Sporting KC battles Colorado Rapids to scoreless draw

Sporting Kansas City and the Colorado Rapids both went into the game wanting at least a point after losing their respective games on Opening Day. Sporting KC lost 1-0 at Portland Timbers in a weather-related game. Colorado was defeated 4-0 by the Seattle Sounders last Sunday.

For Sporting KC, it was the second consecutive home game this season against a side they have struggled against in recent years. SKC coach Peter Vermes made a change in the starting XI, replacing Khiry Shelton with Marinos Tzionis on the right.

SKC experienced a bit of déjà vu when some early defensive errors resulted in a goal. Darren Yapi scored his first goal, or at least he thought he scored. Unlike the Portland goal, the Colorado goal was disallowed after a VAR review. Yapi was ruled offside after Sam Nicholson barely touched it forward to Yapi.

Still tied on points, the visitors had another scary moment when a ball came through the box after John Pulskamp and Yapi collided. The ball bounced off Graham Zusi, bounced off the post and came very close to crossing the line before Zusi could clear it.

There is no doubt that it was very close.

Sporting KC shot Colorado 17-13 and 11-4, but most of SKC’s shots on target also went straight to Colorado keeper William Yarbrough. He made 11 saves for the Rapids, but only a few were challenging. The Rapids’ expected goals were 1.7 versus 0.7 for Sporting KC, reflecting the lack of good chances despite the number of shots.

Pulskamp had to make a few saves, including this shot from perennial Michael Barrios.

Vermes praised Pulskamp’s play in the first two games. “Especially early in the season you will suffer in situations where things are happening and your goalkeeper has to make saves that keep you in the game. In these moments you don’t break. The first save he made and then the other where Cole kind of came in, this game was a tough ball for him because the space closed very quickly. John did a really good job anticipating the room so he quickly closed it so there was no way around it. John made it big in the game when he needed it and that’s what your goalkeeper has to do.”

“There are times when they don’t get shots and then they get one and they have to make a save to keep us in the game,” Vermes continued. “There are other times like tonight when there was a lot going on. Also the other thing, the physicality he had to stay in the game. There were a few situations he got into where bodies were colliding all over the place, and he found a way to stay in the game. He’s a tough young goalkeeper for sure.”

Sporting KC return home and meet LA Galaxy who lost 3-1 at FC Dallas.

Sporting Kansas City: John Pulskamp; Graham Zusi, Robert Voloder, Andreu Fontas, Ben Sweat (Tim Leibold 82′); Remi Walter, Roger Espinoza (Felipe Hernandez 72′), Erik Thommy (C) (Cam Duke 88′); Marinos Tzionis (Khiry Shelton 72′), Willy Agada, Daniel Salloi

Subs not used: Kendall McIntosh, Robert Castellanos, Kayden Pierre, Chris Rindov, Jake Davis

Colorado Rapids: William Yarbrough (C); Keegan Rosenberry, Lalas Abubakar, Andreas Maxso, Steven Beitashour; Ralph Priso (46′ max), Cole Bassett, Connor Ronan; Michael Barrios (Braian Galvan 77′), Darren Yapi, Sam Nicholson (Kevin Cabral 63′)

Subs not used: Abraham Rodriguez, Sebastian Anderson, Alex Gersbach, Danny Wilson, Bryan Acosta, Calvin Harris

Review summary:


Summary of Misconduct:

COL — Lalas Abubakar (yellow card; unsportsmanlike conduct) 3′

SKC – Roger Espinoza (yellow card; unsportsmanlike conduct) 58′

COL — Kevin Cabral (yellow card; unsportsmanlike conduct) 69′

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