KANSAS CITY, Mo. – It’s not a fond memory for Sporting Kansas City. The upside is that they won’t overlook the Montreal Impact this time around.
In their first meeting with the Impact on May 5 at Livestrong Sporting Park, SKC expected a walkover against an expansion team saving most of its starters for Canadian Championship play. Instead, Sporting were upset 2-0 – their first defeat by an MLS club in its inaugural season since a 3-2 loss to the Seattle Sounders on Oct. 17, 2009.
“They took that game too lightly and they got what they deserved – what we deserved,” manager Peter Vermes said after Monday’s training session.
Headed into Wednesday’s rematch at Stade Saputo, Sporting are taking nothing for granted.
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“We know that we have to go there with the right mentality,” goalkeeper and captain Jimmy Nielsen told MLSsoccer.com after Monday’s training session. “We have to put in a great effort. I’m pretty sure everybody will have that respect and will put in that effort.”
Wednesday’s game also gives Sporting a chance to take out some frustrations from Friday’s 1-0 home loss to Chicago – a game in which they outshot the visitors 27-10 but were denied time and again by Fire ’keeper Sean Johnson.
“It’s another quick game, a quick turnaround from Chicago,” center back Matt Besler said. “It’s a chance to put that game behind us – and obviously with Montreal, we definitely owe them one.”
The revenge and rebound angles are secondary for Vermes, though. Sporting have just one point out of their last three league matches and have lost two in a row, keeping them stuck in third place in the Eastern Conference without any more chances to pick up out-of-conference points against teams from the West.
“It’s always good to go back and get points from somebody who took some from you,” Vermes said, “but at the end of the day, we’ve just got to get after this game.”
And if Sporting can replicate their energy and shot output from the Fire match, midfielder Graham Zusi said, the points should come in Montreal.
“I thought we played extremely well against Chicago,” Zusi said. “We were, I thought, the better team by far throughout the match. We were unlucky a little bit, and their goalkeeper had a great game. If we put another performance like we did against Chicago together, I think we’re going to be rewarded.”
Steve Brisendine covers Sporting Kansas City for MLSsoccer.com.