A game of missed opportunities ends in a 1-1 tie.
Big Picture: It was just another Sporting game like so many in the past couple of years. A lead is lost late in the game on poor defensive play. It could have been worse, though. Orlando had plenty of opportunities to score. Sporting settles for a 1-1 tie.
Missed Opportunities: Sporting had chances early in the game, but offsides calls stopped them. Nicholas Isimat-Morin scored on a rebound from a free-kick but was determined to be offsides after replay review. Gianluca Busio received a breakaway pass and beat his defender in the box, only to be whistled for offsides.
Playing With Fire: Sporting’s defense was playing with fire in this game. Having seen a terrible defense the past two seasons, Sporting fans cannot be blamed when the opponent has possession in their attacking third. Orlando had several opportunities in the first half but was hurt by offsides and a nice play by Sporting keeper John Pulskamp.
Game of Mistakes: This was a game of mistakes that allowed and took away opportunities. Gianluca Busio scored the lone first-half goal after an Orlando turnover attempting to play the ball out of their end. That wasn’t the only mistake. It was just the only one that cost either team in the first half. The rest of the half saw mistakes by both teams on the defensive end, but they were bailed out by offsides calls by their opponent trying to capitalize on them.
Possession Problems: Peter Vermes talks about his club being a possession club, but that wasn’t the case in the first half. Orlando, who won in Kansas City last year, possessed the ball 59% of the time in the first half.
Playing Time Improvement: Last week Alan Pulido and Johnny Russell didn’t get into the game until around the 75th minute. Peter Vermes is being cautious with both players as they return from injury. In this game, Pulido entered at the half. Russell entered around the 75th minute once again. Sporting’s offensive attack will continue to improve as these two get more and more playing time.
Next Up: Sporting plays its first game against a Western Conference opponent next Saturday when they travel to play Real Salt Lake at 1:00 pm.
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