Washington D.C. (March 4, 2017)- Sporting KC opened the season in relatively lively fashion. A tight battle, with a lot of chances either way ended up goalless. As Sporting KC and D.C. United Played to a 0-0 draw in game one, both teams walked away with what was honestly a fair result. We’ll give you our positives and negatives, and outlook for the next match.
Sporting KC Play to Scoreless Draw in Opener With D.C. United
This was one thing that most people felt would be a strong-suit this year .The attack is a little slow to gel, but if the backline can stay solid through the first few games, Sporting will be in great shape for 2017. Overall, Sporting’s backline held its own against a pretty good group of attackers that D.C. brought out. There was one bad giveaway from Besler that led to a chance, but other than that there wasn’t anything severely threatening from the run of play. D.C’s biggest chances came on set pieces, where Tim Melia made a double save off a penalty, and then tipped wide a clear header after two shots were cleared off the line in a wild sequence. A nervy moment there? Yes. But they handled them well and overall look to be in good shape.
Fernandes was fantastic tonight. He got down the end line a few times, beat his man, made some very crucial interceptions and ball recoveries. The biggest thing was that he wasn’t picking the right cross. He seemed to float it up a little too much, which isn’t always Dom’s type of ball to attack. Dom likes to be led, and have the ball whipped in so he can get a good glancing header on it. Gerso was treating him like a big, target forward. Dom is not that type of guy in the air. Part of that will come with their relationship on the field growing. Once the chemistry is there, the goals could start to come flooding in. But for game number one? Gerso Fernandes had himself a game.
A Lot of Posession, Not Enough Clear Chances
This is probably my biggest nit-pick of the night. I love watching teams hold onto possession and control the tempo of the match. However, it just seemed a little too slow at times for Sporting. This made them rather predictable. Another thing with Ben Olsen teams is they really like to keep everything on the attack in front of them. That makes it hard for teams to get clear cut chances. They had a few, but most seemed to come from outside the 18-yard box. They’ll need to do more to break down teams in their final third. A little less stagnation in the final third would do the trick. It was frigid in D.C tonight so that might have played a little factor.
Up next, Sporting KC take on FC Dallas in their home opener. Another tough test, as one of the best teams in MLS over the last few years comes to town. This will be tough for Sporting, as Dallas will be a lot better going forward than D.C was. They’ll also be a little more vulnerable on the break. Sporting’s back line should have the experience to take them on. Kickoff is set for 8 PM Central Time.