The struggle continues, but Sporting KC's Vermes still refuses to panic

COMMERCE CITY, Colo. – The winless streak continues for Sporting Kansas City.

Following their 1-0 defeat to the Colorado Rapids Wednesday night, Sporting remain winless in their last seven games (0-5-2), their worst run of form since a 10-game winless streak in 2011.

Yet despite the form, Sporting KC head coach Peter Vermes remains steadfast in his message that it’s not time for his club to panic.

“This season is a long season; a lot can happen,” Vermes told reporters post-match. “I’ve seen stretches like this in this league and every team has gone through it before. We’ll find our way.”

Vermes pointed to a first half in which SKC outshot and out-possessed the hosts, although both teams entered the game scoreless at the half.

“I thought we were the better team in the first half,” he said. “We should’ve gotten out of here with at least a point.”

Kansas City striker Dom Dwyer, who was held to just two shots in the game, blamed his team’s struggles on bad luck.

“I think we’ve been very unlucky,'' Dwyer said. "We’ve tried to change things around a bit. Our luck is going to change very soon and there’s a lot of positives to take away from this game.”

Sporting were missing midfielders Graham Zusi and Benny Feilhaber from the lineup on Wednesday. They were given a rest in anticipation for Sunday’s game against Orlando City SC (3:30 pm ET, ESPN).

“There weren’t on the field so there’s not that much to talk about,” Vermes said of the decision to play the league's top team without the pair. “The other guys have got to step up. I thought our guys played very well.”

Things changed with two bookings to defender Ike Opara in the second half, the second of which led to his sending off in the 76th minute. It was an event that changed the tide of the game, with Rapids midfielder Dillon Serna putting Colorado in front with his goal two minutes later.

“It changed the game, like all cards do,” Vermes said of the decision by head referee Jose Carlos Rivero. “It’s a shame and that’s a ridiculous call. You could’ve given yellows for so many different things in that game today.”

Down a man, SKC were unable to find an equalizer. But starting goalkeeper Tim Melia cited the team’s inability to close out games as a larger trend during Kansas City’s recent struggles.

“We’re not playing bad, we’re just not finishing games,” Melia said. “We’re doing a lot of good things. We’re not giving up a lot of opportunities, but [we're] being scored on in the ones we are.”

With a return to Children’s Mercy Park this weekend, the hope for SKC is that a result is lying around the corner.

Said Melia, “We’ve got to forget this. This game is behind us and at this point it doesn’t mean anything anymore. We have a really big game on Sunday.”