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Discussion in 'Sporting Kansas City' started by vividox, Feb 15, 2019.
I can’t wait to read what the Mexican sports news outlets have to say about this.
Wow. SKC looked like they were in midseason form. Passing was outstanding.
Yes, their passing looked better tonight than at the end of last season. Very impressive.
Fontas is so cool on the ball it is almost scary. With no weak links in passing out of the back line, it gives Sporting great flexibility in the attack, as the defense cannot force the ball to a weak distributor, as they often did last year with Ike. Feeling good about the return leg, so long as the players lungs hold up. One away goal should ice it. MLS article stating that Sporting was phenomenal is spot on.
Okay, no Audi numbers for CCL, which is a shame. But our regular stat numbers were all really impressive for a first game. Toluca was billed as a team that likes to hold the ball. SKC possession jsut shy of 64 percent, so they had 36 percent. Break the stats down into five minute intervals and we were in control from the first minute until the 75th, when we were up 3-0. We were dominant and looked it. Toluca put 3 shots on frame, to our 4. but while our SOG produced 3 goals, their's were tepid and all came from beyond the D. I can't remember Melia having to stretch out much.
I was looking for signs of our rust, their polish, and maybe we saw that in the duels won, where they edged us 64 to 55, or the tackles won, where they bettered us 14-6.
Their crossing was more accurate, 40 percent to 29 percent, and we didn't look as good on we could have in that area. But we were significantly better in all other areas of the passing game. Crikey, we completed 599 passes, at an 84 percent completion rate. That rate only dipped to 72 percent in the final third. They completed 336 passing, meaning a completion percentage of 69 percent, which dipped to 59 percent in the final third.
A couple interesting things on movement. Nemeth. If you make a box using the outside lines of the goal box but extend it to the center circle before closing it, that was where Nemeth worked last night. I know, he was in the center, but this is different than Shelton and Rubio last year. Nemeth looks to play the center of the field. He didn't move to the line once.
I wonder, does this lead to Gerso over Salloi? Salloi floats around, plays inside the flow of the game. But his best runs drag people into the Nemeth zone. Gerso scares the crap out of defenses with his speed, which means they adjust to cover him wide which gives Nemeth a bit more breathing room centrally.
A final thought: Last night Russell might have been the weak link in blue. he was taken off the dribble, failed on five of his dribbles, suceeded on one. Remove his passes back in the defensive end, and he really struggled with his passing, as well. I expect the biggest difference in our game for the second leg to be a significant raise in his level of play. We didn't see this last year, his early season working into form, as he arrived mid-season (for him).
Also, we've heard quite a bit of talk about Seth making the attacking runs and Zusi hanging back a bit. The numbers really show that. Zusi had one touch in the final third. Look at this activity map just for Zusi and it looks as if his instructions were halt his runs and retreat when he hit something like the 35 yards from their goal. I have no idea if this is just how the flow of the game went, but it is interesting, and could say that we are looking to protect his legs, and let Seth run himself into the ground, until Wallace or Lindsey steps in over there.
Russell seemed to have been the one player Toluca was well prepared for - none of his take-ons really worked out.
On the other flank, Vermes now really has an embarassment of riches - do i play the best scorer from last season or a Gerso in (pregnancy-induced?) super-form? Someone posted this is finally the Gerso from his first season again - imo this is way better than his first season. Him and Nemeth are working together brilliantly.
with all the enthusiasm, let's not forget that toluca missed a couple of sitters. there were at least two open shot opportunities that were missed so horrendously that they ended up being throwins for sporting
What you described is the movement of a false 9. Nemeth playing as a withdrawn forward/false 9.....where did I hear that before?
Especially the wide open header from 9 yards out, Yiikes! I’m sure that PV will be working on the defensive issues uncovered during last night’s game before they play Toluca again.
Yup. Not to throw cold water on the party - I loved 95% of what I saw last night, but man, Zusi made some weak and dangerous passes back into and across our own box and had a really bad missed tackle in the early going. That missed tackle led to a Toluca counter - and at that point the speed difference between Fontas and Ike was apparent. Fontas struggled to catch the break and when he did the Toluca player was able to stop, turn, and make a really decent shot, albeit wide of the right post.
Then later in the first half, they had ball from the right to the left corner of the box that would have put the Toluca player 1x1 with Melia, but OMG, what a cluster of a trap and the threat died due to Toluca's failure to control the cross. We were ready to be hung out to dry that play - but Toluca forgot how to do laundry.
Overall though - fantastic. I'm really excited about this season.
What? He's talking about a lack of lateral movement. There's no takeaway about 9 v false 9 here. Just means he's a lot more of a 9 than a 10. And that he doesn't play like a winger pushed into the middle but instead he plays like a center forward.
I think his lateral play will become more evident as he gains comfortability with his wingers, especially Russell and Salloi, who like to cut in a lot more. Him being willing to flare wide when they cut in will be a significant mark of how successful of a season from a scoring perspective the wide guys have.
His narrow miss on the turn in the second half was probably the best case made for his quality all night. I know he just missed, but the speed and craftiness of it is exactly why this guy deserves to play up front for us. Hurtado showed literally nothing out there. I'm very nervous for when Nemeth picks up any sorts of knocks or anything.
My first thought when Hurtado came on was, nice, he's fast. My second through last thought was, FFS do something with that speed. I assume he's not fully in on what PV wants out of him, but I do think there is some interesting potential with the speed Gerso and Hurtado would provide up top.
I guess we assumed him to be another Khiry... athletic and useful, but not a goal threat. He definitely does not seem to have the same sense of how to manipulate a defense and work with his team's shape. That said, he did come on after Rowe came in for Espinoza, which definitely deflated our midfield a lot.
I'm fairly up on Rowe, but Roger was an absolute monster last night. I'm not sure I've ever seen him in a game with better ball control and passing. He made some dirty plays. And not old school dirty Roger. Like real soccer player embarrassing opponents with his skills kind of dirty. It was Gutierrez who looked a little iffy in the midfield. Just a little slow. I think he got overconfident a few times. Once Vermes beats that out of him, our midfield should freaking HUM.
Defense is our biggest question. In possession, we are awesome. Out of possession, fallible. Defending against the transition? Never been good at it, and I think we'll be weaker than previous years due to none of our back four (nor Ilie) really having any recovery speed. "Play like Barcelona" indeed.
Rowe was really nervous when he came on. I hope.
I do think on Felipe and Russell and Zusi, these are the sorts of things a couple games get out of the system. They were just not quite where we expect them. Not horrible, but a bit off. I am hoping that they're all closer to full speed by the return. I saw shelton as a classic banger in the middle, a Heskey type, who takes care of a lot of the little stuff that makes those around him better. I saw speed in Hurtado.
Decent point to note, Russell might have looked a lot worse due to Zusi playing at home instead of rampaging on the overlap. Gerso had Seth giving him options... Johnny rarely had that backup. Probably just careful planning to keep Toluca from tearing the right side of our defense apart, but it definitely took its toll on Russell.
We look great up the gut, though.
We obviously don't know Peter's game plan ... or the game plan Toluca used (which may have lead to Zusi and Johnny's right side growing pains). It will be interesting to see how Vermes plays "groups" of players together. I think we're interested in how Gerso may play well with Nemeth due to him staying wide and giving him space. I wonder if Hurtado clears out space with speed allowing Salloi to cut in side between the lines possibly. I also wonder how Barath will play and if his distribution and ball skills is a huge drop off, but sometimes we will likely need a "banger" on the back line and hes' out guy ... although I doubt he's the "make up speed" guy that our current group is lacking either. If we continue to keep 3 defenders back (like Zusi did this past game) I wonder if Lindsay can be that "make up speed" guy we need?
Quite a lot of great questions in here, many of which will probably shape our entire season!
I'm not entirely positive Gerso is our "the" guy. He deserves more than he got last year in terms of minutes and attention, but I can't imagine if form and fitness are comparable him being started ahead of Salloi or Russell. But form and fitness are always a thing, so we'll just see how this season goes!
I'm not sure you need a "recovery defender." I think by the time that recovery speed is an issue, it matters too much where a player is on the field for any one guy to cover everything. A bit of speed along the backline is always helpful but I don't know one guy can cover it. That's different from the big aerial presence guy, who can dominate on set pieces and handle hoofed long balls. I think Barath is more the bruiser for sure. Our newest CB, the Rwandan whose name inexplicably escapes me (and will for the rest of my life), seems more Ike style athleticism. He may come into his own with us and really provide that tactical flexibility.
I didn't even realize this had happened after the game until I read the Star article this morning.
Yeah, heard about that not too long ago. Haven't seen our stadium fall apart like that before! Oh well, time to expand I guess.
I think they are still adjusting to that modified 3-4-3. It worked great for most of the game, but every once in a while they were scrambling to get back on the counter.
there's no doubt he wasn't as effective with the ball last night as he's shown in the past, but man, he was still a critical element out there in winning the ball back. numerous times he came out of nowhere and intercepted a pass or dispossessed a surprised toluca player. i loved it.
this has always been my favorite part about his game, his quick shots. he'll make a turn at the top of the box and get a shot off before he's seemingly finished the move. had that shot last night found the back of the net instead of going wide, i'd put it on par, in terms of technical skill, with ilie's volley that kissed the underside of the crossbar (nothing better than a crossbar kiss).
Apparently one of the players who the railing sort of fell on sprained his knee and ankle and is now out 4-6 weeks.
What was the deal with that? Was it not a permanent fence? Also, are people really criticizing the players for not helping the fans who fell on them?
No it's a permanent fence. It looks like it was anchored straight down into the concrete instead of on the side like the fencing at the front of the section (seen in the photo at the top of this story).
wonder whether there will be any consequences for sporting with regards to this..
It looks like the welds simply broke. Wow. The base of each post appears intact.