Sporting Kansas City 2, Philadelphia Union 0 | 2019 MLS Match Recap

In a game that mostly came down to penalty kicks, Sporting Kansas City proved more efficient from the spot.

Playing their 2019 MLS home opener, in between a pair of Concacaf Champions League matches, SKC rode an Ilie Sanchez PK goal and a Tim Melia PK save to a 2-0 victory over the 10-man Philadelphia Union on Sunday.

The opening goal came in the 11th minute when Auston Trusty was whistled for pushing Krisztian Nemeth in the back — after Ray Gaddis thwarted an SKC break — and Sanchez converted the ensuing penalty kick for the second time in five days.

Marco Fabian couldn’t do the same in the 41st minute, as Melia stopped the Mexican international’s attempt after a video review led to Seth Sinovic being called for a handball in the box.

Melia made a couple of more nice saves to preserve the shutout and Fabian’s day got worse when he was sent off with a 60th-minute red card for stomping Johnny Russell — also after a video review.

SKC’s win was sealed on a Jack Elliott own goal in the 80th minute, with the Union center back accidentally redirecting a Gerso cross into the back of the net.


  • 11' — SKC — Ilie Sanchez (PK) | WATCH
  • 80' — SKC — Jack Elliott (OG) | WATCH

Three Things

  • THE BIG PICTURE: After consecutive 2-1 losses — in their MLS opener and in the first leg of the CCL quarterfinals — SKC got a much-needed boost at home during a busy and important stretch. For the Union, there’s no shame in losing in Kansas City, but a missed penalty kick, an own goal and a red card is a rough way for it to happen, especially going into an even more daunting matchup next week in Atlanta.

  • MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Melia continued to show his PK mastery with his stop of Fabian, preventing the Union from going into halftime with the game tied.

  • MAN OF THE MATCH: In addition to his PK save, Melia also saved a rocket and a header from Cory Burke in the second half en route to his 40th career shutout.

Next Up

  • SKC: Thursday, March 14 vs. Independiente, CCL quarterfinals, Leg 2 (8 pm ET | UDN,
  • PHI: Sunday, March 17 at Atlanta United (7:15 pm ET | MLS LIVE on ESPN+)