Sporting Kansas City vs. Chivas USA | MLS Match Preview

SPORTING KANSAS CITY vs CHIVAS USA
SPORTING PARK, Kansas City, Kan.
May 5, 2013 (WEEK 10, MLS Game #86)
4 p.m. CT (UniMás; KSMO)

Sporting Kansas City are aiming to regain their homefield magic when they face Chivas USA in an interconference battle Sunday afternoon at Sporting Park. SKC lost for the first time at home in nearly a year last weekend, dropping a 3-2 decision to the Portland Timbers, their second loss in a row. Chivas USA put an end to a two-game losing streak in their last match, a 2-2 home draw with the San Jose Earthquakes.

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REFEREE: Baldomero Toledo. AR1 (bench): Sean Hurd; AR2 (opposite): Jonathan Johnson; 4th: Hilario Grajeda
MLS Career: 151 games; FC/gm: 25.1; Y/gm: 3.4; R: 49; pens: 57

DISABLED LIST: KC: Teal Bunbury
SUSPENDED: none
WARNINGS:
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: KC: Oriol Rosell … CHV: Mario de Luna
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: KC: Aurelien Collin, Seth Sinovic … CHV: Tristan Bowen
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none

HEAD-TO-HEAD
ALL-TIME (15 meetings): Sporting 7 wins, 23 goals … Chivas USA 4 wins, 19 goals … Ties 4
AT KANSAS CITY (7 meetings): Sporting 4 wins, 13 goals … Chivas USA 1 win, 9 goals … Ties 2

LAST YEAR (MLS):
4/1: CHV 0, KC 1 (Sapong 47)

  • This is the only meeting of the season between the two clubs.
  • Sporting have a four-game undefeated streak alive vs. Chivas USA, having not lost in the series since July 10, 2010.
  • Sporting have won on their last three trips to The Home Depot Center to play Chivas.
  • Coaches record: José Luis Sánchez Solá vs. KC: first game … Peter Vermes vs. CHV: P6 W3 L2 D1

SPORTING KANSAS CITY
Sporting Kansas City lost back-to-back games for the first time this season, falling 3-2 to the Portland Timbers on Saturday evening at Sporting Park. Sporting are in second place in the Eastern Conference with 14 points from 9 matches.

LAST MATCH

  • Sporting opened the scoring just 44 seconds into the game. Chance Myers ran onto Matt Besler's long throw-in and headed past Donovan Ricketts for the fastest goal ever at Sporting Park, and the third-fastest in Kansas City club history.
  • But the lead didn't hold up long. After SKC goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen had to dive to parry away Rodney Wallace's blast, Ryan Johnson headed Diego Valeri's corner kick off Benny Feilhaber's head and into the roof of the net for the 24th-minute equalizer.
  • Myers struck again just five minutes later, tapping the ball home after a long ball from Benny Feilhaber from a free kick was followed by a short square ball from center back Aurelien Collin in the heart of the area.
  • Yet in the 33rd minute, Diego Valeri set Ryan Johnson completely free behind the KC defense. He drove into the area unmolested before sliding the ball across to Darlington Nagbe, who tapped into the empty goal for 2-2.
  • The Timbers hit for the winner in the 58th minute. Diego Chara capitalized on a loose ball in midfield and slotted a through ball to a streaking Wallace, who slipped the ball past Nielsen from an angle.
  • Sporting manager Peter Vermes kept the same team for a fifth consecutive match, maintaining the side that fell 2-0 to the LA Galaxy at The Home Depot Center.
  • SPORTING KANSAS CITY (4-1-2-3): Jimmy Nielsen - Chance Myers (Mechack Jerome 90), Aurelien Collin, Matt Besler, Seth Sinovic - Oriol Rosell - Paulo Nagamura, Benny Feilhaber (Jacob Peterson 61) - Graham Zusi, Claudio Bieler, C.J. Sapong.

TEAM NEWS

  • Sporting saw their 10-game league undefeated streak at Sporting Park come to an end, dating back to a 2-1 defeat by Columbus last July 28. It was the first time since a 3-2 loss to FC Dallas on Aug. 27, 2011 that Sporting had allowed three or more goals in a home game.
  • “We’ve been begging for teams to come here and (attack). They did, and we didn’t have an answer for it,” said goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen. “They made it very difficult for us to play the way we wanted and really punished us. Them attacking gives us a little more room, but we didn’t’ take advantage of that.”
  • Sporting have also lost back-to-back games for the first time since last June 23-29, when they suffered consecutive shutout defeats by Philadelphia and Chicago. SKC hasn’t lost three in a row since last April 21-May 12.
  • “I don't even want to talk about the LA game because it had a lot to do with the fact that we were tired. But in this game, it's the fact that we were poor in possession,” said SKC manager Peter Vermes. “When you lose the ball like we did in the areas of the field that we did and then you have to travel so far to win it back, at some point you're going to then open up as a team. And credit to them, they went right to goal and finished off those two chances.”
  • Chance Myers, the No. 1 overall selection in the 2008 SuperDraft, scored the first two goals of his MLS career in netting both goals vs. Portland.
  • “He’s been getting himself in good spots all year. He’s done well attacking headers off corners and free kicks. The first one was a good finish and the second one he found himself in the right spot,” said defender Seth Sinovic. “Unfortunately it was a loss, but it was good for him to get the scoring monkey off his back.” Said Myers: “I enjoyed them for about two minutes after each goal. But it’s tough to not come away with a victory. I’d take the win any day, but I guess it’s cool to score.”
  • Matt Besler contributed his first assist of the season, from a long throw-in. His partner in central defense, Aurelien Collin, also contributed his first assist of the campaign.
  • Kansas City conceded a goal from a corner kick for the first since May 21, 2011, against Seattle.
  • “That's not normal for us. Defensively, I say it again, we were very poor to deal with those situations. They were run of the mill plays. They weren't something where they had great buildup or whatever,” said Vermes. “And then the corner kick, the guy's wide open. … We just give up very, very easy balls. And we're in bad positions, we're never goal side. We have a lot to look at film-wise.”

 

CHIVAS USA
Chivas USA snapped their two-game losing slide, reaching a 2-2 draw with the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday evening at The Home Depot Center. Chivas USA sit in a tie for fourth place in the Western Conference with 11 points from 8 matches.

LAST MATCH

  • The Earthquakes took the lead in the 40th minute. A free kick from the left was swung in toward the back post and Chris Wondolowski beat defender Joaquin Velazquez to the ball before finishing with aplomb.
  • But Chivas USA scored twice in the first five minutes of the second half. In the 47th minute, Mario de Luna leveled the score when he deflecting a centering pass from Jorge Villafaña past San Jose goalkeeper Jon Busch, finishing on the rebound after his first attempt was blocked.
  • Just four minutes later, Chivas USA were in the left. Villafaña again set it up with a cross from the left and it came all the way across to forward Tristan Bowen, who slammed the back of the net with a scintillating left-footed strike.
  • But the Quakes found an answer in the 76th minute. Shea Salinas sent in a centering pass from the left and substitute Cordell Cato finished it off from inside the penalty area to leave the teams tied at 2-2.
  • Chivas head coach Jose Luis Sánchez Sola made three changes to the team that fell 1-0 to Real Salt Lake at Rio Tinto Stadium. Steve Purdy came into the back four for the suspended Bobby Burling, Carlos Borja started in midfield for the suspended Edgar Mejia, and Tristan Bowen came into the side for Julio Morales.
  • CHIVAS USA (3-2-3-2): Dan Kennedy - Mario de Luna, Steve Purdy, Joaquin Velazquez - Marvin Iraheta (Josue Soto 65), Carlos Borja - Tristan Bowen (Marky Delgado 85), Eric Avila, Jorge Villafana - Carlos Alvarez (Jose Rivera 80), Jose Correa.

TEAM NEWS

  • Chivas USA put an end to a two-game losing streak and two-game shutout streak in draw with San Jose. They snapped their offensive shutout streak at 262 minutes with their opening goal.
  • “We were lucky enough to get the first goal and from there the second one just came. Obviously at the beginning of the year we were putting goals in left and right and we did not doubt ourselves,” said striker Tristan Bowen. “But we were anxious to get going once again. You can see that once the first goal came we got that confidence again.”
  • Bowen scored his first goal since the 2010 season in the Chivas draw. Bowen netted twice that season for the LA Galaxy, where he broke in as a Homegrown Player in 2009.
  • “It’s definitely nice to score a goal, but most importantly it’s nice to help my teammates out,” said Bowen. “I put a bit of pressure on myself to contribute and obviously as an attacking player if goals do not come it’s frowned upon, It’s nice to get a goal and a point, a much needed point.”
  • Defender Mario de Luna scored his first MLS goal for the Chivas opener, having started every match for the club this season.
  • “We had to have an inspiring moment,” Sanchez Solá said. “When that moment came, we scored. The team is always in search of that, but you’re not going to find it by just looking. It has to be a constant search.”
  • Jorge Villafaña played a part in both goals by putting in crosses, receiving his third assist of the season on the second Chivas goal.
  • “We always have the same idea and we talked about it at halftime. Our intention was to have a lot of opportunities and we did not have them in the first half,” said Chelís. “We couldn’t produce those opportunities. We separated ourselves too much and San Jose attacked us from the sidelines when they had not done that the entire season.”
  • With Edgar Mejia suspended after the injury to Daniel Antunez the week before, Carlos Borja received his first start of the season, playing in a deep-lying role in central midfield.
  • “We were able stay together defensively. We were able to very attentive to what their forwards were doing and fortunately we came away with a point,” said de Luna. “The result doesn’t leave a bad taste in our mouth. We wanted the win, but a point is good going into next week.”