Archive for Sporting KC

Sporting KC plays to draw with San Jose, 0-0

Sporting Kansas City silenced the San Jose Earthquakes en route to a 0-0 draw on Saturday at Avaya Stadium in California, collecting their MLS-leading ninth shutout of the season while remaining at the summit of the Western Conference standings.

The Earthquakes (5-6-5, 20 points) finished the night with just five shot attempts – their fewest all-time in a regular season home game – against a stingy Sporting Kansas City side (7-4-6, 27 points) that moved three points clear of the second-place Portland Timbers and FC Dallas.

Sporting KC goalkeeper Tim Melia reached a new single-season career-high with his ninth clean sheet through 17 matches.

With his team three days removed from a 4-0 home win over Minnesota United FC in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, manager Peter Vermes made two changes to the Sporting Kansas City lineup.

Benny Feilhaber replaced Jimmy Medranda in the midfield, while Daniel Salloi made way for Latif Blessing on the left side of a three-man attack.

Defender Seth Sinovic notably made his 150th regular season appearance for Sporting Kansas City, joining a full-strength backline alongside captain Matt Besler, center back Ike Opara and right back Graham Zusi.

The visitors came up with their first threat within three minutes when Feilhaber’s free kick from the left channel was whipped into a crowded penalty area and touched onto the post by San Jose goalkeeper David Bingham.

The subsequent corner kick was played short before Feilhaber squeezed a cross to the feet of Dom Dwyer, who lashed a left-footed effort marginally high and wide of the target.

Feilhaber and Dwyer connected again with a neat give-and-go on the edge of the box in the 28th minute, but Feilhaber’s low blast was blocked by the lunging Andres Imperiale. Three minutes later, a quick break into the attacking third culminated with Gerso dragging a shot wide from distance.

Sporting Kansas City’s marked dominance dragged onward as Feilhaber continued to pull the strings prior to intermission.

His in-swinging corner kick to the near post was nearly nodded goalward by Roger Espinoza, but Cordell Cato was stationed on the goal line to head the ball wide and extinguish the danger. Shortly thereafter, Zusi’s bending free kick skipped a foot wide of Bingham’s right-hand post. The attempt was followed by two Bingham saves on a header from Feilhaber and a deep drive from Gerso.

San Jose finally recorded its first shot in the 53rd minute, but Melia made a comfortable save to deny Jahmir Hyka from long range. Danny Hoesen then hammered a free kick high from 25 yards on the hour-mark.

Medranda replaced Blessing in the 68th minute and almost produced the breakthrough two minutes later, cleverly combining with Dwyer before seeing his 20-yard bullet smothered by Bingham.

Sporting Kansas City striker Diego Rubio returned to the fold as a 76th-minute replacement for Dwyer, making his first appearance for the club since last October after overcoming an ACL injury.

But the first chance following his introduction fell to San Jose, as Hoesen spun on the edge of the box before having his shot saved. The Earthquakes continued to gain a foothold, with Jackson Yueill forcing another stop from Melia with 10 minutes left.

Saturday’s most dramatic moment was saved for the fourth minute of second-half stoppage time when Zusi surged into the box, slipped past Imperiale and fired low on goal, but Bingham thwarted the U.S. international to rescue a point for the Earthquakes.

Sporting Kansas City will return to California next Saturday when they face five-time MLS Cup champion LA Galaxy at StubHub Center. Kickoff is set for 9:30 p.m. on FOX Sports Kansas City.

– Story from Sporting KC


Sporting KC travels to San Jose tonight

After playing three straight matches in the friendly confines of Children’s Mercy Park, Western Conference leaders Sporting Kansas City (7-4-5, 26 points) embark on their first road trip of June with a visit to the San Jose Earthquakes (5-6-4, 19 points) on Saturday night at Avaya Stadium.

Kickoff is set for 8 p.m. with three hours of live television coverage beginning at 7:30 p.m. on FOX Sports Kansas City, FOX Sports Midwest and FOX Sports GO. Local radio broadcasts will air on Sports Radio 810 WHB (English) and La Grande 1340 AM (Spanish), while the Sporting KC Uphoria app will provide live updates.

Both teams will be three days removed from comfortable midweek victories in the fourth round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.

Four different Sporting Kansas City players bagged goals in a 4-0 dismantling of Minnesota United FC at Children’s Mercy Park, while San Jose’s Jackson Yueill and Cordell Cato scored within the first six minutes of a 2-0 win over the NASL’s San Francisco Deltas.

Sporting Kansas City Manager Peter Vermes fielded a strong lineup in Wednesday’s Open Cup fixture, which saw defenders Matt Besler and Graham Zusi return to the fold after a successful stint with the U.S. Men’s National Team in World Cup Qualifying.

A stern test awaits Saturday, however, as Vermes’ men have gone winless in their last four away matches and failed to score in six of eight road games this year.

Gerso has scored in each of his last two outings, including the go-ahead goal in Sporting KC’s 1-1 draw against the Montreal Impact last Saturday, and leads the team with seven goals in all competitions.

Dom Dwyer is one behind with six, having recorded his club-record sixth career U.S. Open Cup goal on Wednesday. Savvy defensive midfielder Ilie leads MLS in minutes played (1,440) as the only member of Sporting KC to play every minute of the season, while goalkeeper Tim Melia boasts a league-best 0.69 goals against average and eight shutouts.

Led by third-year head coach Dominic Kinnear, the Earthquakes are bidding for their first appearance in the MLS Cup Playoffs since 2012. San Jose kicked off the 2017 campaign with consecutive home wins, but has just three victories to show from its last 13 matches.

Evergreen forward Chris Wondolowski leads the side in goals (six) and assists (five), and 2017 newcomer Jahmir Hyka has added three goals and three assists. The Quakes are currently in a three-way tie for fifth place in the West, and a victory on Saturday could separate them from Vancouver Whitecaps FC and Seattle Sounders FC.

Sporting Kansas City has won three straight meetings against San Jose – including a 2-1 decision on March 18 at Children’s Mercy Park – to bring the all-time regular season series to a dead-even tie.

Both sides own 24 wins and seven draws dating back to the inaugural 1996 MLS season. In the most recent matchup, Benny Feilhaber’s first-half stunner from distance gave Sporting KC the lead before an own goal from San Jose goalkeeper David Bingham doubled the advantage in the final moments.

The Earthquakes grabbed a consolation goal in second-half stoppage time from defender Florian Jungwirth, but Melia produced a splendid save to deny Simon Dawkins on one of the game’s final plays to preserve all three points.

The most recent meeting at Avaya Stadium came last September, when Sporting Kansas City collected its first win in San Jose since 2000 to snap a dismal 18-game road winless run in the series.

Dom Dwyer headed the visitors ahead inside seven minutes, and although Dawkins leveled terms shortly before halftime, an 81st-minute back-heel from defender Kevin Ellis gave Sporting Kansas City three massive points that ultimately helped the club make its sixth straight playoff appearance.

Since September 2004, the home team in this fixture is 20-2-2 across all competitions.

Just one name adorns Sporting KC’s injury report, as homegrown defender Erik Palmer-Brown is questionable ahead of Saturday’s match with a hip injury.

San Jose, meanwhile, will be forced to cope with numerous absences. Jungwirth has played every minute of the 2017 season to date, but will finally miss out after sustaining an ankle injury on Wednesday. Regular starters Fatai Alashe (knee) and Shaun Francis (hamstring) are listed as questionable, while Quincy Amarikwa (ACL), Harold Cummings (ankle) and Marc Pelosi (knee) are all ruled out.

– Story from Sporting KC


Sporting KC trounces Minnesota, 4-0

Sporting defender Ike Opara rose high above Minnesota defender Brent Kallman (14) and goalkeeper Patrick McLain (24) to open the scoring in the first half. (Photo copyright 2017 by Brian Turrel)

Sporting KC midfielder Jimmy Medranda was taken to the ground on a strong challenge by Minnesota midfielder Collen Warner in the first half of the U.S. Open Cup game between the two MLS teams. (Photo copyright 2017 by Brian Turrel)

Photos and story copyright 2017 by Brian Turrel

Sporting KC delivered a punishing blow to Minnesota United FC in the U.S. Open Cup game between the two sides on Wednesday night in Kansas City, Kansas, winning 4 – 0 and leaving no doubt about the team’s motivation to win its fourth cup trophy.

The U.S. Open Cup is a single elimination tournament played among the major professional and semi-professional leagues in the United States. The next round will be played in the last week of June, and Sporting KC will learn its opponent and game location Thursday.

After a rough opening to the first half, in which Sporting KC was whistled for several fouls, the home team took over the game, pressing the attack and keeping pressure on Minnesota’s defense. Sporting KC took 19 shots for the game, against only 5 for Minnesota.

KC defender Ike Opara opened the scoring late in the first half with a leaping header set up by a corner kick from Graham Zusi. Gerso Fernandes followed with a goal in first half stoppage time, giving Sporting KC a 2 – 0 lead at halftime.

The game was halted for several minutes early in the second half when Minnesota defender Joseph Greenspan suffered a head injury while contesting a ball in the air against Roger Espinoza. Greenspan was removed from the field in a stretcher.

Dom Dwyer added a goal in the 72nd minute on an assist by Gerso and forward Daniel Salloi scored his first career goal for Sporting KC off an assist from Roger Espinoza for the final margin.

Sporting forward Dom Dwyer reacted with disbelief as his first half shot sailed just over the goal. (Photo copyright 2017 by Brian Turrel)

Sporting forward Daniel Salloi struck a bicycle kick to center the ball. (Photo copyright 2017 by Brian Turrel)

A hard collision with Sporting KC midfielder Roger Espinoza injured Minnesota defender Joseph Greenspan, who received medical attention for about 10 minutes before being removed on a stretcher. (Photo copyright 2017 by Brian Turrel)

Daniel Salloi struck his first career goal for Sporting KC in the second half to make the score 3-0. (Photo copyright 2017 by Brian Turrel)

After the game, Kevin Ellis helped Daniel Salloi celebrate his first goal. (Photo copyright 2017 by Brian Turrel)

Many fans stuck around after the game to greet the players and get autographs from the players. (Photo copyright 2017 by Brian Turrel)