KANSAS CITY — Sporting Kansas City’s 2018 season so far has been filled with wide pendulum swings in both phases of the game. They lead the league in both goals scored, and goals against, making their matches wildly entertaining to this point.
“Personally, I think we’re always entertaining,” said Sporting KC manager Peter Vermes. “I’m sure people have differences of opinion on that. To be honest, I really don’t care.”
The big swings started with their wild ride in Chicago, where a 2-0 lead turned into a 3-2 deficit, and then into a 4-3 win all within a twenty-minute span.Then there was a nervy 3-2 victory against San Jose with spectacular goals on both sides. And the cherry on top was last weekend’s 2-2 draw at Colorado, punctuated by Diego Rubio’s stoppage-time equalizer.
So far 2018 has been a roller-coaster for Sporting. So what’s the difference from 2017?
“The difference between this year and last year is that I think we created a lot of quality chances last year, and the difference is we’re finishing more of those high quality chances [than] last year,” Vermes told MLSsoccer.com.
“Obviously that was an offseason objective. So I would say the plan was to [be more exciting], but not necessarily to have to come back two goals down. That’s not the plan, but obviously it makes for a lot of exciting moments in the game.”
Sporting KC newcomer Johnny Russell feels like it’s been a concerted effort on their part to get more goals.
“It’s something I’d spoke about, coming over here, that’s the way the manager wanted to go,” said Russell. “So it was something we had spoke about, and how we wanted to be this season.”
With five different players contributing to their nine goals scored so far, it’s clear that more people are stepping up and jumping into the attack for this offensive outburst from Sporting KC.
“It’s not just the front three,” said Russell. “You look behind, you’ve got Felipe [Gutierrez] and Roger [Espinoza] coming, you’ve got [Graham] Zusi flying around the right as well. We’re attacking in numbers, It’s not as if we’re left with ‘the front three go and do your thing.’ You know, we’re attacking with six at times. So you’ve always got options and it’s exciting to be a part of that.”