Sporting Kansas City steamrolled the slumping Seattle Sounders 3-0 at a steamy Children's Mercy Park on Sunday, as Dom Dwyer found the net on either side of a lovely dipping strike into the top corner by Jacob Peterson.
The scoreline hardly conveyed the extent of Sporting's dominance, however. Despite resting several starters in their midweek US Open Cup loss to the LA Galaxy with this game in mind, Seattle looked bereft of ideas or inspiration. They were bailed out by several quality saves from goalkeeper Stefan Frei and did not manage a single shot until Joevin Jones rolled a low shot wide of the target in the 88th minute.
Dwyer got the home side off to an ideal start, meeting a Roger Espinoza cross with a clinical glancing header into the inside netting in the 21st minute. The Englishman would later ice the result by preying on Zach Scott's wayward back pass with some 10 minutes left.
Stuck in ninth place in the Western Conference, the Sounders are now 1-5-1 in their last seven league games. KC, meanwhile, have climbed into fourth place and are just one game short of the .500 mark after their sustained struggles earlier this season.
- 21’ — SKC — Dom Dwyer (Roger Espinoza, Graham Zusi)
- 45+3’ — SKC — Jacob Peterson (Saad Abdul-Salaam, Ike Opara)
- 79’ — SKC — Dom Dwyer
- Full box score
- Watch highlights
1. SOUNDLY BEATEN: Anything can happen in soccer, and they're still (amazingly) only 10 points out of a playoff spot. But Seattle looked like a truly downtrodden team at CM Park. Aside from a few early flashes, they had little inventiveness or smart attacking movement, and their defense was nowhere near as organized as it needed to be if they hoped to sit in and absorb pressure under the blazing Midwestern sun. It's unclear when and how this team will pick itself up off the canvas.
2. JACOB THE JEWEL: Peterson's goal was the highlight of his day but hardly his only contribution. The hardworking winger was relentless in both directions, handling his defensive duties well and also playing a key pass at the attacking end. He misplaced just five of his passes all day (see his OPTA stats here) and underlined why he's grown into a key component of SKC as they clamber back into the hunt for hardware.
3. MISSING INGREDIENTS: The Sounders badly missed midfield terrier Osvaldo Alonso (suspended) as their backline was repeatedly exposed and the midfield labored to keep possession for any meaningful lengths of time. Meanwhile, Designated Player Nelson Valdez spent the duration of this one on the bench. Transfer-window additions are expected in Rave Green any day now, but will it be enough?