Sporting KC have been knocked off the top of the Eastern Conference after falling 2-1 to Chicago Fire at Toyota Park last weekend; but also due to the persistence from New York Red Bulls.
Let me take you back to the Friday when we traveled to Chicago. We got in at about 9pm from Kansas City, loaded up all the equipment and eventually got to the hotel at 11.30pm. We just about had enough time to grab a bite to eat and a couple of beers before we called it a night. The next day I had to make use of the fantastic gym facilities at the 'swissotel', where we stayed in downtown Chicago. I had a wonderful view of Lake Michigan from the running machine and its beauty helped me through the absurdly diabolical and painful run (I need to get fit again!).
After taking 1 more final look at my notes I headed to the stadium with Kristen Bock (@kbock2241), Mike Flaherty (@kitmanskc) and Chet North (who was taking part in his 500th MLS game as head trainer with Sporting KC! Well done Chet!). Kristen and I met up with the TV boys and had plenty of discussion about some of the new things we were going to try out during the broadcast. We think we had a very good broadcast and were happy with the final delivery. It was the first time we were broadcasting on stations (other then MLS Live and direct kick) other then KSMO. The viewing figures were good and we hope all the new viewers liked what they saw; if so we'll see you again this weekend in Colorado.
In terms of the game and Sporting KC's 3rd loss in a row. I remember tweeting out that there's no need to panic. This is soccer, it happens throughout the season. Every team will go through some sort of run like this, but its just about weathering the storm. I thought Convey's 1st goal for the club was well taken after excellent work from Espinoza. I thought Sporting weren't at their best by any stretch, but they seemed to be controlling the game in the 1st half. Chicago came out in the 2nd half with all guns blazing. The penalty at the time was an interesting call. I've seen the replay today and Collin slides the ball away from Oduro, but the ball then deflects off Oduro's left leg and continues in the way that he's running. Looking at it from where the ref was, it looks to him that Collin got non of the ball and it rolls in the same direction as Oduro (usually signaling that there was no contact with the ball). Grazzini stepped up and placed the ball beautifully in the top corner, leaving Neilsen with no chance. The red card for me IS a red card. Yes there's the argument that Espinoza is using his arms for balance, but, that left arm does come up higher then it should. I think its clumsy more then anything, doubt there was any intent at all. The winning goal of the game, was poor defensively from Sporting KC. That'll hurt them this week.
Its on to Colorado Rapids this week, Jake (@jakeyadrich) and I will be on 610 on Thursday at 6pm to preview the game. Working on guests right now, so keep your ears pealed. We'll be on KSMO, WIBW, My TV Wichita and My TV Topeka on Saturday so check your listings for details. Pre game show will start at 7.30pm CT.
See you there!