KANSAS CITY – An Alan Pulido brace paced Sporting KC to a 3-0 win over the Vancouver Whitecaps. Daniel Salloi opened the scoring nearly a half-hour in and Sporting ran rampant. The Whitecaps were only able to muster two shots on goal, both of which were easy saves for Tim Melia.
Alan Pulido helps Sporting KC get back on track with finishing
Despite both sides sitting on seven points on the year, the Vancouver Whitecaps and Sporting Kansas City have had very different campaigns so far. Vancouver, somewhat fortunate to gather a pair of wins, has struggled to get the ball forward. For Sporting, it’s been burying the chances that have been the problem. So when these two sides met at Children’s Mercy Park on Sunday, neither side wanted to continue their poor form in front of goal.
Vancouver stuck with their standard 4-4-2, with Ryan Raposo replacing Russel Teibert grabbing a lot of attention. An injured Andy Rose allowed Derek Cornelius to grab his first start of the year, and Jake Nerwisnki filled in for Bruno Gaspar at right back. For Peter Vermes, he fielded a 4-3-3 with a number of changes from their 1-0 loss to Houston. Most notably is Johnny Russell missing time with a quad injury, who was replaced by Daniel Salloi.
Despite Vancouver’s horror story in front of goal this year, the lone constant is that the goals they do score, have all come in the second half. However, against a team as consistent and deep as Kansas, the second half seemed a lot longer than 45 minutes away.
Especially when Salloi was carving through Vancouver’s defense like a hot knife through butter. Actually, the entire Kansas team was carving through Vancouver’s defense like a hot knife through butter. It just so happened to be the Hungarian who was able to find the back of the net. A well-worked move with Alan Pulido down the left side allowed Salloi to tuck home his second of the year.
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A mere four minutes later, Ryan Raposo went crashing into Salloi to give away a penalty. Pulido stepped up and calmly sent Max Crepeau the wrong way for his second of the campaign. 32 minutes of dominance, capped off by two goals in four minutes, left Vancouver a massive mountain to climb.
After 36 minutes, Raposo made was for Michael Baldisimo, who completed a midfield trio to attempt to match KC’s.
No place like home
The second half started out in a similar fashion as the first, with Vancouver on the back foot. A pair of scrambles in front of the goal left Kansas hungry for a third. And while Pulido stopped a certain goal, he made up for it a minute later by grabbing his second on the day.
Bringing down a Gabi Kinda cross on the edge of the box, Pulido dragged it around Cornelius and slipped it past Crepeau at the near post. That proved to be the final nail in the Whitecaps’ coffin.
The Canadian’s had a couple of chances, but when you muster a measly 33% possession, there’s only so much you can hold on to.
Sporting KC bounced back to climb into 3rd place in a challenging Western Conference, putting up their most goals and most complete performance of the season to date. Vermes’ men now prepare for their clash with the hot and cold San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday.
For Vancouver, all that remains now are questions and a mighty lot of them. Six games in and they have no open play goals, injuries, and visa issues. A 3-0 loss seems like the least of Marc Dos Santos’ problems. They face Houston in a week’s time before a month of no games and potentially a chance to regroup and get back on track before a busy July.