MLS Cup Playoffs: 4 Thoughts on NY Red Bulls-Sporting KC

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Oct 26, 2014; Kansas City, KS, USA; Sporting KC goalkeeper Eric Kronberg (1) dives for a shot on goal but misses during the second half of the match against the New York Red Bulls at Sporting Park. The Red Bulls won 2-0. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

2. Sporting KC’s Defense Blew It

While Sporting KC’s offense seemed to be clicking and exposing New York’s defense at times, Kansas City’s defense blew it in the end. With a 1-0 lead, Peter Vermes subbed out CJ Sapong electing to go more defensive. It was a wise choice by a veteran manager as New York’s offense was heating up.

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Playoff Chase: Shorthanded Inter Miami will be tested against Sporting KC; D.C. United hosts San Jose /

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  • However, his decision to go defensive didn’t work out. Vermes isn’t to blame one bit. The defensive back line and young goalie Eric Kronberg are to blame. On the Red Bulls’ game-winning goal, Sporting collapsed on multiple levels and looked confused as the ball game into the box.

    For starters, Kronberg failed to come off his line aggressively. Earlier in the game, his aggressiveness broke up many Red Bull attack. His inability to read the ball and realize it’s long air time cost Sporting from advancing to the next round.

    Yet, he isn’t the only one to blame. Wright-Phillips was wide open within the six-yard box. Sporting left open the 2014 MLS Golden Boot winner who scored 27 regular-season goals. Yes, he missed chances earlier on, but he has buried more of his chances than not this season. Kansas City should know that and their critical mishap in the final moments of regular time cost them an opportunity of extra time and finding their own game-winner.

    New York is moving not because of some ridiculous game-winning goal, but because they were gifted a goal on a silver platter to fire on home. As a result, Sporting’s impressive streak of 45-game unbeaten streak (43-0-2) when leading in the 75th minute came to an end because of one horrible team play. This impressive streak began in 2011.