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Sporting KC captures point in second straight contest
Things are slowly starting to look up for Sporting Kansas City. The team has managed to earn a point in each of its last two road games.
Those two points give Sporting KC a total of six after 10 games. It's the lowest in the league, but as I've stated time and time again here, you have to take into account the number of road games. In the Eastern Conference, no team has more than two victories on the road. In fact, only four of the eight teams in the conference have won on the road at all. Sporting fans should not panic just yet. The team has the pieces it needs to compete with most teams in the league. Some much needed normalcy should help when they're able to play at home and get in a routine.
While a draw and a point may be a step in the right direction for Sporting KC, the team clearly can play better. In Saturday's game against Toronto, Sporting was caught offside on five different occasions in the first half alone. Those squandered potential scoring chances were the most recorded so far this season and show that the forwards and midfielders weren't quite on the same page Saturday.
Sporting Kansas City also posted its first shutout of the season, not allowing a goal on seven shots. Eric Kronberg was forced into action a few times during the match and answered the call each time. It was the keeper's first career shutout and the team's first of the season.
Sporting finally seem to be figuring things out in the back, although it took a fine sliding tackle from Matt Besler to keep things on level terms Saturday.
With the road trip finally over and a much-anticipated home opener in a new stadium just around the corner, you can bet Sporting players will come ready to play Thursday night. Manager Peter Vermes summed up the difficulties of a long road trip and the feeling of finally coming home.
"I think it's easy to understand the travel and all of that stuff, but one thing that most people don't take into consideration about those 10 games is that when you're always the enemy, week in and week out, and you are never home, you lose the connection back to your fans, back to your organization. And you almost, as a player, think 'what are we playing for?' Because when you come home and you do a good play, everybody cheers and they are on your side, that's the twelfth man. We haven't had that."
No, Sporting hasn't had any home comforts or home fans applauding their efforts. But that's about to change. Hopefully the change of venue and atmosphere will lead to a change in results.