Kansas City, KS (May 17, 2017)– Sporting KC gave Seattle a flashback to their 2016 visit to Children’s Mercy Park. This time, they likely won’t fire Brian Schmetzer after another 3-0 drubbing, but it was just more of the same. Gerso Fernandes’ second half hat-trick lead Sporting KC to yet another 3-0 win over the Sounders
Gerso Fernandes Hat Trick Lifts Sporting KC to 3-0 Win Over Seattle Sounders
Sporting KC got off to a really slow start. Jordan Morris had the first chance of the match as he coasted in behind the backline, toe-poking it just wide of the net. Tim Melia had to come up huge multiple times in the first half, where Seattle registered three of their four shots on goal. Two of the saves came right at the end of the first half. Sporting hadn’t even attempted a shot at that point. Melia’s work tonight was enough to earn him the second highest rating on the Audi Index tonight.
Two things contributed to that first half. The first was Seattle’s organization behind the ball. They were disciplined, and forced players like Benny Feilhaber extremely deep to even pick up the ball. Another factor to that boring half was the fact that Sporting’s off the ball movement made the passing game stagnant. It was easy for Seattle to track the ball, and the players in front of them because for the most part, they didn’t move.
In the second half, that changed. Gerso scored the first of his three off a routine corner kick that was meant for the near post runner. He got the ricochet and deposited it into the lower corner of Frei’s near post. Immediately the game changed after that goal.
“In the first half we were just a little bit reluctant to try things, things we’ve been doing all year,” midfielder Benny Feilhaber said. “We were playing the ball too much backwards and too much sideways. No doubt about it, the opening goal opens things up for us.”
His second goal was a cleanup after his initial shot struck the upright. Jimmy Medranda did well to win the ball back in a dangerous area, and then Gerso struck his pass first time. After Marshall’s clearance hit Gerso, he slotted the shot past a sprawling Stefan Frei.
To cap off his hat-trick, Gerso hit a shot one time into the roof of the net as Zusi slipped the ball back to the penalty spot. Gerso made a perfectly timed run cutting in from the left. After his three-goal haul, Fernandes now has five goals on the season.
While the turning point in this one was mostly the first goal, maybe Peter Vermes’ halftime speech deserves a little credit.
“Basically Peter had to scream with us in the locker-room to change our mind, and go in the second half with everything,” Fernandes noted.
Sporting KC’s win extended their home unbeaten streak to 15 games, and moved them first in the Western Conference. For Seattle, they now sit three points off the bottom, and with a Colorado win this weekend, they could very well end up there.
Sporting KC will travel to Vancouver to take on the Whitecaps this Saturday, with kickoff set for 4 PM Pacific Time. Seattle will face Real Salt Lake at home.