Sporting makes step in the right direction against Chicago

Sporting Kansas City’s 1-0 victory over the Chicago Fire on Saturday pushed them up to 10th place in the Western Conference standings after the team had fallen to last place following a loss against LAFC. 

The lone goal on Saturday came from an early strike by Yohan Croizet to spark the team’s confidence. Manager Peter Vermes addressed Croizet’s performance on Saturday and said he gave good effort.

“For 60 minutes he was a monster," Vermes said. "He had very good energy and he did what we needed him to do and that was to score.”

Felipe Gutierrez won possession in the 14th minute and threaded a 40-yard ball into the path of Croizet. The Frenchman credits Gutierrez for giving him a good pass to set up the goal

“I saw the goalkeeper really high off his line, so I tried to shoot on his opposite side. It’s 1-0 so it’s good for me and it was good for the team.”

Gutierrez said Croizet had a good finish on the play in a complicated situation.

“When I turned, it was really fast. I saw two options," Gutierrez said. "I had Gerso Fernandes on the right side and also I had Yohan. Yohan was (challenged) because the two central defenders were really close. I tried to play behind the leg of the central defender on the left side and luckily he kind of stopped the ball.”

Sporting bounced back after a tough loss to LAFC last Wednesday. Vermes feels that the team is taking steps in the right direction.

“The difference is we scored and we defended and we didn’t give anything away and we kept our concentration. That’s who Sporting Kansas City is,” Vermes said. “I’m proud because the guys have fought and fought and fought and worked and worked and worked to try to get back to this.

"I also don’t think that you can minimize the four league games that we had to play on the road,” Vermes continued. “We tied two and won one and lost one. If all things being equal and we’re in the middle of the pack and in a playoff spot, most people would say that was a hell of a road stand. As much as this was a good result tonight and we deserve the three points by far, it’s just one step in the right direction.”

Sporting will play for their second straight victory this weekend, traveling north of the border to meet 11th-place Vancouver Whitecaps FC at 9 p.m. CT on Saturday. Fans can catch the action live on FOX Sports Kansas City Plus, FOX Sports Midwest Plus, FOX Sports GO, Sports Radio 810 WHB and ESPN Deportes KC 1480 AM. The game will also be joined in progress on FOX Sports Kansas City upon conclusion of Kansas City Royals baseball.

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