Sporting Kansas City vs. Seattle Sounders | MLS Match Preview
SPORTING KANSAS CITY vs SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC
SPORTING PARK, Kansas City, Kan.
May 8, 2013 (WEEK 11, MLS Game #91)
7:30 p.m. CT (KSMO; KONG/KOMO2)
Sporting Kansas City continue their homestand against a Seattle Sounders FC on the back end of a two-game Eastern Conference swing as the two clubs meet Wednesday evening at Sporting Park. SKC snapped a two-game losing slide last weekend, rolling to a 4-0 win against Chivas USA. Sounders FC started their journey with a wild 2-2 draw at Philadelphia Union. The clubs met here a year ago in the U.S. Open Cup Final, Sporting ending Sounders FC three-year reign with a victory in a penalty shootout to claim the Dewar Trophy for a second time.
REFEREE: Geoff Gamble. AR1 (bench): Joe Fletcher; AR2 (opposite): Marco Arruda; 4th: Tyler Ploeger
MLS Career: 19 games; FC/gm: 23.4; Y/gm: 3.2; R: 2; pens: 9
DISABLED LIST: KC: Teal Bunbury … SEA: Josh Ford
SUSPENDED: SEA: Lamar Neagle (through May 8); DeAndre Yedlin (through May 8)
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: KC: Oriol Rosell
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: KC: Aurelien Collin, Seth Sinovic
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none
ALL-TIME (7 meetings): Sporting 1 win, 6 goals … Sounders FC 5 wins, 10 goals … Ties 1
AT KANSAS CITY (7 meetings): Sporting 0 wins, 4 goals … Sounders FC 3 wins, 7 goals … Ties 0
LAST YEAR (MLS)
6/20: SEA 1, KC 1 (Ianni 15 – Peterson 8)
- This is the only meeting of the season between the two clubs.
- Sounders FC have won the last six league meetings between the teams, dating back to 2009, after Kansas City won the first ever match in the series. Sounders FC have won all three MLS games in Kansas City.
- The teams also met in the U.S. Open Cup Final a year ago, Sporting winning in a penalty-kick shootout after a 1-1 draw over 120 minutes in K.C., ending Sounders FC’s three-year hold on the Open Cup title.
- Coaches record: Peter Vermes vs. SEA: P6 W0 L5 D1 … Sigi Schmid vs. KC: P39 W18 L15 D6
SPORTING KANSAS CITY
Sporting Kansas City put an end to their two-game losing slide in rampant fashion, rolling to a 4-0 win against a 10-man Chivas USA on Sunday afternoon at Sporting Park. Sporting are in a tie for first place in the Eastern Conference with 17 points from 10 matches.
- Sporting took the lead four minutes before halftime. Graham Zusi took control of a giveaway in the Chivas end, turning the ball back to Claudio Bieler just outside the penalty area. He then faked goalkeeper Dan Kennedy into a slide before slotting the ball calmly between two defenders.
- Kennedy was then sent off in the 54th minute by referee Baldomero Toledo red after clipping Paulo Nagamura's back foot from behind on a breakaway in the box. Goalkeeper Patrick McLain came on for his MLS debut, and he could only watch as Bieler buried his spot kick.
- Zusi then added his own strike 11 minutes later, running onto a cross from second-half substitute Josh Gardner, and one-timing the ball in the roof of the net.
- Second-half substitute C.J. Sapong added the final tally three minutes from time, side-footing Mechack Jerome's cross from the right wing while standing all alone at the penalty spot.
- Sporting manager Peter Vermes made four changes to the team that fell 3-2 to the Portland Timbers at Sporting Park. Mechack Jerome and Ike Opara came into the back four for Chance Myers and Matt Besler, Peterson Joseph started in midfield for Benny Feilhaber, and Jacob Peterson came in up top for C.J. Sapong.
- SPORTING KANSAS CITY (4-1-2-3): Jimmy Nielsen - Mechack Jerome, Ike Opara, Aurelien Collin, Seth Sinovic - Oriol Rosell - Paulo Nagamura (Benny Feilhaber 76), Peterson Joseph - Jacob Peterson (Josh Gardner 58), Claudio Bieler, Graham Zusi (C.J. Sapong 67).
- The four goals were a season-high for Sporting and matched the single-game high in MLS this season.
- “The difference is every guy on the field worked from the opening minute to the final minute,” Sporting manager Peter Vermes said. “The other is that they all won their individual duels, with and without the ball. When we do that, we wind up dominating teams physically, technically, tactically and psychologically, and today I think we broke them. To score four was a small amount. We probably could have scored a lot more, but it's great to see us get four here at home.”
- For Jimmy Nielsen, it was his 38th league shutout for Sporting KC, passing icon Tony Meola for the club’s all-time lead in the category. Nielsen leads MLS with six shutouts already this season; he had 15 a year ago, one behind Meola’s all-time single-season record set in 2000. Nielsen did not have to make a single save – or even face a shot on goal.
- “That was probably one of the easiest [of the shutouts],” said Nielsen. “You know, there wasn't a lot to do. … They made it very easy If they continue like that, I can play until I'm 44.”
- Claudio Bieler moved into a tie for the lead in the MLS Golden Boot standings with six goals, following his 2-goal game against Chivas.
- After scoring nine goals in 2012, C.J. Sapong went the first nine games this season without hitting the back of the net. Kept out of the starting lineup for the first time since the second game of the season (March 9), Sapong came off the bench to score his first to close out the rout.
- “Out wide you have a lot more responsibilities. You have to get back on defense and you can't press the game as much as you would like, but Zusi has three goals this season and he's playing out wide. He's not even really a player that uses his speed to get in behind players so it just depends on what you do when you're out there,” said Sapong. “You just got to do what you got to do to get it into the net.”
- Said Vermes: “It's part of his development. It's part of his evolution as a player. Some of it's position. Some of it's just a difference for him in what he's seeing on the field. It's all of that. … There are a lot of things that go into it. It's not just one thing. But as I've said before, he gives us a lot of qualities that help our team.”
- After keeping the same back four for five consecutive matches – where Sporting had three consecutive shutouts followed by two games where they allowed five goals total – Vermes made a couple of changes in the back line.
- “[Matt Besler] had a little bit of an issue the other day. We just felt that it wasn't important to push it for this game being that we have three games in eight days. It was best to keep him out. It's the same thing with Chance Myers,” said Vermes. “The decision is that we have three games in eight days and it's a great exercise for us with these games because we're going to start coming up on this situation quite often come summer. We have to be prepared to deal with that and the rotation of the roster.”
- Josh Gardner came off the bench to make his Sporting KC debut, and recorded his first point, setting up the third goal.
- “It's a great game for us to get opportunities for guys that are going to have an impact within this team come the next so many months. He came on and not only got an assist but he played the position very well. He can also play left back as well,” said Vermes. “These are all the positives that he's making for us as we move forward.”
- Kei Kamara has returned to Sporting Kansas City, following completion of his loan with Norwich City FC of the English Premier League. He scored one goal in 11 games for Norwich; he returns off an MLS season where he netted 11 times in 33 games for SKC in 2012.
SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC
Seattle Sounders FC hit for multiple goals in a match for the first time this season before settling for a 2-2 draw with Philadelphia Union on Saturday afternoon at PPL Park. Sounders FC are in ninth place in the Western Conference with 6 points from 7 matches.
- Sounders FC opened the scoring in the 10th minute when Eddie Johnson headed in a corner from Mauro Rosales. Union goalie Zac MacMath appeared to block the initial shot but was inside the goal line when he did so, and the goal was given.
- But Danny Cruz and Union struck twice within a minute. In the 50th minute, Cruz roofed a rebound into the upper corner on a rebound of a Conor Casey header that hit the post.
- Then Cruz again beat Sounders goalkeeper Michael Gspurning on a rebound – this one from a long-range Jack McInerney shot that took a favorable bounce off the crossbar – to give Union the lead.
- But Seattle tied the score in the 64th minute when Rosales scored his first of the season on a left-footed shot following a cross from Leo Gonzalez and through ball from Mario Martinez.
- In the 85th minute, both Seattle’s Lamar Neagle and Philadelphia’s Sheanon Williams were sent off after a scuffle in the Union penalty area. Then in second-half stoppage time, Sounders FC went a man down when DeAndre Yedlin was sent off following a late tackle on Michael Farfan.
- Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid made four changes to the team that took a 1-0 win against the Colorado Rapids at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. Shalrie Joseph, Osvaldo Alonso, Steve Zakuani and Obafemi Martins were all out of the team, replaced by Servando Carrasco, Mauro Rosales, Alex Caskey and Eddie Johnson.
- SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC (4-1-3-2): Michael Gspurning - DeAndre Yedlin (sent off 91+), Djimi Traore, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Leo Gonzalez - Servando Carrasco - Mauro Rosales (David Estrada 83), Brad Evans (Andy Rose 74), Alex Caskey (Mario Martinez 62) - Eddie Johnson, Lamar Neagle (sent off 84).
Highlights: PHI 2, SEA 2
- Sounders FC left behind four key contributors who did not make the trip to Philadelphia. Obafemi Martins, Steve Zakuani and Shalrie Joseph were all slowed by injuries, while Osvaldo Alonso stayed behind for the birth of a daughter on Friday.
- There will definitely be two more changes at midweek. Lamar Neagle was sent off first, and then DeAndre Yedlin – who had started the first seven league matches in his professional career – also saw red.
- “It has been our story all season. Today was our 10th different lineup in 10 games and our next game will be our 11th different lineup in 11 games. Philadelphia I think has played the same team the past four games, we haven’t had that luxury,” Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid said. “So once we get to that level I think it will improve our play.”
- “It is going to be another challenge,” Eddie Johnson said. “But at the end of the day, as a player you want to be challenged. That is what makes you a better player, that is what gives you a better understanding of the game, and we are looking forward to the challenge.”
- Johnson returned to the starting lineup for the first time since March 30, missing a couple of league games with a hamstring injury. He partnered Neagle in attack, who made his third consecutive start.
- “It’s just guys missing, not knowing what the guy next to him is going to do,” said Schmid. “This is the first game Eddie [Johnson] and Lamar have played together. If you play more games together, you have a better understanding of what the other person is going to do.”
- Mauro Rosales netted his first goal since Sept. 2, 2012, after earlier setting up Johnson’s second goal of the season for his second assist of the campaign.
- “It is good for confidence. I missed three games, and at the end of the day the good goal scorers, they have rhythm just playing game after game after game,” said Johnson. “That’s how you get your sharpness and confidence. I have been battling a hamstring injury the last couple weeks but now it’s right and I’m looking forward to getting my rhythm back.”
- Servando Carrasco made his first start of the season in place of Alonso, his first league appearance since coming on late as a substitute in the opening match of the year on March 2.
- “Certainly Ossie is an important player for us, so it is some big shoes to fill,” said Schmid, “But I thought Servando Carrasco played well. I thought he stepped up and had is opportunity and took his opportunity well.”
- Sounders FC saw their shutout streak come to an end after 285 minutes with the early second-half goal, the third-longest shutout streak in MLS this season.
- “Of course it says something about the defense and we are proud of it. During the game you should just think about your work and being prepared for the work you need to bring. In the end the minutes come in time,” said goalkeeper Michael Gspurning.