Yesterday afternoon Sporting Kansas City held onto a 40th minute header from Kei Kamara to extend their terrific early season form to 5-0. A perfect 15 points from 15 that sees them well ahead of their Eastern Conference foes and most of the other teams in the league.
Sporting KC dominated mostly the entire game except for about 10-15 minutes during the beginning of the match when LA had momentum. Sporting's defense was outstanding however and kept yet another clean sheet - taking their total to four on the season. LA Galaxy were without David Beckham for the match but that still didn't justify their 0 shots on goal from a team the won everything last year.
However, for all the stars LA Galaxy has, Sporting KC's own prized players are starting to establish themselves as one of the best Kansas City teams this league has ever seen, and technically if Sporting KC win just one more game lengthening their record to 6-0, they will be the best team ever...to start a season. Firmly at the heart of this terrific run is Aurelien Collin who touched a little bit on the defensive performance in the press conference after the game:
"Look, I think we've been doing the same thing during the last four games, but this afternoon, we had to be a little more focused. Last game wasn't that great, but today we were very focused, the way we were playing, I think it was hard because they were pushing a lot, but we stay solid and focused. At the end, we kept the result, the clean sheet, so a very good win for the team."
Another key part to this undefeated Kansas City side has been Kei Kamara. He got his third goal of the season on Saturday and also got his 2nd game winning goal of the season. Kei Kamara leads Sporting KC in both categories and also has a league-leading 30 shots.
Thankfully, one of those 30 shots went in for Sporting KC yesterday and it was just enough for them to hold on. But let us not forget the player who provided the assist to Kei was none other than Bobby Convey - a man who had been coming under criticism for his lack of good performances in recent weeks. Both wingers, Kei and Bobby, switched flanks quite often during the game, a tactic that lead Sporting KC to the match's only goal. Peter Vermes shares his thoughts:
"You know, if you look at when we play with three up top and then the two attacking mids behind, those guys have the ability to interchange positions. The only thing is that we try to make sure that, as quick as we can, try to get back to our normal shape and your normal place. For Kei and Bobby, the only difference is, it's left or right side, so the role and responsibility for that position is really the same. Sometimes it happens because of set pieces, because a corner might be on one side and Bobby has to go over to that side, to the right side, to take it with his left foot, and then it kind of changes things a little bit, so it just depends on the situation, but like I said, we actually expect to have interchanging of positions, especially through the run of play, and sometimes they just end there."
Overall, yesterday's game was a good performance from Sporting KC and it sent the 20,000+ crowd home happy. Bobby Convey finally showed up and Aurelien Collin and Roger Espinoza played one of the best games we've seen from SKC players this season.
Sporting KC will enjoy another week in KC as they get set to face Real Salt Lake at home next weekend.
*Quotes from press conference provided by James Coston