Mock me if you will for enjoying and even fanboying out about the Men in Blazers. I know they are hackneyed, slightly played out, and use the gimmick of having really good production values that are made to look really bad, but every time there is a result like the one in Kansas City last night, in Atlanta a week ago, or in Orlando before that, I think of Roger Bennett saying, “football isn’t about winning, it’s about the emotions you feel.” There have been a lot of them the past few weekends.
We all saw it last night. Atlanta was completely stymied by a combination of injuries and solid play by their adversaries. The left side of the attack that is so crucial to the team was misfiring as Mikey Ambrose and Yamil Asad struggled to get on the same page. Miguel Almiron was starved for the ball and Tito Villalba had the kind of poor match that those who don’t know better would say is all too common for him. Still, the defense was solid and the holding midfield play from Jeff Larentowicz especially was keeping Atlanta from falling into oblivion before the next game in a week and a half.
It even seemed like Tata had lost his mind - subbing in Jacob Peterson and Chris McCann, what was he thinking?
For their part Sporting Kansas City played a ‘B’ lineup holding off a couple of their star players for the midweek Open Cup match. The roster selection resulted in a Gold Cup worthy CONCACAF style performance. If someone could have made this game into a building it would have been a prison. SKC was content to clog up the midfield, employ a fairly effective press, and try to draw a penalty rather than generate any kind of attack. They didn’t quite try to not play soccer but their gameplan was to play bad players, stay organized, and hope to get lucky for a win and it worked, until the 91st minute.
That’s when the topknot of Jacob Peterson turned into a dreadnought and sank Sporting KC’s dreams of coming away with three points.
You could not have written a better ending to the match.
And Twitter reacted:
Former SKC player Kei Kamara took that one right in the feels
It isn’t like Jacob Peterson was drafted or traded to Atlanta, SKC just let him go - seems the least he could do is make them regret it.
I believe the would have won if they didn’t let Jacob Peterson go in free agency.
KC Cauldron had just begun chanting the "I believe" chant as Peterson stabbed them all in the heart with the tying goal. #SKCvATL— Shaun Goodwin (@ShaunGoodwinUDK) August 7, 2017
At least SKC is still unbeaten in 20 games at home and is first in the West (even though FC Dallas is only three points back with two games in hand).
I am 100% on board with this.
We might even have some simmering coaches beef with Tata and Peter Vermes. I imagine Tata said ‘your team plays a glorified version of parking the bus, you couldn’t have coached your squad to draw a penalty like that, don’t tell me you feel hard done by the result. Also, you have the same haircut as every gym teacher in America’ and then all Vermes could do was try to stop his face from melting into his lower jaw.
Not that I think this is true, but Tata says this is what they talked about.
Martino said convo with Vermes was about how nice a place Kansas is. #atlutd— Doug Roberson (@DougRobersonAJC) August 7, 2017
I watched this game at a sports bar in central Pennsylvania and I may have been one of five people in the place when Peterson scored the goal. I’m sure celebrating something happening on a TV nobody but me was watching looked ridiculous but I imagine that it looked exactly like this (it didn’t, it looked like an adult jumping around an empty bar for seemingly no reason).
In any case, this was a great way to end the weekend. Atlanta fans might have wanted more out of the team on Sunday and they did play poorly. Still they managed a draw against an opponent that allows an average of less than one goal a game. More impressively the team is only playing its first season in a league that punishes new players and foreign coaches. So far the season has been nothing short of incredible and bigger things are still on the horizon.