Sporting had all kinds of opportunities, but Austin keeper Brad Stuver was outstanding and only let one get in the net.
Big Picture: The tie ends Sporting’s three-game win streak but gives them four consecutive games with a point. They pulled to within one point of first place behind Seattle, but Sporting has played one more game. Sporting is in second place in the Western Conference in points but third in points per game.
SPORTING’S DEFENSE STILL STRUGGLING EARLY… Sporting’s defense the past few years has been very shaky. In past years, the struggle has been late in the game. Sporting has had trouble maintaining a lead or finishing a comeback tie.
This year the problem has been scoring the first goal. Opponents score first in most games, but Sporting has come back to win many of those games. This game was no exception with falling behind. Austin, who had not scored since their last game in Kansas City on May 9, jumped out on top first.
SPORTING’S OFFENSE WAS TYPICAL… I don’t watch much MLS that doesn’t involve Sporting, but I cannot imagine that there is another team that gets as many opportunities as Sporting and fails to score. It’s incredible! In the 78th minute, Daniel Salloi finally put the ball in the net to tie the game.
Austin keeper Brad Stuver was easily the player of the game. He faced several point-blank shots from Sporting and somehow kept out all but one. For a team that sits back and plays defense, Austin didn’t have a very solid defense. They should thank Stuver for the point.
Sporting took 32 shots in the game, but only 11 were on goal. They had 11 shots blocked as well. It’s absolutely unbelievable that they only scored one goal.
SALLOI CONTINUES TO SHINE… Daniel Salloi is having a season he has to hope will never end. He had several opportunities to get shots on goal Sunday, and he finally put one in the net with less than 20 minutes to play. He has four goals on the season. After two difficult seasons, Salloi looks to be on fire and an important part of the offensive attack.
Next Up: Sporting travels to Portland next Saturday.
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