Blessings and Beatdowns

We all make mistakes in life. When you make a mistake, all you can do is learn a lesson an move on. The lesson you take turns the mistake into a blessing in disguise. Maybe you cut yourself shaving before work and you learn that you should just grow a beard. Maybe you make a silly arithmetic error on a math test and you learn to be more careful with you work. Maybe you get fired for never making it to work on time and you learn that you just can't go out every night. Maybe you get beatdown 5-0 by the San Jose Earthquakes and you learn . . . what, exactly?

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You didn't have to be a genius soccer analyst to know that last night's match had a very high likelihood of being Sporting Kansas City's first home loss of the season. You had to expect a letdown from Sporting for a Wednesday match after a Saturday-Wednesday-Saturday run of big games, all of which were dramatic wins for the Boys in Blue. You had to expect a letdown when the lowly San Jose Earthquakes came to town, especially if the guys on the team were reading the press. You had to expect a letdown with a four week road trip about to begin.

You had to expect a letdown from Sporting last night, but no one could have expected that kind of a rout. The Earthquakes took the lead after two and a half minutes, but Sporting wasn't really in the game for even those first 150 seconds.

I've extolled the positives of games that left other Sporting fans complaining, but the only unequivocally good thing about last night's debacle is that it's over. Sure, it was nice for Zusi to return to play, and catching a glimpse of Mikey Lopez was cool, but those don't take the sting out of that performance.

Worse yet, while we learned plenty about our team from the experience, it's all stuff we already knew and--worse yet--there's not much that can be done to fix any of it at this point.

We learned that playing four matches in twelve days is hard, but we already knew that--and it's not like we can push back this weekend's trip to Columbus to get some rest. Games in hand are nice and all, but when you start making up those matches your schedule gets congested.

We learned that injuries take a toll on an MLS roster, but the vivid demonstration of that reality doesn't make Sporting's injured players recover any faster. Last night's injured list included Opara, Anor, Sinovic, Anibaba, Espinoza, and Mustivar--which is quite a talented defense and midfield, right there rehabbing knocks.

We learned that Chance isn't all the way back yet, but all we can do is wait and hope that he gets back up to speed.

We learned that this team really needs Mustivar in the defensive midfield. All we can do is drink to his good health.

Some observers had already noted Sporting's tendency to dig themselves a hole at the beginning of a match, but last night we learned that Sporting can dig a hole deeper than they can dig out of.

Let's all hope they stop digging.