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Old 11-21-2011, 05:01 PM  
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**2012 Sporting Kansas City\Soccer Thread**

Sporting Kansas City was eliminated from MLS Cup contention after losing to Houston 2-1 aggreagate over the span of two games. They finished the year as US Open Cup Champions and a Kansas City team record of 63 points.

MLS Cup Final | LA Galaxy vs Houston Dynamo | December 1st, 3:30 CT









Final Regular Season Eastern Conference Standings
Full MLS standings here.



2012 US Open Cup Champions.


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Old 03-24-2012, 10:11 PM   #616
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Just some really surprising scores all around the league today.

Revolution over the Timbers.
Quakes over TFC. Not a shocker but the domination was eyebrow raising.

And the big one...Chivas beats RSL in their own house. Wowza.

Two good matches tomorrow with NY and COL facing off in addition to KC v DAL.

I think Sporting is really going to have something on their hands when they are playing Colorado and Chicago this year.
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Old 03-25-2012, 04:14 AM   #617
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Sporting KC’s defense is stepping it up
Club will try and get its third straight shutout to start the season today against FC Dallas.

Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/2012/03/25...-stepping.html

The last piece to the puzzle for Sporting Kansas City’s defense cracked the starting lineup for good June 12 in Dallas last summer.

That’s when Seth Sinovic stepped in at left back and went the distance in a 4-1 win Pizza Hut Park, joining right back Chance Myers and centerbacks Matt Besler and Aurelien Collin, who had established themselves as starters during the preceding three months.

That quartet lined up in front of goalkeeper Jimmy Nieslen and behind defensive midfielder Julio Cesar — the other key cogs to the club’s defense — for most of the remaining 24 games as Sporting KC made a run from last place to the top of the Eastern Conference standings.

Far from breeding contempt, that familiarity is paying huge dividends now for Sporting KC, which has opened the season with back-to-back shutouts.

“The experience these guys gained together, especially last year, has been extremely beneficial,” coach Peter Vermes said. “They have become a unit and they’re not just defending in ones and twos now. They are defending as a line of four with a defensive midfielder in front of them. Tactically, we’re a much smarter team.”

Sporting KC, 2-0-0, has a well-earned reputation as a dangerous attacking team, one of three MLS squads to crack the 50-goal plateau last season (the Seattle Sounders and New York Red Bulls were the others).

But Sporting KC knows that to reach its ultimate goal — winning the MLS Cup — defense will be equally critical, if not more important.

“It’s important to be known as a good defensive team, too,” said Nielsen, who posted seven shutouts and a 1.14 goals-against average last season. “Normally, teams that win their championship are top three on both sides. They have a top-three defense and a top-three offense, so everything is important.”

That’s why Vermes’ top priority entering the season was cutting down the team’s goals-against average. Sporting KC conceded 40 goals last season.

Only one other team in the East, the Philadelphia Union, allowed fewer goals, but the top four teams in the Western Conference, including tonight’s opponent at Livestrong Sporting Park, FC Dallas, were more airtight on defense.

“To be successful, you have to be in a situation where are very stingy when it comes to goals,” Vermes said. “It’s something we put a huge emphasis on in the preseason.”

Of course, the preseason results were spotty as Sporting KC posted only one shutout in seven matches, including an abysmal three-goal performance against the Vancouver Whitecaps during the Disney Pro Soccer Classic.

“Everything was very nonchalant about that (Vancouver) game: movement off the ball and finding our spots defensively,” Sinovic said. “It was probably a little bit of a wake-up call for us going into the season, and obviously we have responded pretty well.”

Vermes emphasizes a whole-team philosophy on offense and defense, with the backs getting fairly involved in the attack and strikers expected to track back in an effort to disrupt an opponent’s buildup.

Still, the primary responsibility for keeping clean sheets falls on the back line, which is why time together in games is so critical.

“We didn’t have to find our team and find our style,” Besler said. “We already have that, because we already knew the way each player played and we have our style. We hit the ground running and we have a whole season under our belts, which makes us a lot more comfortable.”

Collin described it as being on autopilot, knowing where his defensive teammates will be most of the time without having to think about it.

Sinovic and Besler provide a calm presence in the back. Neither gets rattled easily and both are strong on the ball and in one-on-one situations.

Collin is a hyper-aggressive player at times, which resulted in more than a few cautions last season, but he is adapting to the MLS style and settling down as his comfort in Vermes’ system and with his teammates grows.

Meanwhile, Myers, a former No. 1 overall pick, has matured immensely as a player the last few seasons and is one of the league’s top attacking right backs.

“It takes time to be an outstanding team, but this group has been together for a while now and we know each other,” Nielsen said.

| Tod Palmer, tpalmer@kcstar.com
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Old 03-25-2012, 04:15 AM   #618
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FC Dallas at Sporting KC

• WHEN/WHERE: 6 tonight at Livestrong Sporting Park

• TV: KSMO (Ch. 62)

• ABOUT SPORTING KC (2-0-0, 6 points): Forward C.J. Sapong has a goal in each of the first two games, while Kei Kamara and Graham Zusi appear to have picked up where they left off last season. New addition Bobby Convey has yet to record an assist, but his presence on the left side and in possession undeniably has made an impact early in the season. From a conditioning and form standpoint, Sporting KC has outclassed its first two opponents and will look to do the same in the first of six straight games against Western Conference foes.

• ABOUT FC DALLAS (1-0-1, 4 points): Just as Sporting KC is without forward Teal Bunbury, FC Dallas must make do without Brek Shea for the moment. Both players were named to the Olympic team roster with the U.S. under-23 men’s national team (though the absence probably affects FC Dallas more). Still, facing forward Blas Perez, who already has a goal and two assists this season, and company means Sporting KC can afford to relax. Look for a familiar face, former Wizards goalkeeper Kevin Hartman, in net for FC Dallas.

• BOTTOM LINE: Sporting KC is playing better than FC Dallas at the moment. Coach Peter Vermes’ squad is healthier, and FC Dallas is also without its most dynamic creative force (Shea). In other words, the matchup sets up well for the home side, which seeks a club-record third consecutive shutout to open the season.

• PREDICTION: Sporting KC 1-0

Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/2012/03/25...#storylink=cpy
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Old 03-25-2012, 12:53 PM   #619
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Sporting Kansas City might be the least-respected unbeaten team of the young MLS season, to hear them tell it.

Never mind that they're No. 2 in the MLSsoccer.com Power Rankings, or are generally considered among the Supporters' Shield favorites.

The fact is, Sporting are 2-0-0 so far, but both their wins have come against Eastern Conference clubs that failed to make the playoffs in 2011 – D.C. United and the New England Revolution. Their next six games, however, come against Western Conference opponents, the first one on Sunday against FC Dallas at Livestrong Sporting Park (7 pm ET; Galavision).

With the West widely expected to be better than the East this season, it may be a chance to silence the queries of “who have they played?”

“I think it’s more of a media thing with the West vs. the East, to be honest,” defender Matt Besler said after Friday’s training session. “Everyone says the West is better, but for us, we’re looking forward to the challenge. A couple of the games are going to be on the road, on the West Coast, and we’ll see what we can do.”

After Sunday, Sporting travel to play Chivas USA on April 1, return home for matches against the LA Galaxy on April 7 and Real Salt Lake on April 14, then go back on the road to face Vancouver on April 18 and Portland on April 21.

“You play those guys once, so you want to pick up the points as much as possible,” midfielder Graham Zusi said. “If you take a look at the standings, the West seems to be doing better right now. As the season goes on, you’ll see that even up a bit, but yeah, it’s a good test.”

Few in Kansas City, though, are buying into the “West is Best” conventional wisdom.

“I beg to differ with what most people think,” manager Peter Vermes told MLSsoccer.com. “I think there’s so much parity in the league -- West, East, it doesn’t matter. They’re all MLS teams, and every game going in is always a difficult proposition. Anybody can put anybody out on the field and have a good game that day. That’s why you’ve got to be prepared to play everyone. I don’t measure it any more than I would if we were playing an east coast team. “

Then again, the West does have the reigning MLS Cup and Supporters Shield holder in the Galaxy, the three-time defending US Open Cup champion in Seattle, and one of MLS’ entries into the 2012-13 CONCACAF Champions League in Real Salt Lake.

“It’s still early in the season to determine what side is the stronger side, but the West has been strong for the last couple of years and everyone puts them in that position,” Sporting forward Kei Kamara said. “But we’re positioning ourselves as one of the dominant sides in the East, and all we can do is compete with the best. So having all these games against Western Conference teams, it’s just like any other team.

“If we keep playing like we’re playing, it doesn’t matter who we’re going against,” Kamara continued. “Whatever people are going to say, that’s fine with us. When the whistle blows, we’re there to play. We’re there to prove that we’re one of the best teams in this league.”
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Old 03-25-2012, 12:55 PM   #620
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Attendance will be a bit light due to overlap of KU game. But it won't look real bad.

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Old 03-25-2012, 06:07 PM   #621
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Old 03-25-2012, 06:09 PM   #622
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Old 03-25-2012, 06:56 PM   #623
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Old 03-25-2012, 06:58 PM   #624
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Old 03-25-2012, 07:01 PM   #625
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Forgot about the game with the basketball on. Need to catch up now.
Basketball? Season ended last week, I thought.
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Old 03-25-2012, 07:55 PM   #626
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Old 03-25-2012, 09:44 PM   #627
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Old 03-25-2012, 10:13 PM   #628
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Old 03-25-2012, 10:15 PM   #629
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Look at this ****ing buildup. Kei getting possession...the pass by Zusi...the *great* hustle by Chance to get it into the box and then Kei redeems himself.

**** yes.

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Old 03-25-2012, 10:21 PM   #630
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Colorado sort of made me look like an asshole after I was talking so nice about them. They really got their shit kicked in by New York. Those guys had 2 goals in the first 6 mins. You just knew NYRB wasn't gonna stay down for long.
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