‘It’s just not working’: Sporting KC’s winless skid hits double digits in Minnesota

Sporting KC took the pitch in Minnesota some 63 days since its last win in MLS play.

That streak lives on following a 3-1 loss on Saturday night.

Sporting narrowly avoided a shutout against Minnesota United (8-3-4, 28 points) thanks to a goal by forward Johnny Russell in the 86th minute. But the late efforts weren’t nearly enough to overcome the three Minnesota goals, two of which were scored in the second half.

“Other than the three goals, there was a lot of good stuff,” Sporting manager Peter Vermes said. “I think the guys gave a great effort — I think if you look at the guys that came on with that kind of pursuit of trying to get a goal to get back in the game.

“... They got in the box, but again, we’re much more direct, we’re much more lively. We’re putting them under pressure. I think that’s the kind of effort we have to have throughout 90 (minutes) and that relentless (attack).”

Sure enough, Minnesota started Saturday’s match on the front foot — and broke through for a goal in the 33rd minute.

Minnesota forward Tanitoluwa Oluwaseyi connected for a header over Sporting defender Jake Davis for the first goal of the night. Oluwaseyi finished with two goal contributions, the second being an assist on midfielder Robin Lod’s goal in the 67th minute.

Minnesota scored one last time in the 83rd minute: a goal from midfielder Kervin Arriaga.

“We came out with the right mentality,” Sporting midfielder Felipe Hernández said. “But obviously conceding in the first half, it’s difficult to come back.”

Sporting has now lost seven straight MLS matches. The club has gone 10 MLS matches without a win, a stretch that dates back to March 30 (3-1 win over Toronto FC).

Vermes was asked how Sporting can turn things around, and he gave a simple answer.

“You gotta go win a game,” Vermes said. “You’ve got to score more goals than the other team, and you can’t give up goals.”

Vermes was also asked about his job security following the loss that keeps Sporting (2-9-5, 11 points) at the bottom of the Western Conference — and second-to-last in the entire league. Vermes said to ask ownership that question.

“We’re trying to do everything we can,” Hernández said. “But right now, it’s just not working. But we’re going to keep trying to do the right things and turn this around. Because right now, it’s just not working.”

Sporting returns to KC next Saturday to face the Seattle Sounders (4-6-6, 18 points). Game time is set for 7:30 p.m. at Children’s Mercy Park.