PORTLAND, Ore. — Sporting Kansas City’s regular season woes continued Saturday night on the road against the Portland Timbers.
Peter Vermes’ squad was on the receiving end of six second-half goals to end the game with a 7-2 score line, tied for the most goals conceded in a regular season game in franchise history.
“Very undisciplined for us to try to get back in the game after we started the second half and gave up a goal in the first 15 seconds or whatever it was,” Vermes said. “From that point on, we’re chasing the game and we were just undisciplined. We were getting countered because we were shoving way too many guys forward.”
Sporting ended the first half down 1-0 after giving up the opening goal on a set piece, another point of struggle for the club this season.
Johnny Russell created a few chances for himself and his teammates, but the ball did not find the back of the net.
“I’ve never been as embarrassed in my whole career. I’ve had some low times in my career but this is number one. Already this season hasn’t been acceptable,” Russell said. “Just pathetic really in the second half. Not good enough. Actually, I’m embarrassed to call ourselves professionals.”
In the first minute of the second half, Portland doubled their lead. The Timbers scored two goals in the following 10 minutes to double their lead once again to four.
Russell made it 4-1 a minute later in the 57th thanks to a beautiful pass from second-half substitute Felipe Hernandez.
The celebration and hopes for a comeback were short-lived a few minutes later when the Timbers scored again to make it 5-1 in the 69th minute.
Timbers defender Josecarlos Van Rankin received his second yellow card of the night in the 74th minute and was ejected from the match. Hernandez collected his second assist on the ensuing free kick that found another second-half substitute, Marinos Tzionis, for his first MLS goal of his career.
“They really didn’t mean that much. We were getting back into it a little bit. We were kind of there but we were pushing too many guys forward undisciplined,” Vermes said.
Even the red card for the home team was short lived as Sporting KC defender Robert Voloder was sent off four minutes later for collecting his second yellow of the match.
A majority of Portland’s goals came on the counter attack when Sporting was pushing forward trying to shrink the deficit.
“To concede six goals in one half of a game is – I’m trying to choose my words carefully here — it’s not even embarrassing. It’s so far beyond that,” Russell said.
Sporting has given up seven goals in a regular season match two other times in franchise history:
- September 15, 2019 – 7-2 at LA Galaxy
- July 4, 2001 – 7-0 vs Chicago Fire
In 2001, the then-Kansas City Wizards were eliminated in the quarterfinals of the MLS Cup playoffs. In 2019, the club failed to qualify for the postseason for the first time since the rebrand.
For the Timbers, the night also broke their franchise record for goals scored in a single match.
Sporting will have to put the record-tying loss behind them quickly as they host the last season’s Western Conference No. 1-seed, the Colorado Rapids, on Wednesday at Children’s Mercy Park.
“You’ve got to put the game behind you and you’ve got to move on quickly,” Vermes said.