SKC Notebook: Kamara quick to thank Zusi for goal haul
After setting a new personal best for most league goals in a season, Kei Kamara made sure to thank the teammate who set him up.
Kamara nodded home Graham Zusi's corner kick in the 21st minute of Wednesday night's 2-0 road victory over New York, giving him 11 goals on the year. That's one more than his previous high, set in 2010 with the then-Wizards.
“He delivered a great cross,” Kamara said of Zusi's league-leading 14th assist. “All we have to do is just make our runs, finish our runs.”
Kamara had plenty of room to do that, taking advantage of lackluster marking by the Red Bulls' Wilman Conde.
“I just have the determination that I’m going to go win,” he said. “I don’t think I’ve scored on a corner kick in a while and I had that feeling going to the game and it worked out perfect.”
When Sporting wrap up this week's road swing at Montreal on Saturday (1 pm ET, TSN/RDS in Canada, MLS Live in US), they'll have to do it without midfielder Roger Espinoza.
Espinoza will sit out the Impact match with yellow-card accumulation, after drawing a caution for a 37th-minute foul on Teemu Tainio in Wednesday night's match.
It is his second disciplinary suspension of the year. Espinoza had to sit out Sporting's 2-2 draw at Colorado in mid-May after being given a straight red a week earlier in a 2-1 loss at Chicago.
After the Red Bulls match, manager Peter Vermes said he would wait until closer to Saturday to name Espinoza's replacement in the XI.
“We'll talk about it over the next couple of days,” Vermes told MLSsoccer.com by phone. “I don't want to put anybody in jeopardy, because this was a hard-fought game.”
Center back Matt Besler's assist on C.J. Sapong's 12th-minute goal was the 300th road assist in club history for Sporting.
Besler played Zusi's deflection off the crossbar back into the middle for Sapong, who spun and drove it into the net for his second goal in as many games since he returned to the lineup.
“The ball came back to me on my right,” said the left-footed Besler, who has two assists this year. “I decided it was a little too far for me to shoot. I just saw C.J. standing in front of the goal at the last second, and I decided to just kind of put it back in to where he was.”
Steve Brisendine covers Sporting Kansas City for MLSsoccer.com.