KANSAS CITY, Kan. – The last time the New England Revolution came into Livestrong Sporting Park, they found themselves shorthanded and on the short end of a rout.
This time around, the Revs stayed at full strength – and left town with a rare road point from Saturday night’s goalless draw against Sporting Kansas City. It was only their third time in 10 games this year New England came away without a loss away from home.
The result kept Sporting (11-6-4) in second place in the Eastern Conference, one point behind the New York Red Bulls. They could have held onto the conference lead with a win against the Revs (6-9-5), whose winless streak reached three matches.
The lone bright spot for Sporting was Jimmy Nielsen’s league-leading ninth shutout, moving him one ahead of Vancouver’s Joe Cannon. Matt Reis recorded his fourth clean sheet for New England, but had a scary moment late in second-half stoppage time when he spent several minutes on the ground after colliding with Sporting forward Kei Kamara.
The Revs, who had to play a man down after the 14th minute of Sporting’s 3-0 win on March 17, came out showing plenty of pace and energy on Saturday despite temperatures that hovered just below 100 at kickoff.
They nearly made it pay off before the quarter-hour mark.
Ryan Guy ran onto Lee Nguyen’s 15th-minute corner kick and unleashed a high-speed header toward the goalmouth, but Nielsen made a case for a third straight Save of the Week honor when he parried the ball away just before it crossed the line.
Seven minutes into the second half, it was Matt Reis’ turn to make a highlight-reel save.
Sporting’s Michael Harrington sent in a long cross from the right flank, and Jacob Peterson -- starting as a midfielder for the first time this season -- snapped a header low and to Reis’ right, only to be denied by a sprawling fingertip save from the Revolution 'keeper.
Peterson also had Sporting’s best chance before the break, firing low and wide in the 21st minute after tracking down a loose ball deep in New England’s end.
Sporting left winger Bobby Convey started for the first time in two months after recovering from a series of quad strains, Peterson moved into the left attacking mid spot usually held by Roger Espinoza, who is on Olympic duty with Honduras.
The home side got another good chance nine minutes from time, when Reis failed to control Kamara’s cross from the right corner. The ball took several bounces around the area before being cleared out of danger.
And in the third minute of stoppage time, Reis briefly mishandled Kamara’s line-drive header before gaining control.
Steve Brisendine covers Sporting Kansas City for MLSsoccer.com.
MLSsoccer.com Men of the Match
|Rank||Player||What We Saw|
|1||Matt Reis||Took a beating, none more so than from Kei Kamara in stoppage time, made a spectacular save and was on his game all match long|
|2||Jacob Peterson||Sporting's biggest offensive threat and a hard worker, created their two best chances of the game, but couldn't convert|
|3||Ryan Guy||A workhorse, played 100 minutes of soccer in three different positions in the blazing heat and look good in the process|