KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Move over Rory Delap, Matt Besler is gunning for your title.
After some mixed results early in the season, Besler’s long throw-ins are starting to pay serious dividends for Sporting Kansas City. Just days after his heave led to Teal Bunbury’s equalizer against New England, Besler and Kei Kamara hooked up for Kansas City’s first-half goal against Seattle.
But it wasn’t Delap, the Stoke City player famous for his mighty overhead chucks, who Kamara referenced in terms of a comparison for the man delivering the ball. He pointed to a different kind of footballer altogether.
“Tom Brady,” Kamara said. “I gave him the name earlier. [Besler] calls the plays, and we just run it.”
Kamara easily juked two Sounders defenders on Saturday, and Besler found his head with an accurate and powerful throw that the Sierra Leone international nonchalantly dispatched past a scrambling Kasey Keller.
Kansas City have been working on the set piece in training this season, with a few tweaks here and there, and Kamara said Besler is just pushing all the right buttons right now.
“It’s something different that the coaches told us to do,” he said. “He’s called it, and it’s worked twice. I can’t leak the secret.”
It was the third goal Kansas City have scored this season from a Besler throw-in. The first came in Portland when C.J. Sapong flicked on the initial ball and Aurélien Collin nodded it inside the far post.
For their part, Seattle seemed ill-prepared to deal with the play, something that will happen much less often as opponents begin to recognize the threat. Still, Sporting have the ideal target men in Kamara and Sapong to make it work even when everyone knows what’s coming.
“It’s a weapon for us,” Besler said. “We have a lot of targets. We’re finally getting the timing down. We worked on it a little bit in practice. It’s starting to show. Hopefully we can get a few more goals from them.”
Cyrus out for season
Already suffering through somewhat of an injury crisis, Sporting were dealt yet another blow on Tuesday as the club announced recent signing Daneil Cyrus will miss the rest of the 2011 season after breaking the fifth metatarsal in his left foot.
Cyrus suffered the injury in a 1-0 victory against Colorado in Reserve League action on Monday at Swope Park. He will undergo surgery to repair the fracture and is expected to miss four months.
The 20-year-old made two appearances for Kansas City in MLS action, starting once, since signing on loan from FC Santa Rosa. He also played in the friendly against Newcastle United and twice in the Reserve League.
Sassano out 4-6 weeks with knee injury
Midfielder Luke Sassano, who was forced on as a substitute against Seattle after Jéferson left with a strained right quad, will also miss extended time after spraining the MCL in his right knee against the Sounders.
Sassano suffered the injury after being on the receiving end of an awkward challenge late in the match, forcing Kansas City to defend with nine men in the final moments. Sassano had an MRI on Monday to determine the scope of the damage and is expected to miss the next four to six weeks recovering from the injury.
Jéferson is listed as probable on the most recent injury report and will have until next Wednesday’s game against Portland at Livestrong Sporting Park to recover.