Connect with us


Sporting KC experiment with two striker formation

Despite the painful loss, the new formation yielded a major boost in xG.



Credit: Thad Bell

When Sporting KC released their lineup ahead of the match against LA Galaxy, the graphic showed a new formation. While the team has departed from Peter Vermes’ beloved 4-3-3 at times over his tenure, actually stating it is incredibly rare.

Like Seth Sinovic scoring a goal, rare. It doesn’t happen often, but when it does it means a lot.

The top three choices at right winger were unavailable on Saturday. Johnny Russell did his hamstring, Khiry Shelton had ankle surgery, and Alenis Vargas was called up by Honduras. This left Stephen Afrifa and Marinos Tzionis as the available options. So, Vermes opted for his two strikers and a 4-2-3-1 formation.

It’s easy to take the painful result for what it was. A loss. But the first half was some of the best soccer the team has played in recent memory.

They hadn’t put up an xG higher than 1.2 in the first four games ( That number jumped to 3.1 against the Galaxy. SKC had an onslaught of shots (17) and corner kicks (6) in the first half which led to two goals. The boost to the offense can’t be ignored.

Of course the tactic worked… until it didn’t.

RECENT – Why can’t Sporting KC close out matches?

Where did things go wrong? Where was Alan Pulido? Is the 4-2-3-1 here to stay?

The newest episode of Shades of Blue brings in Daniel Sperry of the Kansas City Star to help us answer all the questions from another frustrating result for Sporting KC.

Find the KC Soccer Journal wherever you get your podcasts. Please subscribe, rate, & review! Feel free to yell at Cody @ThatCodyTho, Thad @TheBackpost, and Robert @SpKCLife.


Recent Comments

KC Soccer Journal in your Inbox!

Be the first to know when news breaks, sign up to get all of our posts sent directly to your inbox.


Follow us on Twitter