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Vermes: KC must 'work harder' after losing on 'cheap goals'

The Sporting boss called on his team to step up its effort after a third straight loss.

Sporting Kansas City head coach Peter Vermes has called on his players to increase their effort to turn around their worst slump of the season so far.

Sporting lost 3-1 to the New England Revolution on Wednesday night, the team's third straight loss in Major League Soccer. In its last six games, Kansas City is a dismal 1-1-4, and the MLS Cup holders have conceded control of the top spot in the Eastern Conference to D.C. United.

Sporting is also likely out of the Supporters' Shield race, having dropped to sixth overall. Leader Seattle is nine points ahead with a game in hand and just eight matches left in the season.

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The former U.S. national teamer called on his side to improve, especially in avoiding defensive mistakes like the botched clearance which handed New England a third goal in stoppage time as Sporting chased an equalizer.

"It's like I've said before: 'You've got to look this stuff in the eye," Vermes told the club's official website. "You can't back off of it, and right now we have to – we have to – look it in the face, and we have to work harder. The bottom line is that we've got to work harder.

"For 44 minutes, we actually played pretty darn well. We gave nothing away. Then we give a cheap goal away, and now all of a sudden it changes the course of the game. They come out in the second half, we give another one away, and the third one is the same thing."

Despite the dip in results, Sporting is still second in the East, comfortably inside the playoff places.