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Sporting KC holds Dynamo in drab scoreless draw in Houston

JimmyNielsenPink (ISIPhotos.com)

The Houston Dynamo and Sporting Kansas City both played 120 minutes worth of soccer last Wednesday night, and it shows on Saturday afternoon as both sides dragged themselves through a drab 90 minutes of soccer that saw no goals and little inspiration.

Sporting Kansas City will head back home for the second leg of their Eastern Conference final series in good position to advance after escaping BBVA Compass Stadium with a 0-0 draw.

The Dynamo came closest to scoring on the day, with one potential first-half goal ruled out for offside, with Kofi Sarkodie narrowly offside on the play.

The Dynamo suffered a potentially brutal blow after midfielder Ricardo Clark was forced to leave the match with a knee injury.

The teams will meet again on Nov. 23 at Sporting Park, with Sporting KC looking to avoid being eliminated by the Dynamo for a third straight post-season. The Dynamo will take heart in the fact they defeated Sporting Kansas City on the road to advance in last year’s playoffs.

Here are the match highlights:

http://player.ooyala.com/iframe.js#ec=9uYm8xaDq0lQ1ni8Sdub_kmuekBwYSBK&pbid=1217310cfc944c6abc338a459554666
What did you think of the match? Who do you see advancing to the MLS Cup Final?

Share your thoughts below.

 

 

51 comments
    • Brian

      Wait, there was a game last night? Didn’t they just play two days ago? Nice scheduling, MLS.

      Like

      • Shawn

        FIFA dates.

        When MLS doesn’t respect them, everyone complains MLS is minor league. When they DO respect them, people complain about the break between games.

        Which one do you want? Because it’s the same problem in EVERY league. I’ll go for playing both games with as many players close to fit as possible, Thanks.

        Like

      • Brian

        How about some common sense scheduling? Why are you playing through qualifiers that affect 19 teams and taking two weeks off during friendlies that affect 4 teams? Why congest the playoff schedule when they could have congested the mid-season schedule? MLS is scheduling based on income and don’t seem concerned with the quality of product it creates on the field.

        Like

  • Hogatroge

    Just a quick question…

    MLSsoccer.com & Soccerway show Collin with a YC in the 53′, but it doesn’t appear in any of the match reports, and I don’t recall seeing one pulled when I was watching.

    This could have big implications for the next leg if he’s sitting. Can anyone clarify?

    Like

      • Rick

        Collin is maybe the biggest hack I’ve ever seen in MLS. As long as the league allows punks like him to make a living by mugging other players, the league will never move forward.

        Seriously, KC plays a terrible, foul ridden game and the league has to start carding their persistent and intentional fouling

        Like

      • Alex

        You really don’t know what you’re talking about. Did you watch the game? Collin was the one getting beaten up today. And did you watch the second leg of KC’s series with New England? Collin had 0 fouls or cards and SKC committed only 7 fouls total in 120 minutes. Sure Collin commits a lot of fouls and has a lot of yellows. That doesn’t make him a thug. His fouls aren’t reckless and don’t needlessly endanger his opponents (see the fact that he has no red cards this whole season). Players like Lenhart are the ones deserving of the thug label. How many reds and DC sanctions did he get this year anyway? Collin tends to be a hothead, yes. But he can be plenty effective without fouling as well. I don’t like seeing him or other Sporting players fouling all the time, but the fouled player is rewarded with a free kick. Yes, I’m biased towards Sporting, but you’re unfairly biased against them. My guess is that you’re a Houston or New England fan. Either way, I’m sure you’re not representative of your entire team’s fan base.

        Like

      • Hogatroge

        I’m not gonna get into an argument with you, as I disagree with a lot of what Rick is saying, but “fouls called” and “fouls committed” are 2 different things.

        It’s no secret that SKC leads the league in fouls committed, and those are just the ones that DID get called.

        Like

      • RB

        And it’s an impressive lead, too, at 511, about 50 more than the next closest teams (Chivas and Columbus). In fact, the gap between KC and Chivas in 2nd place in this category is larger than the gap between 2nd and 10th (Colorado, with 426).

        Nice to see a team that’s called thuggish really be that, for a change.

        Like

      • Shawn

        SKC play a high-pressure system. And they play it a LOT more than anyone else does. Of course they’re going to commit more fouls when they’re defending higher up the pitch CONSTANTLY.

        Everyone wants teams to try to play high-energy, aggressive styles to create chances. SKC does it, and then everyone whines about being ‘thugs.’

        Can’t have it both ways folks.

        Like

      • RB

        Most fouls by any team in the last 7 seasons. Only 1 other in that period broke 500.

        Like

      • Brian

        High pressure doesn’t mean you must foul, it only happens for SKC because they get caught out if position and must “tactically foul” to save their back line. Fouling isn’t due to a style of play, it is due to incompetence within that certain style.

        Like

      • Paul

        I am a DC fan, so I don’t hold any real grudge against KC, and I must say, persistent infringement is definitely deserving of lots of cards. I am not certain if it is within the rules of the game to give second yellow cards for persistent infringement, but I think it should be. To put it simply, the game should be called in such a way that fouling your opponent to disrupt their offense and possession is not a viable strategy for winning. There is a reason the phrase anti-football was coined. That said, I haven’t watched enough games to have formed my own judgment about KC’s style of play. But if what you say about Collin is true, it sounds as if he is a dirty player, dirty insofar as constantly breaking the rules to gain advantage is dirty play. If the league does not see fit to punish that sort of behavior, it does not mitigate the fact that a team or player deciding to break the rules in order to give themselves a boost are essentially cheating.

        Like

      • Rick

        I am a New England Fan and Collin is a gutless punk. He takes guys out from behind then acts like “what did I do”?

        Like

      • MOUF

        your player broken Olum’s leg on a late tackle. your players dove and feigned injury multiple times during the 2 legs, you and your 30 fans can pipe down about who is a “punk”

        Like

      • MOUF

        worst tackle between our two teams was committed by your player in the regular season, and he was showed a red for it, nearly snapped Kamara’s leg.

        Gutless? do you understand the meaning of the words you use?

        Like

      • Shawn

        13 yellows, no reds. He covers a lot of ground, initiates contact instead of waits for it, and plays as physically as the refs will allow–as 99% of players do.

        I’ve never seen Collin, or any SKC player, make a challenge like Olave made in the RBNY series. Or the infamous Brian Mullins on Zakuani tackle.

        THOSE are thuggish plays.

        Now, should refs do more to punish persistent infringement? Yes. Does SKC commit tactical fouls? Sure. But I’ve yet to see a professional team that doesn’t when presented the chance and still stay on the pitch.

        It’s up to the referee to punish the players for those. And he should. Players will always play to the outermost level of physicality the officials will allow. In any sport where contact occurs.

        Like

      • Tony

        He’s a hack don’t get mad. And is always crying and complaining poor sportsmanship

        Like

      • Hogatroge

        Dynamo fan here. I can’t fully agree with Alex, but I do have to disagree with you.

        Collin’s a solid defender who covers a ton of ground. He did commit a lot of uncalled fouls today, but he was not the only one. He simply took advantage of the fact that referee Kevin Stott was not calling much and used it to his team’s advantage. Sucks for the Orange, but it was tactially smart.

        In the 2nd half, Weaver was brought on to fight back against Collin, and it became a bit more even. That said, Stott continued to let bad things go both ways.

        The only “hacks” in this match were the officials (despite the correct call on the Sarkodie offside goal).

        Like

      • Shawn

        As an SKC fan, I agree with you entirely. The officials let the match get out of hand, and players will ALWAYS play to the uttermost limit of what a ref allows.

        I’d also say that the fact both teams were exhausted, but committed to pressuring each other, contributed to the number of fouls. And the condition of the pitch was a major factor as well. Sadly, it looked like a golf class had practiced chipping on it by the second half.

        Like

      • Paco

        The referees were very, very poor. Unfortunately, this is nothing new for MLS. The players are going to push the limits of physical play and fouling if nothing is being called. Upgrading officiating and calling games more closely (and properly) is a big next step in the evolution of MLS. We would like to watch flowing, attacking soccer – not a ping pong game of headers between the sides with occasional slide tackles thrown in to endanger lower limbs in addition to the heads of the players.

        Like

  • Turgid Jacobian

    Collin got beat the heck up in that game. He’s going to have a headache tonight. And probably for a while. Maybe he ought to grow some hair to cushion the blows.

    Like

  • Satori

    Houston didn’t beat SKC on the road in last year’s playoffs. Houston won the first leg 2-0 at BBVA, then Sporting won 1-0 at Sporting Park. Houston advanced on aggregate goals.

    Like

  • Tony in Quakeland

    This game is an argument for the away goals rule. If you are the top seed starting in the other guy’s park, the advantage you get by scoring in the first leg is huge. It rewards you for attacking.

    And it saves you from the bizarre sight of Zuzi not shooting or passing when he entered the box in stoppage time, instead choosing to dribble to the corner and kill the clock.

    Like

    • Bean

      I think that you’re spot on. You’ve been paying attention the last couple of seasons obviously.

      Like

      • Shawn

        Last year didn’t end 0-0 in second leg. And both teams have everything to play for. But yeah, of course they’re both going to bunker. Because that’s what they did yesterday, right?

        Erm, not really. It wasn’t pretty. It needed a goal it didn’t get. But the ref and the pitch are more to blame for that than any lack of intent. The second of those won’t be an issue in the return leg.

        Like

  • P

    Bad product today in a national network game. MLS does itself no favors with their inability to plan a schedule that provides the best opportunity for their best teams to actually perform at their best. Still tweaking your postseason after 10+ years is not saying a lot for league leadership.

    Like

      • Voight

        It’s not that they’re tweaking the postseason. It’s that they’re tweaking the postseason and still getting it wrong.
        It does makes them look pretty amateur

        Like

      • Brian

        How often do those other leagues change the format? It was 65 years of only a World Series, then 25 years with an LCS before the World Series, then 16 years with a Division Series before the LCS, and the last two years they have added a play-in game. That makes 3 changes in more than 100 years of play. MLS has made 3 changes in just the last 5 years.

        I love this league but the people in charge need to stop screwing around it get this figured out.

        Like

    • Shawn

      MLS ignores FIFA dates to give players rest in the past. And they get slammed for not leaving the best players with their clubs. So now they adapt to the FIFA dates, and the fans complain about playing on short rest.

      So should they have just taken a one month break during the playoffs? *facepalm*

      Sometimes reality intervenes. Every league in the world has to deal with FIFA dates, not just MLS. They’re all going to have to answer this question. And I’m sure you’ll hear club coaches from Europe complaining about fixture congestion in the next month a few dozen times.

      So it’s not ‘a sign MLS is minor league’ or any of that rubbish. The UEFA leagues have the same problem.

      Like

      • Brian

        Those European coaches have a legit complaint, their teams are playing 50+ games depending on how far they get into the various tournaments. In a 9 month season they are looking at playing 6 or 7 games in some months. Compare that to an MLS team playing maybe 40 games if they are in CCL or deep into USOC and it just isn’t the same.

        The problem isn’t the congestion though, it is the fact that congestion occurs during the playoffs. If they had added a couple of double game weeks in May and June instead of in the playoffs fewer people would be complaining right now.

        Like

      • MC

        Max games an MLS squad can play if they go to Finals in all tourneys

        *CCL knockout (Spring) 6 games (to Final)
        *MLS Regular Season 34 games
        *USOC 5 games (to Final)
        *CCL Group stage (Fall) 4 games
        *MLS Cup 6 games (to Final, if starting as 4/5 Conf seed)
        *(Not going to count Club World Cup as no MLS team has made it there yet, +3 games if one wants to dream)

        That’s 54 games, which puts them in the same 50+ range as the Euro coaches with a “legit complaint”.

        SKC played 6 games in May, and 7 games in August, as an example.

        Like

  • the original jb

    Horrible game to watch. It’s amazing just how poor the planning/scheduling has been from MLS this year. It’s like they are trying to do everything to ensure the most boring game possible…and then pick that one for the national broadcast.

    It’s sad to see how far the league has come…and then have MLS completely blow any chance of proving it to the broader audience/casual fan. THIS should be the biggest story in soccer media circles, cmon SBI its up to you to call this out officially. Maybe then MLS will begin to make the RIGHT changes.

    Like

    • Shawn

      Ahh yes. It’s boring because your team yakked in the preceding round. Red Bulls were given a full week rest, and still couldn’t beat a team playing a midweek game.

      But that’s MLS’ fault. Like the Red Bulls don’t get the ‘second’ most favors in the league, right after the Galaxy.

      What’s the league supposed to do, NOT show the Conference Finals on Network Television?

      Yes, both teams were exhausted after playing 120 minutes three days prior. But are we supposed to act like the FIFA dates aren’t there and have playoff games without most of the best players on both teams? Yeah, that’s really compelling.

      Or is the league is supposed to keep playing favorites until ‘best game’= ‘major market clubs’ every season?

      Like

      • Brain Guy

        Here’s the “favor” RBNY got for finishing first: not having to play a play-in game, and 30 extra minutes at home. But they had to fly to Houston and back, while Houston had to travel just once. On net, that’s pretty much *no* advantage for finishing first. So far, Houston, the fourth-place team, has played four playoff games, three of them at home. Give the conference winners a discernible advantage – like a bye to the conference final, or two home games, or something more meaningful than 30 extras minutes.

        Like

  • Tony

    Why are u mentioning the red bulls. The game was a snooze but aren’t all dynamo games that boring. Maybe we get a better second leg with rested teams but don’t hold your breadth. By the way kc is really missing Kamara he made them more ecxiting to watch

    Like

  • Tony

    The complaints about the playoffs are valid! Fans realize how interrupting playoffs stops the flow of the game which can lead to. Poor product. This is the only league that acts like they are stumped by FIFA dates. How hard is it to plan around the date. No one had this problem except us. Plus there are numerous sites that have advocated for schedule why can’t mls pick one and go with it.

    Like

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