Ilie Sanchez goal celebration vs. Toluca
Sporting Kansas City Highlights vs. Toluca

Watch the best moment’s of Sporting Kansas City’s 3-0 victory over Toluca FC which broke a 10-match unbeaten streak for the Mexican side. #SCCL2019 #SKCvTOL

Posted by Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League on Thursday, February 21, 2019

Phenomenal. If you missed Thursday night’s Concacaf Champions League game between Sporting Kansas City and Toluca, there’s one simple takeaway: Sporting were phenomenal.

They put together the sharpest, most attacking, most free-flowing game I’ve ever seen an MLS team play in CCL, en route to a 3-0 win at Children’s Mercy Park. They didn’t just look sharp for their first game of the year, they looked “holy crap this team is good” sharp. It got to the point that when Ilie banged home this volley for the third goal, I nodded my head and thought to myself, “yeah, that feels about right.”

Matt Besler looked like Andrea Pirlo with his passing from deep. Gerso Fernandes and Johnny Russell created chance after chance from their wide positions. Roger Espinoza, Ilie and Felipe Gutierrez carved through Toluca in the midfield. Peter Vermes set up the perfect gameplan.

Vermes had Sporting line up in a 3-4-3 while in possession with Graham Zusi playing along the back three and Seth Sinovic pushing into midfield. It created space for Zusi and Besler to attack when they got on the ball.

The result... this dime from Besler that led to the first goal:

It wasn’t perfect from Sporting. Toluca missed a couple of prime opportunities around the six-yard box. SKC still appears vulnerable on crosses inside the penalty area, for reasons I still don’t understand. And Krisztian Nemeth missed a sitter of his own, which won’t exactly alleviate the main concern about SKC heading into the season (who will score the goals?).

But all in all, my goodness it was a wonderful performance.