Sporting KC: Lack Of Scoring An Early Concern

Sporting KC. Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports
Sporting KC. Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports /

Sporting KC has yet to record a loss in their 2017 season, however three ties where they were unable to score a goal is an early concern.

Walking away with a tie isn’t a big deal in soccer, but Sporting KC has done it without scoring a goal in three of their first four matches. That is definitely a concern. While Sporting currently holds the fifth spot in the MLS West standings, they are tied dead last in the entire league for scoring. If Kansas City is going to come out on top this season, they have to start scoring more goals.

The lack of scoring gets even more concerning when you dive deeper into the stats. Sporting KC has taken 40 shots this year (7th in MLS). However, only 15 have been considered shots on goal (14th in MLS), and only two of those have found the back of the net. That is a horrible conversion rate, and it shows that the strikers are generally making some poor attempts.

The obvious shouldering of the blame here belongs to the forwards and midfielders of Sporting KC. These are the players tasked with putting points on the board, and it isn’t happening. Dom Dwyer and Benny Feilhaber are going to have to be the goats here. Dwyer is Sporting’s top attacking threat while Feilhaber is the field general. Their job is to manufacture points.

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What is really troubling for me though is that Sporting KC made an obvious investment in offense this offseason. The team reached out and added international talent in Gerso Fernandes and Latif Blessing. These players were supposed to inject some new life into the scoring attack. Obviously that hasn’t paid off yet.

The Silver Lining

The good news here is that the lack of scoring hasn’t cost Sporting KC anything…yet. Fortunately, the Kansas City defense has been superb, allowing only one goal so far this season. Obviously that will not hold up forever.

There is also some effort to speak of up front. Dom Dwyer and Gerso Fernandes have combined for 26 shots (10 on goal) this season. While neither has found the back of the net, they are playing aggressive. Eventually something will have to land.

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Sporting KC has to find some offense with a tough stretch of games coming up. Kansas City has the Portland Timbers and Dallas FC in two of their next three matches. Those clubs are very capable and stand ahead of Sporting in the West standings right now. The offense has to come alive if KC wants to keep themselves in the hunt.