Recap: Zusi leads scoring outburst as Sporting thrash FCD
FRISCO, Texas — On a sweltering evening at Pizza Hut Park, Sporting Kansas City midfielder Graham Zusi led the visiting side to just their second win of the year, scoring two goals and adding an assist in a 4-1 win over FC Dallas.
Zusi used his right foot to defeat an FC Dallas side that had been unbeaten in their last nine games. The former Maryland Terrapin also guided his team to its first victory in Frisco since 2007.
For FC Dallas, it was their first loss since April 17 when they dropped a 3-2 decision at the Portland Timbers.
The 4-1 thumping by Sporting was the first time since August 2009 that goalkeeper Kevin Hartman conceded more than four goals. Ironically, Hartman was playing for the then-Kansas City Wizards and gave up six goals to FC Dallas at Pizza Hut Park.
With Teal Bunbury struggling and Kei Kamara just recently returned from Africa for international duty, Sporting head coach Peter Vermes changed from a 4-3-3 to a 4-4-2 with Luke Sassano and C.J. Sapong as the featured strikers.
Striker Omar Bravo, injured during stoppage time in Thursday's home opener, did not travel with the team and Eric Kronberg started in goal while Jimmy Nielsen served his one-game red card suspension.
Game-time temperatures were in the high 90s, but that didn’t affect Sporting Kansas City from striking first.
The visiting side had several corner kicks and forced Hartman into a diving save in the 17th before scoring the game's first goal 11 minutes later.
Collecting the ball along the left side of the 18-yard-box, Zusi dribbled along the line of the box before setting up his right foot perfectly. Zusi, who scored the game-winning goal in the 2008 NCAA Championship game at Pizza Hut Park, placed the shot out of Hartman’s reach for a 1-0 Sporting lead.
It was the first time FC Dallas had trailed in a match since April 23, but it wouldn’t stay that way for very long.
Four minutes later, FCD midfielder Brek Shea took the ball just inside the Sporting half of the field and presented a dribbling clinic. Shea shot past four Sporting defenders before slotting it under Kronberg for a 1-1 game.
But a nagging Sporting side did not go away. Four minutes into the second half, Zusi contributed again. His corner kick overshot the six-yard box but a diligent effort from Sapong to volley it back into play found a wide-open Aurelien Collin, who tapped it past Hartman.
Sporting hadn’t scored more than one goal since April 23, and just minutes after Collin’s goal, Zusi created some more magic — this time from distance.
On a set-piece just outside the center midfield circle, Zusi blasted a knuckle ball shot at a surprised Hartman. The former Kansas City goalkeeper had no chance on the shot, which added to Sporting's lead.
Just a minute after Zusi's blast, Sporting were reduced to 10 men after Milos Stojcev collected a second yellow card. However, that didn't cool the visitors down as they completed to their offensive outburst in the 78th minute when Sassano used the inside of his foot to chip a ball over Hartman.
FC Dallas play Chivas USA at the The Home Depot Center next Saturday for their only road game of the month while Sporting Kansas City play host to San Jose Friday evening at their new Livestrong Sporting Park.
Sporting KC (2-6-4) vs. FC Dallas (7-4-4)
June 12, 2011 -- Pizza Hut Park
KC -- Graham Zusi 1 (Davy Arnaud 1) 28
DAL -- Brek Shea 5 (unassisted) 32
KC -- Aurelien Collin 1 (C.J. Sapong 2, Graham Zusi 1) 49
KC -- Graham Zusi 2 (unassisted) 55
KC -- Luke Sassano 1 (Birahim Diop 1) 78
Sporting KC -- Eric Kronberg, Chance Myers, Matt Besler, Aurelien Collin, Seth Sinovic, Birahim Diop (Julio Cesar 78), Davy Arnaud (Kei Kamara 68), Milos Stojcev, Graham Zusi (Teal Bunbury 89), Luke Sassano, C.J. Sapong.
Substitutes Not Used: Korede Aiyegbusi, Kevin Ellis, Scott Lorenz, Jon Kempin.
FC Dallas -- Kevin Hartman, Zach Loyd (Jackson Goncalves 46), George John, Ugo Ihemelu, Jair Benitez (Ruben Luna 74), Eric Alexander (Milton Rodriguez 46), Andrew Jacobson, Daniel Hernandez, Brek Shea, Marvin Chavez, Fabian Castillo.
Substitutes Not Used: Eric Avila, Bruno Guarda, Bobby Warshaw, Chris Seitz.
KC -- Aurelien Collin (caution; Reckless Foul) 21
KC -- Seth Sinovic (caution; Reckless Tackle) 33
KC -- Milos Stojcev (caution; Reckless Tackle) 39
DAL -- Zach Loyd (caution; Reckless Foul) 47+
DAL -- Ugo Ihemelu (caution; Reckless Tackle) 56
KC -- Milos Stojcev (caution; Reckless Tackle) 56
KC -- Milos Stojcev (ejection; Second Caution) 56
DAL -- Milton Rodriguez (caution; Reckless Tackle) 89
Referee: Kevin Stott
Referee's Assistants: Anthony Vasoli; Brian Poeschel
4th Official: Matthew Foerster
Time of Game: 1:54