Collin Vital to SKC’s Defensive Success

The French centerback partners US international Matt Besler in SKC’s lock tight defense
by Skylar Rolstad   |   Monday, April 28, 2014

State of SKC - column on Sporting KC (SKC) & the Kansas City soccer scene.

Aurelien Collin’s red card in Saturday’s 2-0 loss to New England Revolution was questionable, but didn’t shock many. Collin’s reputation for being a volatile yet effective partner to Matt Besler comes with yellow card trouble and suspension but also clutch tackles in the last line of defense and championship-winning set piece goals.

Saturday night’s match didn’t change completely after the red card, Sporting still held its own with 10 men on the field, but Lee Nguyen could not be stopped from sprinting down the pitch and delivering the cross to Teal Bunbury for the game-winning goal.

Interestingly enough, Collin’s ejection was the only straight red card of his MLS career. In the last 2 seasons, Collin hasn’t recorded a red card. The Frenchman’s only other red card in MLS was in 2011. But he led the league in yellow cards in 2013 with 13.

Collin’s 29 appearances in the 2013 season resulted in 17 wins and 13 shutouts. His 54 fouls committed compare entertainingly to centerback partner Matt Besler’s 19. Besler is the anchor of Sporting’s defense and in conjunction with Uri Rosell in the defensive midfield organizes Sporting to catch opposing players offside and prevent breakaways.  Collin stops plays after they have already started, making last ditch tackles and bailing out the rest of the team when things aren’t going to plan.

Collin also is known to connect on set pieces.  Having scored from a corner against FC Dallas this year and an unexpected goal from 20 yards out, he has 2 goals in 2014.  In each of his last 3 years with SKC Collin has scored 3 goals in MLS Regular Season. Collin won MVP of MLS Cup 2013 with an equalizing goal late in the match and the game-winning penalty kick.

Although Aurelien Collin is at times a dangerous player, his toughness is often calculated and has contributed to Sporting’s continued defensive excellence.  Had Collin been on the field to close Nguyen down late in the match Sporting may have preserved the draw.

NEXT UP: May 4 – Sporting Kansas City vs. Columbus Crew, Sporting Park, Kansas City, Kan. 4 p.m. EST, NBC Sports.

Skylar ROLSTAD

Nationality:
USA
College:
Univ. of Kansas
Club Domestic:
Sporting KC
Club Foreign:
AC Milan
A student at the University of Kansas. He writes for the Sporting Kansas City club column for Soccer Newsday and is a regular at Sporting Park. His passion for soccer can best be described as unhealthy.
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