Sporting KC falls 3-1 on road at Dallas

Sporting Kansas City suffered its first loss of 2015 in a 3-1 defeat at FC Dallas on Saturday.

Panama international Blas Perez scored twice for Dallas at Toyota Stadium, giving him eight goals in his last eight regular season games, while Roger Espinoza struck for Sporting Kansas City’s only tally.

The two sides exchanged early scoring chances in back-to-back minutes of the Western Conference match-up, which Sporting KC played without captain Matt Besler, who was serving a one-game suspension.

Rookie right back Amadou Dia beat two defenders along the endline before having his shot stopped by FC Dallas goalkeeper Chris Seitz from close range in the sixth minute. On the opposite end of the field, Fabian Castillo showcased a dribbling display of his own only to be turned away by Chilean goalkeeper Luis Marin.

Perez opened the scoring in the 17th minute, starting the play with a flick forward at midfield then sprinting into the penalty area to receive a pass from reigning Rookie of the Year Tesho Akindele. Perez made no mistake with a first-time finish inside the near post for his second goal in as many games after scoring a stoppage-time game winner in his team’s 1-0 season-opening victory last week.

Sporting Kansas City came close to equalizing in the 27th minute when Graham Zusi’s corner kick connected with Week 1 goal scorer Ike Opara. The centerback re-directed the service toward the target but his right-footed attempt rolled wide of the post.

The game-tying goal came in the aftermath of a Zusi corner kick, initially cleared from danger but ultimately buried into the back of the net on a 20-yard strike from Espinoza in the 44th minute. The Honduran received a pass from fellow World Cup veteran Benny Feilhaber and took two touches into space prior to unleashing a left-footed effort for his third career MLS goal and first since 2011.

Espinoza celebrated in front of more than 800 traveling Sporting KC supporters who made the eight-hour drive from Kansas City for Saturday’s away match.

It was another Espinoza run through the midfield that nearly gave Sporting Kansas City the lead in the 47th minute. He weaving his way through 35 yards in the attacking half and picked out Krisztian Nemeth at the edge of the penalty area. The Hungarian striker cut inside to set up a right-footed shot that missed the near post by a narrow margin.

FC Dallas, which is now 12-1-2 in its past 15 home games across all competitions, seized control of the match with a controversial game-winning goal in the 52nd minute. Michel’s corner kick was sent back to the Brazilian, whose second service into the penalty area found Perez in an offside position. However, no whistle came and Perez calmly chested the ball down for a simple finish from five yards out.

Sporting Kansas City threatened to pull level again in the 69th minute when Zusi split two defenders with a clever pass for Paulo Nagamura on the right side of the penalty area. Nagamura sent a tantalizing cross into the path of Dom Dwyer, whose sliding shot was saved by Seitz.

Castillo, a 10-goal scorer a year ago, then put the game out of reach with his goal in the 73rd minute. Michel earned another assist, threading a pass forward for second-half substitute Ryan Hollingshead who played the ball into the path of Castillo to cap the counter attack with a touch around Marin and emphatic finish into the empty net.

Tied with Feilhaber for the League lead in assists, Michel was inches away from putting an exclamation point on his two-assist performance only to see his free kick rattle the crossbar in the 76th minute.

Down two goals, Sporting KC manager Peter Vermes inserted 2015 acquisition Bernardo Anor with 15 minutes to play. The move paid dividends two minutes later when the Venezuelan was fouled inside the penalty area while challenging to get on the end of a free kick from Zusi.

Dwyer stepped to the penalty spot – where he was successful in seven of his eight attempts last year – however Seitz extended powerfully to his right to make the stop. Seitz has now conceded only six of the 10 penalties he has faced in his MLS career, including none of the past three over the last four seasons.

Sporting Kansas City will now return home to play host to the Portland Timbers at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 21, at Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kan. A limited number of tickets are available via Ticketmaster.com while supplies last and the match will be shown live on SKCTV with pregame coverage starting at 7 p.m.

– Story from Sporting KC

Perfect weather for opening day of fishing at Wyandotte County Lake

Fishing was a father and son event for some today at the opening day of fishing at Wyandotte County Lake. The three children in front are Jayvius Smith, T.J. Williams and Jameer Smith, and the adults are Andre Porter, left, and Jelani Smith (in the blue Jayhawks jacket). All are from Kansas City, Kan. (Staff photo by Mary Rupert)
Fishing was a family or father and son event for some today at the opening day of fishing at Wyandotte County Lake. The three children in front, who caught catfish and trout, are Jayvius Smith, T.J. Williams and Jameer Smith, and the adults are Andre Porter, left, and Jelani Smith (in the blue Jayhawks jacket). All are from Kansas City, Kan. (Staff photo by Mary Rupert)

by Mary Rupert
Sunshine and mid-60s temperatures. Who could ask for anything more for the opening day of fishing season at Wyandotte County Lake?

There was more, however, as anglers reported good fishing today. Several caught their limit and had already headed home at midday, according to other fishermen at the lake on Saturday afternoon, March 14.

The opening day of fishing, originally scheduled March 7, had been delayed one week because of ice on the lake. There was no sign of ice March 14 as temperatures were in the 70s earlier this week.

Chuck Abbott, Kansas City, Kan., caught a couple of catfish at opening day at Wyandotte County Lake. (Staff photo)
Chuck Abbott, Kansas City, Kan., caught a couple of catfish at opening day at Wyandotte County Lake. (Staff photo)

Michael Mallard, Kansas City, Kan., was at Wyandotte County Lake for opening day of fishing, something he enjoys going to when he can. He caught two catfish. He was with his high school friend. (Staff photo)
Michael Mallard, Kansas City, Kan., was at Wyandotte County Lake for opening day of fishing, something he enjoys going to when he can. He caught two catfish. He was with his high school friend. (Staff photo)

David Vang, Kansas City, Kan., caught trout at opening day of fishing at Wyandotte County Lake. (Staff photo)
David Vang, Kansas City, Kan., caught trout at opening day of fishing at Wyandotte County Lake. (Staff photo)

Tou Vang, Kansas City, Kan., was catching trout at opening day of fishing at Wyandotte County Lake. (Staff photo)
Tou Vang, Kansas City, Kan., was catching trout at opening day of fishing at Wyandotte County Lake. (Staff photo)

Tommy Wilson, Kansas City, Kan., displayed a rainbow trout he caught on opening day of fishing at Wyandotte County Lake. He said he enjoys fishing at the lake. (Staff photo)
Tommy Wilson, Kansas City, Kan., displayed a rainbow trout he caught on opening day of fishing at Wyandotte County Lake. He said he enjoys fishing at the lake. (Staff photo)

A scene on Saturday, March 14,  at Wyandotte County Lake. (Staff photo by Mary Rupert)
A scene on Saturday, March 14, at Wyandotte County Lake. (Staff photo by Mary Rupert)

A scene on Saturday, March 14, at Wyandotte County Lake. (Staff photo by Mary Rupert)
A scene on Saturday, March 14, at Wyandotte County Lake. (Staff photo by Mary Rupert)

Sporting KC on road tonight against Dallas

sporting kc logo
Sporting Kansas City opens its 2015 MLS road campaign against F.C. Dallas at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday.

The match will be televised locally on KMCI-TV 38 The Spot and across the Midwest on SKCTV with pregame coverage beginning 30 minutes prior to kickoff. Radio broadcasts will also be available on 102.9 FM (English) and La Gran D 1340 AM (Spanish).

Saturday’s match is the first for Sporting KC against a Western Conference opponent since Sporting KC re-joined the West for the 2015 season. Sporting KC finished the 2014 regular season with a 5-2-2 record against Western Conference opponents.

The Western Conference battle features the team with the most road wins from the 2014 season visiting the team with the most home wins a year ago.

Sporting KC has recorded eight road wins in each of the last three regular seasons — double the league average — and leads MLS with 24 road victories since the beginning of 2012. FC Dallas finished the 2014 season with a 12-4-1 record at home and the club is 11-1-2 in its last 14 home games in all competitions.

Sporting KC and FC Dallas will meet three times this season after playing to draws in their last two matches in the series. In 2013, the two sides played to a 2-2 draw in Frisco, Texas and again split the points in 2014 following a 1-1 result at Sporting Park.

Sporting Kansas City captain and 2014 FIFA World Cup veteran Matt Besler will miss Saturday’s match after receiving a pair of yellow cards in Sporting KC’s season opener against the New York Red Bulls last weekend.

Despite playing shorthanded for the game’s final 20 minutes, Sporting Kansas City secured a point courtesy of Ike Opara’s goal in his return from a season-ending ankle injury suffered in early 2014.

FC Dallas opened the season with a dramatic 1-0 home victory against the San Jose Earthquakes. Blas Perez scored the game-winner, directing his header past David Bingham in the 92nd minute.

Sporting Kansas City will bring more than 800 supporters to this weekend’s match, one of the largest groups of traveling fans in club history.

In-game updates will be available at SportingKC.com/GameOn and by following @SKCGameday on Twitter.

– Story from Sporting KC