The MLS season isn’t even halfway over yet, so there’s still plenty of time. But Sporting will need to capitalize on its improving health if it’s going to figure out the rest of the season.
The offense wasn’t as terrible as the numbers might suggest
Yes, Kansas City didn’t notch a single shot on goal in the first half (and finished the match with four). But the offense did threaten several times and created chances for itself.
Gutierrez, who dazzled in his first couple months on the team before his injury sidelined him for weeks on end, is back. Gerso Fernandes embarrassed his defender and notched a beauty of a goal. Salloi continues to be in the right place at the right time.
Contrary to so many years past for Kansas City, the offense is not the worry.