Sporting KC's Vermes: It's us against everybody

Graham Zusi and Adam Cristman

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KANSAS CITY, Kan. — You’ll have to forgive Peter Vermes if his postgame press conference channeled the attitude of a prizefighter on the wrong end of a harsh decision.

Yet again, Sporting Kansas City felt hard done by despite managing to pull out a dramatic 2-2 draw with the league-leading LA Galaxy in the dying minutes of an intense match at Livestrong Sporting Park.

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This time the point of contention this time was an apparent goal by defender Aurélien Collin in the 84th minute that was ruled offside by the thinnest of margins. Safe to say, it was a decision that Vermes vehemently disagreed with.

“We know one thing; it’s us against everybody,” Vermes said. “Nothing is going to go our way. We realize that, and that’s why our guys keep fighting back. They have unbelievable determination to get back into the game. They’re not going to die.”

True to form, Kansas City didn’t.

Even though Collin’s goal would have evened things up, giving Sporting plenty of time to fight for the three points they felt they deserved, the home team never gave up on scratching out a result.

As they’ve done before at LSP time and time again, Kansas City threw numbers forward with abandon, spurred on by an overflow crowd of 20,512. Eventually, their efforts were rewarded as a cross toward the back post bounced up and hit Frankie Hejduk’s arm.

Omar Bravo converted the ensuing stoppage-time penalty kick to salvage something from a match that Sporting bossed for much of 90 minutes despite looking a little ragged in the final third.

“We showed a very strong mentality,” goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen said. “We had a lot of calls against us, but we were still coming and coming and coming and coming.”

Collin, who agreed with his coach and referenced the replay to back it up, said he was disappointed not to walk away with a victory but wasn’t the least bit surprised the goal was called back.

“It’s frustrating,” he said. “I’ve been here just six months, and I’ve felt this way six or seven times. As [Vermes] says before each game, we have to accept it. The referees are human.”

Still, that didn’t make it easier to swallow for Sporting, who have now become accustomed to being on the wrong end of what they feel are bad calls and unlucky breaks.

While Kansas City fumed at yet another result affected by the referees – and to be fair, the replay did show that Collin was offside by a head – elder statesman Davy Arnaud, who made his first appearance in two months against the Galaxy, was the voice of reason.

“At the end of the day, it is about us,” Arnaud said. “It’s about our group. But we can’t be looking for excused from anywhere else; referees or whatever. That stuff happens, and you have to deal with it. We have to keep grinding and finding a way to get results.”