Sporting Kansas City concluded the 2012 season with a 1-0 victory over the Houston Dynamo but lost 2-1 on aggregate. It was a great win but not enough to overcome the first leg at Houston on Sunday. Below are my thoughts on the match and Sporting's season.
Disappointing finish but still a great season
Being eliminated in the Conference Semifinals certainly stings but overall it has a been a successful season for Sporting KC. They had a record number of points, finished top of the Eastern Conference, and won the US Open Cup. The team has improved each of the last two seasons and there's plenty of reason to be optimistic for 2013. Sporting will be looking to defend their US Open Cup title, return to the MLS Playoffs, and be competing in the CONCACAF Champions League.
Fighting until the last second
Sporting KC continued to fight the entire match and nearly pulled off an improbable comeback. It was a performance that supporters can be proud of as the team had the Houston defense on their heels the entire night. No one could fault Sporting KC's effort and their high pressure defensive style has made them of the most entertaining teams in MLS this season.
The chances were there
Sporting did create several decent chances throughout tonight's match but just couldn't convert enough of them. It's been the one achilles heel of the team as they were very strong defensively but at times struggled to score enough goals. If not for an amazing strike strike from Houston's Adam Moffat, it's quite possible the two teams could have gone to extra time tonight or the first leg could have ended in an entirely different result.