Sporting KC loses 4th straight, this one 3-2 in Austin, remains winless in last 7

After challenging some of his players’ effort and commitment on the field in the last week, Peter Vermes wanted to see a response from his Sporting KC team.

Sporting KC failed to get the result in Austin, losing 3-2 on Saturday night. The team is winless over its last seven MLS matches, dating back to a win on March 30.

With the loss, Sporting’s record dropped to 2 wins, 6 losses, 5 draws.

Despite the result, Vermes felt he saw the effort out of the team.

“I think our effort for sure was excellent,” Vermes said after the match. “Everybody’s work who came in, whether they started or they came into the game, they were solid.”

Captain Johnny Russell agreed that the response had been needed.

“But ultimately, the same mistakes — ... individual mistakes (and) team mistakes — it cost us three points,” Russell said.

Sporting KC opened the scoring in the 19th minute thanks to Russell’s first goal of the year. His combination with Alan Pulido set up a chance in the box, and Russell’s right-footed shot deflected off the leg of an Austin defender and into the net.

Jader Obrian scored goals in the 28th and 39th minutes. The first came off a bad pass from Sporting goalkeeper Tim Melia that went straight to an Austin player inside the box. The ball made its way to Obrian, who ripped one into the near post. Obrian then had a nice finish in the box that gave Austin the halftime lead.

“Unfortunately, we score early, great goal, and then we have a mistake and the mistake hurts us,” Vermes said.

He lamented the mistake in the failed clearance, and the timing of the second goal going in just before halftime. But neither was the back-breaker for Vermes.

“What killed us was the third goal,” Vermes added.

Forty-five seconds into the second half, Austin doubled its lead with a header from Sebastián Driussi that made it 3-1.

Russell said the message at halftime was to do two things: up the energy and keep the ball.

“And then you go out in the second half, in their first attack, you allow them to get a cross in the box,” Russell said. “It’s a great header … but yeah, we shouldn’t be allowing one ball over the top and then a cross into the box.

“For me that’s another mistake by us. Another team error, and it costs us.”

SKC’s Jake Davis responded in the 63rd minute with a screamer from nearly 30 yards into the top corner.

Melia saved a penalty kick to keep it 3-2, and Erik Thommy struck the crossbar in stoppage time to round out the action.

Sporting KC’s attention turns to FC Tulsa on Tuesday night, welcoming the USL Championship team to Children’s Mercy Park. The Round of 16 U.S. Open Cup match is scheduled to kick off at 7:30 p.m.