Takeaway Points: Sporting Kansas City
The Crew earned a point at home Sunday against Sporting Kansas City to remain in within reach of a playoff spot in the MLS Eastern Conference. Here are three things that stood out from the draw:
1. LATE DRAMA
Yet again, the Crew looked to be headed for defeat but for some late-game heroics from Eddie Gaven and Emilio Rentería. The two connected for a 91st minute equalizer to secure the point aganst the Eastern Conference leaders.
"Emilio [Rentería] played in a great ball, hit it in with pace," Gaven described the play. "I made a run to the near post, just jumped up and was able to get my head on it. I thought [SKC goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen] saved it actually when it first went on goal, but luckily it kind of squeaked in the near post there."
The Crew sits in sixth place thanks to Gaven's goal, a point behind the Houston Dynamo for the fifth and final playoff spot.
2. HAPPY WITH THE POINT
Though the Crew had hoped to earn a full three points on Sunday, the club was happy to earn at least a point against Eastern Conference leaders Sporting Kansas City after trailing for 81 minutes.
"We’re happy that we came back obviously after going down 1-0 – that we didn’t lose here at home," Gaven explained. "At the same time everybody knows, this is a game we should have gotten three points from."
Moving forward, Gaven feels there is plenty of room for improvement.
"There’s things we can take from [the game] for sure in terms of the things we did well, but obviously there are some things we have to work on," the midfielder said. "Probably the biggest thing is working on coming out stronger in the first 10 minutes."
With the draw, the Crew will have to win its remaining two games and hope for the best elsewhere around the League if it hopes to make the MLS Cup Playoffs.
"Obviously we are a few points behind D.C. and a point behind Houston for now," Head Coach Robert Warzycha said after the match. "We have to win our games and hope for the best. We play every time to win, so it doesn’t matter."
Added goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum, "We know we have to win out. Nothing less that that is going to be acceptable for us as far as the playoffs go. At the same time,d we can’t have any added pressure. We need to go out one game at a time and make them count."