CCL: Sporting Kansas City's Soony Saad consolidating spot in lineup after two-goal performance Tuesday
First, Soony Saad put on a display of precision with his left foot. Then he showed off the power in his dominant right foot.
And with those two goals, in Tuesday night's 2-0 away victory over Honduran side CD Olimpia, Sporting Kansas City's young left winger continued his summer surge and put his club atop their CONCACAF Champions League group.
“It's a great experience for me as a young player,” Saad said afterward. “I think I'm growing and becoming more in tune to my position and what the team needs. What's really good about it is we keep winning and we're playing well as a team.”
Saad put Sporting up 1-0 in the 27th minute with a precise finish of Graham Zusi's flicked-on pass, unleashing the shot just as he was being tackled by center back Jose Fonseca.
“I was just running with the line,” he said. “We work on that a lot. A great ball in by Zusi and I took a first touch and finished it. It was perfect. It was good to get an early goal, too.”
He wasn't done, though, converting a booming penalty kick in the 68th minute after Dom Dwyer made a long run on the counter and was brought down in the area by forward Carlos Mejia.
“He was good,” manager Peter Vermes told reporters by phone after the match. “He put himself in good positions. You have to give a lot of credit to Dom on the PK, though. He did a great job of getting around those guys and finding a way to keep the ball and just bulled his way through to get us the penalty, which is big-time. And then Soony finished it off.”
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And with five goals across all competitions since becoming a regular in Vermes' XI – both in league and CCL play – Saad continues to make his case for staying there.
“He trusts me and really believes in me,” Saad said. “I'm thankful for that and I want to keep proving to him and the team and the organization that I'm ready and I'm capable to do the job.”
Steve Brisendine covers Sporting Kansas City for MLSsoccer.com.