It’s been a season of struggle for Sporting Kansas City, and their latest setback might be the most stinging yet.
SKC were humbled 5-1 at their own house by LAFC on Wednesday, their seventh league loss of the 2019 campaign and one that keeps them stuck at the bottom of the Western Conference standings on US Independence Day.
“It’s clearly not good enough. Losing 5-1 at home is never acceptable,” said veteran defender Seth Sinovic. “Our fans were incredible tonight in pushing us. They deserve better than the results we’ve been getting. All we can ask is keep coming out and keep supporting us. I still have confidence we’re going to turn this thing around.”
The match’s statistics were mostly balanced or even shaded in KC’s favor. Yet the runaway league leaders put on a counterattacking clinic that viciously punished the home side’s errors and left both Sporting and their supporters, who packed Children’s Mercy Park as usual, stunned and dismayed.
“I don’t know what to say other than just that I feel bad for the fans,” said center back Matt Besler. “They come out here and the atmosphere was great. We were in the game in the first half. I thought we played extremely well. The game, right now, comes down to small little details and right now things aren’t going our way. We’re just not making the right plays. We have a couple chances in the first half and we don’t put them away. And then we give up a bad free kick goal and the game just turns.”
SKC now face a quick turnaround to prepare for the arrival of the Chicago Fire, who are fresh off their own 5-1 mauling of reigning MLS Cup champions Atlanta United, at CM Park on Saturday. At the very least it offers a chance to wash the sour taste of Wednesday out of their mouths.
“That’s the way we’ve got to approach it,” said Sinovic. “We’ve got to get our rest, get our legs back and get ready for Saturday. We’ve got to start putting wins on the board because we keep digging ourselves a bigger and bigger hole. At some point, we’ve got to start turning this around and getting points.”
Injury-ravaged Sporting have won just two MLS games since March, and without a rapid revival, their streak of eight straight seasons of qualification for the MLS Cup Playoffs could be in real jeopardy.
“I can tell you that there’s nobody that’s more frustrated than us right now. We have to live it every single day,” said Besler. “We’re going into the practice facility and trying to correct things. I don’t know what to say other than we’re trying to get back and we thank everybody for their support right now.”