Kansas City, KS – Tonight’s match saw Sporting KC draw at home for only the second time this season. While there is some frustration, they still seem content and ok with their position, as they should. The point extended their lead atop the Western Conference Standings to three points. Here are three things we can take-away from today’s match.
Sporting KC Draw At Home with Montreal Impact: Three Things
Montreal didn’t deserve anything from this game
Don’t let the fact that Montreal got a point here fool you: They didn’t deserve anything. For the umpteenth time this year, teams who played against Sporting KC bunkered in and hoped to beat them on the counter. Manager, Peter Vermes said this afterwords: “There is a reason why teams come in here and play the way they do. There is a reason why when we go away, teams play at their places the way they do. It’s pretty easy to figure out.”
Montreal came in and sat back, hoped to ping them on the counter. They never controlled the match in terms of possession, Sporting KC completed 327 more passes, took more shots….the list goes on. What beat Sporting KC was a bad mistake on their part, which happens over the course of a season. In the big, thirty-four game picture, it’s not too big of a deal. Things happen.
Some Credit to Montreal Impact
While it’s fair to say that Montreal came tonight to sit behind the ball and counter, it’s also fair to say that it works to their overall game-plan and approach. They have a decent backline, an older and slower midfield, and a couple of electric attacking players. According to Benny Feilhaber, they’re set up to play that way. “There are some teams that are always going to do that, and Montreal is one of them because they’re so good on the counter-attack. They’re going to put a lot of guys behind the ball and counter with Piatti and Oduro, and they were reasonably successful with that in the first half.”
In any game when a team goes to get a point, and they accomplish it, you have to give them credit. They accomplished what they set out to do. Whether it was aesthetically pleasing or not, or even deserved is another conversation. But overall, Montreal deserves credit for getting the point when they weren’t expected to, on the road, against a strong opponent.
Gerso Fernandes Was an Awesome Signing
Gerso Fernandes has now scored six goals this season, his highest total for a season so far. He still has 18 games to go! Tonight’s goal was different than the others, but shows his wide range of skills. For being a quite smaller player, he held off Kyle Fisher and slotted home with his non-dominant right foot. Here is what Manager Peter Vermes said about Gerso’s scoring chances after his hat-trick against Seattle:
“That wasn’t necessarily his responsibility on the (prior) team he played on. So when he came here, the thing that I said to him is I said that he’s going to find himself in a lot of positions that he didn’t find himself in on his old team, which is in front of the goal. So he’s going to have to get a mentality that you’re going to have to take those chances as opposed to just always giving the ball to someone else because he was more of a provider as opposed to being the scorer.”
The proof is in the pudding. More goals, thanks to a more attacking team that puts him in more of a “goalscorer’s” position. Tonight’s goal came from a different look than we’ve seen this season though.
It came on a simple ball over the top, timed to perfection. Here is what the man who played provider on the goal had to say about it: “When we have openings, they close the middle area. So we have to look outside first, then behind his (their) backline. When you put one, two, three balls behind his backline they start to go deep so we can break the lines in,” said Ilie Sánchez. “We want to take advantage of this, Gerso, Jimmy, Dom, whoever plays, they must make these runs, not to take the ball, but to make space in the middle.”
While the goal was nice, the result clearly leaves a bad taste in the player’s mouths. “Today it worked, we are happy for that. But we are not completely happy because they scored a goal.”