Sporting KC

Ike Opara
Ike Opara

Sporting Kansas City secured a 1-0 road victory on Saturday against New York City FC, handing the expansion side their first MLS defeat in front of a sold-out crowd of 27,545 – including 200 of the team’s traveling supporters – at Yankee Stadium.

Ike Opara headed home a Matt Besler throw-in for his second goal of the season and Luis Marin made three saves to extend the team’s current shutout streak to 197 minutes.

Sporting KC’s two central defenders combined for the game’s lone goal at the 12-minute mark.

With eight NYCFC players stationed in the goal mouth to defend the throw-in, Opara rose above Kwame Watson-Siriboe to connect with the 35-yard throw from Besler toward the top of the six-yard box and directed a powerful header past Josh Saunders.

Opara also scored on a header in the club’s season opener and now has eight career MLS goals, five of which have come since 2013 – third most by an MLS defender over the last three seasons. Similarly, Besler has eight career MLS assists and all but two have come from throw-ins.

New York City FC, who led the East entering Saturday’s inaugural match-up, was held scoreless for the second straight week.

Marin was called into action early on Saturday with his first of three saves coming on a Ned Grabavoy attempt in the opening minute. Javier Calle logged a game-high four shots in his first MLS start – in place of Adam Nemec (international duty) and David Villa (injury) – but was twice turned away by Marin with efforts from outside the penalty area in the 40th and 55th minutes.

Sporting Kansas City came close to doubling its lead in the 64th minute through the playmaking abilities of Benny Feilhaber. The World Cup veteran fed Dom Dwyer behind the NYCFC backline with a pass from midfield, however Saunders raced off his line to win the ball with a sliding challenge.

Both sides were missing key players and Sporting Kansas City saw Graham Zusi exit in the 39th minute due to injury (hamstring).

In addition, the visitors were without 2015 starters Roger Espinoza (international duty), Marcel de Jong (international duty) and Krisztian Nemeth (injury) while NYCFC were shorthanded due to the absences of Shay Facey (suspended), Khiry Shelton (international duty), George John (injury) and Sebastian Velasquez (injury).

Sporting Kansas City is now 7-1-2 in initial meetings against expansion (or relocated) clubs since 2005 and adds Yankee Stadium to the list of stadiums in which clubs have suffered their first loss against KC (BBVA Compass Stadium, BMO Field, Qwest Field, Rio Tinto Stadium, Robertson Stadium and Spartan Stadium).

Coincidentally, Saturday’s match was Sporting Kansas City’s 300th regular season road game and the team’s 100th road win across all competition in club history.

The team now returns home to play host to the Philadelphia Union at 6 p.m. on Sunday, April 5, at Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kan. The match will be shown live on FOX Sports 1 and FOX Deportes. A limited number of tickets are available via Ticketmaster.com and the first 10,000 fans inside the gates will receive a commemorative Dom Dwyer print, painted by Kansas Citian John Bukaty and presented by adidas.

- Story from Sporting KC

Sporting Kansas City hits the road for its inaugural match against MLS expansion side New York City FC on Saturday at Yankee Stadium.

The match will kick off at 6 p.m. and air live locally on KMCI-TV 38 The Spot and across the Midwest on SKCTV with 30 minutes of pre-game and post-game coverage. Radio listeners can follow live on 102.9 FM (English) and 1340 AM (Spanish).

Sporting KC (0-1-2, 2 points) is winless in its first three regular season matches for the first time since 1999.

However, Peter Vermes’ side recorded 24 regular season road wins from 2012-2014, the most of any MLS club over a three-year span during the non-shootout era (2000-present), and has created 15 more than they have allowed this season.

In addition, Sporting KC holds a 6-1-2 record against expansion or relocated teams during Major League Soccer’s expansion era (2005-present).

Marcel de Jong (Canada), Roger Espinoza and Erik Palmer-Brown (U.S. U-20’s) will miss the match on international duty

New York City FC (1-0-2, 5 points) sits atop the Eastern Conference and has conceded just one goal through three matches.

The team is led by midfielder Mix Diskerud, who scored the club’s first ever goal on March 8 and leads MLS with 185 successful passes, and World Cup-winning forward David Villa, who scored the game-winner in NYCFC’s first match at Yankee Stadium on March 15.
- Story from Sporting KC

Sporting KC will hold the team’s 2015 open tryouts on June 13-14 at Swope Soccer Village, 6310 Lewis Road, in Kansas City, Mo.

According to the club, online registration is now open and will be available to the first 200 players who are 18 years or older.

The club first organized open tryouts in the buildup to the team’s inaugural season in 1996. More recently, Sporting KC has welcomed prospective professionals each year since 2008 when two players, Nelson Pizarro and Kevin Souter, were signed by manager Peter Vermes and went on to appear in 14 matches across all competitions.

Participants must pay all expenses including registration fee and travel costs, but discounted hotel rooms are available for out-of-town players.

For more information, visit the 2015 Open Tryouts webpage on SportingKC.com.

Sporting KC also is offering youth camps this year, and registration is now open.

Sporting KC is offering a series of youth camps for the next generation of soccer players in the region.

Camp registration is now open at SportingKC.com/camps, including the upcoming Speed and Agility Camp every Wednesday from April 1 to May 6 (six weeks) at Swope Soccer Village.

For more information on the youth camps available to boys and girls, visit SportingKC.com.
- Story from Sporting KC

STAY CONNECTED