Peter Vermes thought Sporting Kansas City had done enough to earn a road point and keep sole possession of the Eastern Conference lead.
That they didn't was no fault of his players, Vermes told MLSsoccer.com by phone after Sunday night's 1-0 away loss to the San Jose Earthquakes.
“Every game, you can take away some positives and negatives,” Vermes said. “I'm not going to talk about what I would do differently the next time around, or what we should do, or what we could do. I thought we did enough to at least get out of here with a point. Unfortunately, what went unrecognized was two players who were offside. That was it.”
That was in reference to Chris Wondolowski's game-winning header in the 55th minute, a play on which Alan Gordon was in an offside position – and replays showed Wondolowski might have been as well – when Steven Beitashour played in his cross from the right flank.
Vermes, whose club now shares first place in the East with New York and still trails Real Salt Lake by two points in the Supporters Shield standings, also said two early cautions by referee Juan Guzman changed the way Sporting were able to defend against balls in the air.
Right back Chance Myers, who was closest to Wondolowski on the goal, was shown yellow in the 24th minute for going over the American DP's back while contesting a header. Center back Aurelien Collin was given a yellow card in the 32nd minute for a similar foul, also on Wondolowski, after getting a talking-to in the 26th minute for going over Gordon's back.
“When you give a yellow, like he did for two guys on our team early on in the game, it absolutely changes the way they adapt to play,” Vermes said. “Absolutely.”
Vermes also thought that forward Soony Saad should have been awarded a penalty kick in the 65th minute when Beitashour brought him down at the back post on a throw-in play.
“It's a takedown in the box,” he said. “You do that on the outside of the box, and they call it every time. All of a sudden they put the whistle in their pocket when those fouls happen inside the box. It's beyond me.”
Steve Brisendine covers Sporting Kansas City for MLSsoccer.com.