By Nick Hartman:
(Kansas City, KS): Saturday was the 2013 Sporting KC home opener. Sporting KC took on the Chicago Fire in front of 19,868 screaming fans. The game was sought out to be a good one but it turned out to be a rather uneventful. The game went scoreless and ended in a 0-0 tie. Both teams played exceptionally well even with the score. Jimmy Nielsen and Sean Johnson both put up their first shutouts of the seasons.
“We are disappointed in the fact that we didn’t get three points but can’t by any means be disappointed in the performance of the team. The performance of the team was fantastic. From the onset I thought our tempo and our rhythm of the game was very high, and look when you have 75 percent possession throughout the course of the game and we were going with speed at times when we had to,” said Sporting Head Coach Peter Vermes. “It’s always going to be difficult to hit the back of the net but I thought that we at times were very dangerous around the goal and we didn’t give anything away until probably the 88th minute and that’s only because we were still going, going, going and they were trying to take one off the counter. I’m very happy with our performance and I’m disappointed in the fact that we couldn’t get the three points because we played so well. Just a little disappointed on that side of it but also happy that we didn’t give anything away defensively and we got a shut out.”
Sporting KC was able to take three shots on goal and a total of 20 shots while only allowing one shot on goal to the Fire. All three shots on goals should have been goals but were just missed wide, high or low. This game had no score at the end of 90′ because of the defense from both teams. Both were unstoppable especially at goal. Sean Johnson saved the game often while in the 86th minute, Jimmy Nielsen saved the game for Sporting after making a diving save.
Sporting dominated the ball, owning possession 72% of the game. This proved to be vital because if they had not had as much possession, the game could have been much different. This number also proved that the team is meshing well especially Benny Felihaber and Mechack Jerome.
“I think we are off to a great start. We are not quite there. It’s not perfect right now but we are three games into the season and it’s a thirty-four game season,” said Sporting KC defender, Matt Besler. “We have to stick to the game plan and continue to improve but other than that the new players are exceptional.”
The foul count between the Fire and Sporting was up as well. Chicago committed 20 fouls, four of which were yellow cards. Sporting committed 14 fouls, only two of the fouls were docked as yellow cards. The foul count was a result of the rivalry between Sporting and the Fire. Both teams play physical and when you put two physical teams together you get even more physical play.