Sporting KC

Sporting Kansas City succumbed to the Colorado Rapids’ second-half rally in a 2-1 loss at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park on Saturday.

Dom Dwyer scored his team-leading ninth goal of the season in the 47th minute but Vicente Sanchez set up Maynor Figueroa and Kevin Doyle to secure Colorado’s first win over Sporting KC since 2009, snapping a 13-game winless streak in the series.

A scoreless first half saw each side held to a single shot on goal. Tim Melia dove low to turn away Axel Sjoberg’s header in the fifth minute off a corner kick from Sanchez. On the opposite end, Dwyer’s header was on target but safely into the arms of Clint Irwin in the 44th minute.

However, the match came to life moments into the second half when Sporting Kansas City struck first for the 1-0 lead. Krisztian Nemeth and Benny Feilhaber combined for a give-and-go as the Hungarian international cut inside the penalty area and slid a pass into the path of Dwyer for an emphatic finish from 10 yards out.

The lead would last only six minutes as the Rapids responded with the game-tying goal in the 53rd minute. Sanchez acted as the playmaker, working his way into the 18-yard box and picking out Figueroa with space on the far side.

An eight-year veteran of the English Premier League who joined Colorado earlier this month, Figueroa took a touch to tee up a left-footed shot that deflected off Graham Zusi en route to the top corner of the net.

Colorado has scored 11 of its 25 regular season goals in 2015 in the final 15 minutes of matches and that trend held true on Saturday as Doyle delivered the dagger in the 76th minute. Sanchez’s cross from the endline was headed home by the Irish international for the fourth goal in his debut MLS season, all of which have proven to be game-winners, and second in as many matches.

Sporting Kansas City, amid a four-game road trip and playing the team’s seventh game in the month of August, nearly rescued a result in front of approximately 1,000 traveling supporters.

Colorado failed to clear a cross from second-half substitute Jacob Peterson in the 87th minute and Dwyer was inches from capitalizing. The Englishman’s initial effort was turned away at close range by Irwin, who then recovered to push the follow-up attempt into the post with a second save in short succession.

After going unbeaten in 11 MLS matches (8-0-3) when scoring first to start the season, Sporting KC dropped their second straight decision despite taking a 1-0 lead away from home. The team’s third consecutive loss slips Sporting Kansas City into fourth place in the West with nine games remaining in the regular season, while Colorado claimed a third straight victory to move out of the conference cellar.

Missing five players due to injury – along with Chance Myers’ early exit on Saturday – Sporting Kansas City will now have 10 days off before resuming MLS action in Portland on Sept. 9.

At least three Sporting KC players (Nemeth, Marcel de Jong and Erik Palmer-Brown) will depart for international duty during the upcoming FIFA fixture window, with the U.S. Men’s National Team roster yet to be announced.
– Story from Sporting KC

Sporting Kansas City visits the Colorado Rapids at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park on Saturday.

The match kicks off at 8 p.m. with coverage available on KMCI-TV’s 38 the Spot and SKCTV across the Midwest beginning at 7:30 p.m.

Sporting KC boasts 40 points (11-6-7) and sits in third place in the Western Conference standings. The Rapids are 10 points behind (7-9-9) and in last place in the West.

Sporting KC is coming off a pair of losses, while Colorado has recently gained momentum with back-to-back victories against Chicago and Houston. The Rapids have won five of their last eight games after winning just two of their first 17.

Colorado earned a 2-1 victory against the Dynamo on Wednesday with Vicente Sanchez converting a penalty kick in the 20th minute and Kevin Doyle tallying a second half game-winner.

The Rapids have conceded the fewest goals in MLS this season (26) but have also scored the fewest goals (23), six fewer than any other team in 2015. Colorado is 4-5-4 at home this year and their four home wins are tied for the fewest among MLS clubs.

Sporting KC has not lost to the Rapids since March 28, 2009, a span of 11 straight MLS matches, including a 2-0 victory at Sporting Park earlier this year.

Sporting KC forward Krisztian Nemeth opened the scoring the last time these clubs met with Colorado midfielder Sam Cronin knocked in an own goal in the 64th minute of play.

When Sporting KC and the Rapids last met at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, Sporting KC earned a 3-2 victory with Dom Dwyer notching the 92nd-minute game-winner in March of 2014. Graham Zusi and Benny Feilhaber also added goals in the victory.

Sporting Kansas City will be boosted by one of the largest groups of traveling fans in club history for Saturday’s match as more than 800 supporters will be in the crowd on Saturday. For those unable to attend, in-game updates will be available at SportingKC.com/GameOn, via Twitter from @SKCGameday and through the Sporting Club Uphoria mobile app.

The final regular season meeting between these two squads will take place on Oct. 21 at Sporting Park.
– Story from Sporting KC

Sporting Kansas City have suffered back-to-back losses for the first time in 2015 following a 3-2 defeat at the Columbus Crew SC on Saturday.

Marcel de Jong and Graham Zusi twice gave Sporting KC leads on the road but the Crew SC rallied in front of a sell-out crowd at MAPRE Stadium with two goals in the final 10 minutes.

Playing the club’s fifth game in 15 days, Sporting KC started strong on Saturday and took a 1-0 lead in the 14th minute.

Dom Dwyer flicked a header into the path of Saad Abdul-Salaam and the rookie from Gahanna, Ohio did well coming forward from his outside back position to slot a pass across the goalmouth.

De Jong ran onto the cross at the back post and sent his first-time shot into the roof of the net for his first career MLS goal.

For the sixth straight MLS match, Tim Melia made four saves with the first coming in the 26th minute to corral a shot from Kei Kamara.

The former Sporting KC striker leads MLS with 18 goals, including five goals in his past five home matches, and would be held scoreless on Saturday but played a key – albeit controversial – role in the Crew SC’s opening goal.

Argentine Designated Player Federico Higuain hammered a shot from 20 yards out off the underside of the crossbar and Kamara, from an offside position, was first to the rebound.

The Sierra Leone international sent a sharp service across the face of the goal, ultimately finding Ethan Finlay stationed at the backpost to re-direct the ball off his chest and across the goalline.

Melia was called into action on both sides of the halftime intermission to keep the match leveled at 1-1, first with a diving punch on Justin Meram’s free kick in the 40th minute and then pushing Kamara’s bounced volley over the crossbar in the 62nd minute. Sporting KC would capitalize via a counter attack on the ensuing corner to restore the team’s one-goal advantage.

Captain Matt Besler started the scoring sequence with his floated clearance into space along the left flank for Zusi to run onto.

The U.S. MNT midfielder, making only his second start in the team’s last 12 matches across all competitions due to injury and international duty, did the rest with a strike worthy of MLS goal of the week consideration.

Zusi cut inside at the corner of the penalty area and curled a right-footed shot past Steve Clark for his 24th career MLS goal.

Sporting Kansas City had made the most of their scoring chances, converting both shots on goal on Saturday, and were left to weather a potent Crew SC attack that has now scored in 23 straight home MLS matches.

Higuain led the way, putting himself in a one-on-one position with Melia in the 65th minute only to push his effort wide of the target.

The 30-year-old then proved pivotal on the equalizer in the 80th minute, delivering a free kick that glanced off the head of Tyson Wahl and found Tony Tchani unmarked at the back post for a tap in to continue his career-year offensively.

After scoring four goals in his first five MLS seasons, the Cameroonian now has five goals in 2015 for the Crew SC.

Columbus capitalized on the momentum to steal the full three points in the 88th minute. Melia sprung low to his right to deny Higuain’s volley, however second-half substitute Jack McInerney cleaned up the loose ball for his first goal in a Crew SC uniform after being acquired from Montreal earlier this month.

The loss on Saturday was Sporting Kansas City’s first against an Eastern Conference opponent with Orlando City SC the only cross-conference foe remaining on the schedule.

Sporting KC remains in third place in the Western Conference with 10 games remaining in the regular season campaign and the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup final on Sept. 30.

Sporting Kansas City’s four-game road trip will continue at 8 p.m. on Saturday against the Colorado Rapids at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. The match will air live locally on 38 the Spot and across the Midwest on SKCTV affiliates with pre-game coverage starting at 7:30 p.m.

STAY CONNECTED