Sporting KC wins, 1-0, over San Jose

Dom Dwyer

Sporting Kansas City extended the team’s home winning streak against San Jose to eight straight with a 1-0 victory over the Earthquakes on Saturday in Major League Soccer action at Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kan.

Dom Dwyer converted a penalty kick in the 57th minute and the Sporting KC defense held its opponent to a single shot on goal for the second straight MLS match in Eric Kronberg’s second career MLS shutout.

Eric Kronberg

Playing the team’s fifth game in a 15-day stretch to open the 2014 season, Sporting Kansas City snapped the Earthquakes 12-game unbeaten streak in all competition.

In doing so, manager Peter Vermes recorded the 63rd regular season victory of his coaching career, tying him with Glynn Myernick and Peter Nowak for 15th most in MLS history.

Peter Vermes

San Jose’s only shot on goal of the game came in the fifth minute as Shaun Francis’ cross was re-directed on frame by Jean-Baptiste Pierazzi from 15 yards out and smothered by Eric Kronberg.

In the 18th minute, Sporting Kansas City was poised to take the lead only to see one shot cleared off the line and two others strike the left post in a matter of seconds.

in, Ike Opara’s header was flicked over Earthquakes goalkeeper Jon Busch and saved on the goal line by Pierazzi. up effort.

Sporting Kansas City threatened again in the 25th minute with Benny Feilhaber finding Graham Zusi inside the penalty area.

Zusi’s first-time shot was struck well and forced a diving stop from Busch to keep the score level through halftime.

Opara, facing his former team for the first time, came close again in the 55th minute with a header off Zusi’s cross that was tipped over the bar by Busch.

The game-winning goal would come from the penalty spot after Steven Lenhart was whistled for a handball during a scramble inside the box.

Dom Dwyer calmly converted the penalty kick, sending Busch the wrong way for his first goal of the season and fourth in his MLS career (including postseason).

The Earthquakes’ best scoring opportunity of the match came in the 71st minute.

Chris Wondolowski was the first to Clarence Goodson’s header inside the Sporting KC penalty area and fired just wide. Wondolowski would have another look in the 83rd minute on a free kick from the top of the area, however the set piece carried over the crossbar.

With the clean sheet, Kronberg lowers his goals against average to 0.66 in MLS matches this season.

Sporting Kansas City will next face the Colorado Rapids (1-0-1) at 5 p.m. on Saturday, March 29, in Commerce City, Colo. The match will be shown live locally on KMCI-TV (Channel 38) and across the Midwest on the Sporting KC Television Network.

Sporting KC aims to extend seven-game home winning streak against San Jose

Sporting Kansas City plays host to the San Jose Earthquakes at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday at Sporting Park, Kansas City, Kan.

Sporting KC and the San Jose Earthquakes are coming off midweek matches in the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals. Both teams were eliminated from the tournament following their results in Mexico on Wednesday.

Sporting Kansas City boasts a seven-game home winning streak against San Jose that dates back to 2004 and stands as the club’s longest home-winning streak against one opponent in team history. The Earthquakes are in the midst of a 12-game unbeaten run in all competition dating back to last season.

In the two teams last meeting at Sporting Park, Sporting KC earned a 2-1 victory over the Earthquakes in 2012. Last season, San Jose defeated Sporting KC 1-0 at Buck Shaw Stadium as Chris Wondolowski provided the game-winning goal with a second-half header.

San Jose tallied a 95th-minute equalizer against Real Salt Lake in their MLS home opener last Saturday. Earthquakes centerback Victor Bernardez struck twice and Wondolowski added another in the 3-3 draw. The two goals by Bernardez last weekend place him behind only Houston Dynamo forward Will Bruin on the MLS goal scoring chart heading into week three.

Among the club’s 16 departures in the offseason, San Jose traded both of its starting outside backs by sending Justin Morrow to Toronto FC and Steven Beitashour to the Vancouver Whitecaps. In their place, third-year professional Cordell Cato and offseason signee Shaun Francis started last weekend.

Sporting KC also split the points in its last MLS outing, a 1-1 draw against FC Dallas at Sporting Park. Aurelien Collin headed home a Benny Feilhaber corner kick in the 81st minute before Matt Hedges re-directed Michel’s free kick past Eric Kronberg in the 90th minute.

Saturday’s match will be shown live on Channel 38 with coverage beginning at 7 p.m., and the cross-conference clash will also be available to watch on the Sporting Kansas City Television Network across the Midwest and via MLSsoccer.com’s Stream of the Week.

For more information, see www.sportingkc.com.

KCKCC jolts Cowley from unbeatens with twin bill sweep

 Blue Devils never trail; two teams collide again at KCKCC Saturday at 1 p.m.

by Alan Hoskins

Kansas City Kansas Community College landed the biggest haymaker of the young Jayhawk Conference baseball season Thursday, knocking Cowley County out of the ranks of the unbeaten with a sweep of the perennial conference power in Arkansas City.

Preston Bailey pitched the Blue Devils to a 6-3 win in the opener and after surrendering a 7-4 lead in the nightcap, KCKCC scored runs in the ninth and 10th innings for a 9-8 win.

“Lucas Norton hit the first pitch of the game for a home run and we never trailed,” said KCKCC coach Steve Burleson. “It was far from perfect but definitely a great effort. It took the push of every one of the 35 guys on our roster.”

“Two big things,” added assistant coach Damian Stambersky, “every time Cowley would score, we’d come right back and score and we did not let our mistakes snowball. We also hit the ball (20 hits) against two of the better pitchers we’ve faced this year.”

The sweep sets up a big return home doubleheader Saturday starting at 1 p.m.

The defending Jayhawk champion and winner of 13 of 19 league championships, Cowley (12-2) fell two games behind Johnson County and Coffeyville, both 14-0, while KCKCC improved to 4-10 in the league and 10-15 overall.

Preston Bailey outdueled Seth Holman, who had not allowed an earned run in 21 innings, in the opener.

A freshman righthander from Savannah, Mo., Bailey gave up seven hits, struck out three and allowed just two earned runs. Leading 1-0 on Norton’s leadoff home run, the Blue Devils made it 3-0 in the third with Christian Arnold singling in the second of two earned runs.

Garrett McKinzie made it 5-1 in the fifth with a solo home run and added a run-scoring triple in the seventh.

Third baseman Daniel LaMunyon ended the game in spectacular fashion, making a diving backhand stop of a shot down the third base line and throwing to second to start a game-ending double play.

Sam Baxter paced a 13-hit attack in the nightcap, droving in four runs with a single, double and home run while McKinzie singled and doubled and Mitch Glessner singled twice.

The assault came against Parker Rigler, who had allowed only one earned run in 15 innings this spring.

Baxter’s home run and Glessner’s two-out run-scoring single gave KCKCC  a 7-3 lead in the seventh inning only to have Cowley score once in the bottom of the inning and three more in the eighth after reliever Hunter Phillips had loaded the bases on walks.

KCKCC regained the lead in the ninth on a leadoff double by McKinzie, who scored when Arnold’s sacrifice bunt was thrown away only to have the Tigers tie it on an error and a double, both with two out.

Fortunately, Cowley returned the favor in the 10th, giving up two walks with two out.

Garrett McKinzie then hit a chopper over the mound that was thrown away and Norton scored what proved to be the winning run when Phillips set down the Tigers in order in the bottom of the 10th.

Geoffrey Birkemeier worked the first seven innings, allowing only one earned run on six hits, two strikeouts and no walks.