Archive for Sporting KC

Sporting KC home Sunday for Retro Night

A pair of MLS originals will square off at 5 p.m. Sunday when Sporting Kansas City (7-2-3, 24 points) welcomes Columbus Crew SC (7-3-3, 24 points) to Children’s Mercy Park, Kansas City, Kansas.

The interconference clash will be televised nationally on FS1 and FOX Deportes, pitting two teams tied for second place in the MLS Supporters’ Shield standings. Local radio broadcasts will air on Sports Radio 810 WHB and ESPN Deportes KC 1480 AM, while the Sporting KC Uphoria mobile app will provide live updates.

A limited number of tickets for Sunday’s match, including standing-room only tickets, are available on SeatGeek.com.

Retro Night will pay homage to the club’s roots, and the first 10,000 fans in attendance will receive a free retro jersey koozie.

Entering Week 13 with a four-point lead atop the Western Conference, Sporting KC is looking to bounce back into the victory column after settling for a 1-1 draw at Minnesota United FC last Sunday.

Forward Khiry Shelton scored his first goal for the club in the eighth minute off a Johnny Russell corner kick, but the Loons responded 12 minutes later with an equalizer from Darwin Quintero to split the points in a game that was otherwise dominated by Sporting KC.

Manager Peter Vermes’ men enjoyed 61 percent possession and outshot Minnesota 24-6, forcing goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth to make a career-high nine saves.
Arguably no team has enjoyed a better month of May than Columbus, who will go into Sunday’s match unbeaten in six games and boasting a 405-minute shutout streak that ranks as the longest in MLS this season.

Guided by fifth-year head coach Greg Berhalter, Crew SC has posted four straight clean sheets for the first time since 2011 and has allowed a paltry two goals in six road games.

Anchoring Crew SC’s stout defensive form is 23-year-old goalkeeper Zack Steffen, who owns a league-best six shutouts and a 0.75 goals against average. And while the Columbus backline has been miserly, striker Gyasi Zardes and premier playmaker Federico Higuain have been equally dangerous going forward.

Zardes is tied for the MLS lead with eight goals at his new club, having scored eight times in the previous two seasons combined as a member of the LA Galaxy. Higuain leads MLS with 41 chances created, including a league-best 16 chances created from set pieces, and has chipped in three goals and five assists.

If any team can rival Columbus’ recent defensive dominance, it might be Sporting KC. With center backs Matt Besler and Ike Opara marshaling the squad, the club has conceded just four goals in its last eight matches.

On the other side of the field, Sporting KC has also maintained an impressive scoring clip at two goals per game – thanks in large part to a balanced attack led by wingers Russell (five goals, three assists) and Daniel Salloi (three goals, four assists).

Russell’s strong performances in his first MLS campaign have helped him earn a call to the Scotland Men’s National Team, where he will join following Sunday’s match for a friendly against Mexico on June 2.

Recent meetings between the clubs have favored Sporting KC, who are 6-1-1 versus Columbus since 2013. Vermes’ side has also won each of its last four home games against Crew SC, who last prevailed at Children’s Mercy Park on July 28, 2012.

As two of Major League Soccer’s original 10 franchises, these teams have met 54 times in the regular season. The series has unfolded evenly with Sporting KC holding a 25-22-7 record.

Sporting KC enters Sunday without influential midfielder Felipe Gutierrez, who will miss the next several weeks after undergoing successful sports hernia surgery on May 1. Joining him on the club’s injury report are defender Jimmy Medranda (knee) forward Diego Rubio (back), who are both listed as questionable for the match.

On the opposite sideline, Columbus will likely have to cope with the absence of designated player Pedro Santos. The Portuguese winger started in the team’s first 10 games of the season, but a thigh injury has limited him to just 25 minutes played over the last four games.

– Story from Sporting KC

Share

Eight Sporting KC players on fan ballot for MLS All-Star Game

Eight Sporting Kansas City players are eligible for fan voting for the MLS All-Star Game, according to an announcement today.

The eligible players from Sporting KC include:
• Goalkeeper: Tim Melia
• Defenders: Matt Besler, Ike Opara and Graham Zusi
• Midfielders: Roger Espinoza and Ilie Sanchez
• Forwards: Johnny Russell and Daniel Salloi

Fan voting for the 2018 MLS All-Star Game Fan XI is now available through the free MLS app, https://www.mlssoccer.com/mobile, and the EA SPORTS “More Than a Vote” Challenge. Fans can continue to vote their favorite players to the Fan XI online at MLSsoccer.com starting at 9 a.m. June 8. Fan voting will run until June 20.

The MLS All-Stars will face seven-time defending Italian Serie A champions Juventus at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta on Aug. 1 in the 2018 MLS All-Star Game presented by Target. The summer showcase will air at 6:30 p.m. on ESPN, UniMás, TSN and TVA Sports domestically as well as across 170 countries globally.
– Information from Sporting KC

Share

Sporting KC scores early, settles for draw at Minnesota

Forward Khiry Shelton recorded his first goal of the season as Sporting Kansas City (7-2-3, 24 points) increased their lead atop the Western Conference to four points with a 1-1 draw at Minnesota United FC on Sunday afternoon.

An eighth-minute header from Shelton put Sporting KC in the ascendancy, but Darwin Quintero bagged an equalizer midway through the first half as the regional rivals split the points at sunny TCF Bank Stadium.

Manager Peter Vermes’ men held a distinct upper hand throughout the game – outshooting the Loons 24-6, owning 61 percent of possession and forcing Minnesota goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth to make a career-high nine saves – but were ultimately denied their 100th all-time away win in the MLS regular season.

The hosts thought they had opened the scoring with six minutes on the clock, but Christian Ramirez was flagged offside after tapping home a delectable delivery from Quintero. Sporting KC used the warning sign as a catalyst for improvement, landing the first punch just two minutes later.

Shelton, seeking his first MLS tally since October 2017, latched onto Johnny Russell’s in-swinging corner kick to snap a bouncing header past Shuttleworth in the 8th minute. The goal was Sporting KC’s second-earliest of the season and gave Russell his third assist of the campaign. It also marked the third time this year that Sporting KC has scored from a corner kick, having done so just twice during all of 2017.

Minnesota responded positively and drew level in the 20th minute. Miguel Ibarra was afforded space on the right wing to deliver a tantalizing cross into the penalty area, and although Quintero’s powerful header was saved by Tim Melia, the former Club America forward was able to poke the rebound into the corner from close range.

The strike drew an end to Sporting KC’s 245-minute shutout streak dating back to April 28 and gave Quintero his third goal since joining the Loons as a designated player on March 31.

Left back Seth Sinovic was summoned into the match 10 minutes before intermission as Jimmy Medranda was forced to exit with an injury. The setback, however, didn’t prevent Sporting KC from barraging the Minnesota goal in the final moments of the first half.

After the Loons had failed to clear a set piece, Ike Opara cut past a pair of defenders and smacked a deflected effort marginally wide of Shuttleworth’s right-hand post. Salloi was next to threaten, lifting a right-footed curler just over the woodwork, before the increasingly confident Shelton unleashed a 25-yard sledgehammer that Shuttleworth palmed away.

A strong start to the second period saw Russell test Shuttleworth on two occasions, first bending a free kick over Minnesota’s four-man wall in the 52nd minute. Shortly thereafter, the Scot’s sweetly struck volley at the top of the box was touched over the crossbar by Minnesota’s leaping keeper. Shuttleworth remained busy and rescued his side again on the hour mark, sprawling right to parry Salloi’s stinging attempt from the edge of the 18.

Sporting KC kept its foot on the pedal with a slew of opportunities in the final quarter-hour. Less than a minute after Russell fired narrowly high from 15 yards, Salloi set up Espinoza for a left-footed drive that Shuttleworth smothered with his outstretched mitts. The visitors continued to pile pressure and almost went ahead when Salloi clipped a ball to the back stick for Zusi, but the defender’s header caromed off the outside of the post for a Minnesota goal kick.

With a two-game road swing in the books, Sporting KC returns to Children’s Mercy Park next Sunday for a cross-conference clash against Columbus Crew SC (7-3-3, 24 points) at 5 p.m. Tickets for the highly anticipated Retro Night matchup are available via SeatGeek.com. Columbus enters the fixture unbeaten in six games and boasting a 405-minute shutout streak, the longest such run in MLS this year.
– Story from Sporting KC

Share