Sunday, March 3, 2013

Quick Thoughts: Philadelphia vs Sporting KC

Article by Anders Aarhus

No Kei, No Problem
Sporting Kansas City Missing Pieces

In the first half, Sporting was completely outplayed and clearly missed the presence that departed duo Roger Espinoza and Julio Cesar brought to the midfield last season. Playing a high line, but failing to put any pressure on the Union, KC was beaten repeatedly with balls over the top, as was the case on Sebastian Le Toux’s opener. In the second half, Sporting settled down and held possession, dominating the game as a result.

New Year, Same Story for the Union

Philadelphia started brightly and controlled the first half up until Graham Zusi’s equalizer. But a lack of composure in front of goal kept the Union from extending its early lead while a combination of shaky goalkeeping and poor set-piece defense, all problems the team had last season, saw Sporting come from behind to take the match. Manager John Hackworth has to hope his team replicates the first-half form, or it’s going to be another long year for Philadelphia.

A+ For the Broadcast Team

Former MLS striker Alejandro Moreno joined JP Dellacamera, long considered one of the best American soccer broadcasters, and the result was spectacular. Dellacamera delivered his usual smooth play-by-play while Moreno provided insightful analysis without overbearing bias. It was a nice reminder for all the people who prefer British voices on their broadcast that you don’t have to speak with a cockney accent to understand the game.

Graham Zusi Shows His Class Again

It’s difficult to think Zusi can top last year’s monster season, but today’s game made it look like he’s well on his way to doing just that. The US international fired home a rebound to level the score in the first half and provided the assist on the winner with a wicked free kick. He was involved and dangerous all game, as he’ll have to be if KC is going to contend for a Cup. 

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