CCL: Kansas City at Toluca (Thur Feb 28st, 9:00PM CST) [R]

Discussion in 'Sporting Kansas City' started by Buzz Killington, Feb 25, 2019.

  1. mschofield

    mschofield Member+

    May 16, 2000
    Union Berlin
    Nat'l Team:
    Do they have sea level tents? Seriously, the 24 altitude tents deal has to be one of the most sporting things we've seen at sporting. It is paying attention to detail to a crazy degree. I loved the fact that the USNMT "considered" doing the same thing.
    Another of the trully SKC things they did in this game was completely own it. The reality is that if you'd teleported Melia out of picture every time they lined up to shoot, we'd have still come away with a shut out. That was in part ineptitude, but we were also really good.
    Stats breakdown (sorry about the length, that's what she said, etc):
    First, we go to their impressive house, at their impressive altitude, and come away leading in SOG by 6-0. that's impressive (though one was very close and probably had Melia beat when it bounced off the post).
    We held the ball for 62 percent of the game. We completed 631 passes to their 370. we completed 89 percent of our passes! That percent only dipped to 75 percent of our 100 passes in the final third. They were below 63 percent on their 83 passes in the final third, 79 perent over all. When i used to coach, I'd tell my kids that success versus failure comes down to little moments. we run through the line and save a ball that they let roll out. We make a run that creates an angle to hold possession when put their head down. We keep our traps clean when they get sloppy, etc.
    SKC was that sort of team x10 last night. I mean, they came out firing and went after us, even after the Gerso goal and until the Nemth PK (after which they quit).
    The duals were pretty much even, we had 44 won to their 43. The tackles won were even at 9.
    Look at the five minute breakdowns. They came out and controlled the first one. We took the second, and scored. They controlled the third, but were less in control than they had been. Then in the sixth period they were again on top but by an even thinner margin. It was a back and forth match, but as it wore on, at their altitude, we were getting stronger.
    I wish we had the running stats. Look at Gerso's game. He had four negatives. Felipe was all over the park, he had 7 negative moments. Ilie, my MOTM, had something like 13 negative moments and 100 positive ones. Everyone was playing well.The activity maps on Besler and Fontas look like Angel wings, perfect complements to each other.
    So doe the maps for Johnny, Nemeth and Gerso, (everyone dominated their lane). As the announcer said at one point, it looks like Nemeth was their missing piece. Our movement is beautiful.
    Maybe we shouldn't read too much in destroying a wobbling side. And maybe we shouldn't take too much pride in the fact that their fans were giving our players the Ole treatment, and applauding us off the field.
    But in persepctive: Toluca is dead in the middle of this season. This was our second game. Toluca lives at that altitude. This was the first time we'd ever played in it. This was the most dominant an MLS team has ever been in a two game series with a Liga MX team.
    Takeaway: Vermes is a god.
    IASocFan, PTFC in KCMO, KC96 and 2 others repped this.
  2. lukeD

    lukeD Member

    Jul 7, 2011
    Sporting Kansas City
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Oxygen tents are common place in world cycling, so I was surprised to hear that this was a new concept in soccer and that the press made such a big deal about it. They are used as a way to "naturally" boost your hematocrit level over time and speed adaptation to lower pressure. It's much preferred to the "blood doping" approaches that use transfusions and EPO to cause short term changes in hematocrit.

    Anyway,SKC are a very good team right now. The midfield is dominant and there are too many quality passers for other teams to deal with. PV has created Barcelonita. The ability to play through Nemeth has added a new dimension to this. I watched him almost exclusively last night, and he is rarely the tip of the spear of the attack. Rather, he's dropping and bringing others into the play with his passing and combination play.

    How about Gerso. Man, that guy is on fire. No way I thought he would win the position battle with Salloi as the preferred LW, but that is what happened. He even finished a goal last night with his right foot.

    The compressed schedule and all of the extra CCL travel is a bit of a concern but PV finally has a roster that is good enough to allow him to rotate and not have a big drop from the starting XI. All and all, a very impressive start to the season, and for me it is not the result as much as how the team is playing.
    KC96, Blando13 and mschofield repped this.
  3. Inca Roads

    Inca Roads Member+

    Nov 22, 2012
    Sporting Kansas City
    I think trading Opara for Fontas has been the real game changer. Teams just can't press us any more. They used to focus on forcing Sporting to funnel the ball to Ike, and then pushing him into long balls or poor passes. Andreu is even smoother on the ball than Besler. The only players we had out there that weren't buttery smooth passers were our wingers--Gerso as he's still pretty chaotic at times (acceptable in a winger!) and Russell as he doesn't seem to be in the same level of form as all his fellow starters.

    Luke, you mentioned Gerso winning the position battle over Salloi. I almost think Johnny is the more vulnerable starter right now. Though I really wish he could have scored that close shot off the combo with Nemeth. That was sexy.
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  4. lukeD

    lukeD Member

    Jul 7, 2011
    Sporting Kansas City
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Inca, I agree about Ike and the improvement with the change to Fontas. Most of our players are extremely technical and the team is so good in possession. I get that Toluca is in a slump, but they are still a LigaMX team and SKC made them look silly. PV has taken it up a notch.
    kcfooty, KC96 and mschofield repped this.
  5. KC96

    KC96 Member

    Mar 2, 2013
    Sporting Kansas City
    Total effective strength = firepower (talent) x willpower (commitment)

    The SKC organizational "long term" willpower to win CCL was evident in this series. And it's not just the altitude tents. Look back to post game quotes from 2013 MLS Cup, and the next goal of a CCL championship was immediately stated by leadership during the on field celebrations.

    If you had a chance to visit the Pinnacle training facility, there is a permanent, hardwood lined trophy wall as you walk in, with a special section celebrating each of the major trophies, Supporters Shield, MLS Cup, US Open Cup, we have won - and most notably an empty section with a shadow outline that says "Concacaf Champions".

    That is a sign of ownership/organizational commitment to reserve that space so prominently. They know that every day the SKC players walk in and know that blank space is there, challenging them to fill it with an achievement/fulfillment date. Setting the expectation for championships, and providing resources to go after it.

    I simply love the culture and expectations and true commitment to winning. And so far this season, we are winning with style and beauty on the field.

    This year, CMP has the potential to be a most special experience since 2013 - where we hosted the MLS All Star Game, the USMNT WCQ where Zusi scored, our first modern CCL group stage games, and won MLS Cup.

    I can even not-laughably dream of SKC earning the rights to hosting CCL championship 2nd leg here since it's based on prior round success and not random draw. We are +5 GD, so I'd like us to not just beat CAI (and of course first things first, advance out of the round), but also run up the GD to improve 2nd leg hosting chances.

    Amazing growth of this club.....
    kcfooty and mschofield repped this.
  6. Blando13

    Blando13 Member+

    Dec 4, 2013
    Lee's Summit, MO
    Sporting Kansas City
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    By winning last night, we also helped MLS as a whole. For 2020's version all 4 MLS teams (all 5 if you count Canada) are in Pot 1 and 3 of Mexico's. This year, the reason we were paired with a Mexican team is because the slot we occupied (I believe it was USA2) was in Pot 1 and since we can't play another American team, it was either Toronto or a Mexican team to be drawn against. Next year MEX4 will be in Pot 2 and will be drawn against a MLS team (or Canadian team that wins the Canadian Championship ... likely a MLS team). Not sure it's significant, but it doesn't hurt. Ideally, we start chipping away at the 3 Mexican slots that are the top 3 ranked ... but we need ATL, NYRB and Houston to step up in the next round (as well as us continuing to accrue points via wins and advancements).
    mschofield repped this.
  7. KopRules

    KopRules Member+

    May 31, 2011
    Sporting Kansas City
    IASocFan repped this.

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