Sporting Kansas City continue their long homestand, putting their undefeated streak on the line when the New England Revolution come to Livestrong Sporting Park on Saturday evening. Sporting haven’t lost in 12 league games, matching the club record, after a 4-2 win against Toronto FC to start nine consecutive games at home. The Revolution are in the third game of a three-game road swing, coming off a 2-2 draw at the Colorado Rapids.
REFEREE: Terry Vaughn. SAR (bench): Fabio Tovar; JAR (opposite): Ian Anderson; 4th: Juan Guzman. MLS Career: 148 games; FC/gm: 28.5; Y/gm: 3.8; R: 47; pens: 49
- SPORTING KANSAS CITY – OUT: MF Davy Arnaud (sports hernia surgery); MF Craig Rocastle (R knee sprain); MF Konrad Warzycha (R knee surgery); QUESTIONABLE: DF Aurelien Collin (lower back contusion); PROBABLE: DF Olukorede Aiyegbusi (concussion); FW Kei Kamara (foot strain); GK Eric Kronberg (abdominal strain); DF Shavar Thomas (neck strain); MF Graham Zusi (ankle sprain)
- NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION – OUT: FW Kheli Dube (whiplash); DOUBTFUL: DF Ryan Cochrane (L foot pain); MF Alan Koger (R heel contusion); QUESTIONABLE: DF Kevin Alston (L turf toe); PROBABLE: MF Zak Boggs (L high ankle sprain)
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: KC: Jon Kempin (U.S. U-18 national team)
SUSPENDED: NE: Chris Tierney (through July 31)
- SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: KC: Aurelien Collin
- SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: KC: Omar Bravo, Julio Cesar … NE: Ryan Cochrane, Rajko Lekic, Stephen McCarthy, Pat Phelan
- ALL-TIME (41 meetings): Sporting 20 wins (1 shootout), 66 goals … Revolution 13 wins (1 shootout), 53 goals … Ties 8
- AT KANSAS CITY (21 meetings): Sporting 10 wins (1 shootout), 28 goals … Revolution 6 wins (0 shootout), 22 goals … Ties 3
- Rajko Lekic scored in the 83rd minute to give the Revolution a 3-2 victory in the first meeting between the teams, April 23 at Gillette Stadium.
- Kansas City will leave CommunityAmerica Ballpark with a three-game winning streak there against the Revolution. New England’s last win at KC came April 9, 2008.
- Coaches’ records: Steve Nicol vs. KC: P27 W7 L12 D8 … Peter Vermes v NE: P4 W2 L2 D0
- 4/23: NE 3, KC 2 (Perovic 12, Joseph 72, Lekic 83 – Kamara 14, 69)
- Marko Perovic opened the scoring for the home side by curling home Benny Feilhaber's feed after 12 minutes, but Kei Kamara equalized two minutes later by beating Matt Reis inside the near post.
- Kamara picked up his second on the other side of halftime, and handed his Sporting their first lead by thumping home a disputed penalty with 20 minutes left after Kevin Alston appeared to clip Teal Bunbury in the area.
- The Revs comeback began almost immediately. Shalrie Joseph headed New England level in the 72nd minute
- off a Kenny Mansally free kick, and four minutes later Sporting were reduced to 10 men when a red card to
- KC’s new defender, Aurélien Collin, in the 76th minute opened up the game and set up Rajko Lekic’s heroics.
- The Danish striker Lekic, playing in just his second MLS game, got his head to Zak Boggs' cross from the right flank, looping it over Sporting 'keeper Jimmy Nielsen in the 83rd minute for the match-winner.
- NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION (4-2-3-1): Matt Reis - Kevin Alston, Franco Coria, A.J. Soares, Didier Domi - Stephen McCarthy (Zack Schilawski 64), Benny Feilhaber - Zak Boggs, Shalrie Joseph, Marko Perovic (Kenny Mansally 60) - Rajko Lekic.
- SPORTING KANSAS CITY (4-2-2-2): Jimmy Nielsen - Michael Harrington, Aurelien Collin (sent off 76), Matt Besler, Roger Espinoza - Birahim Diop, Davy Arnaud - Kei Kamara (Ryan Smith 87), C.J. Sapong – Teal Bunbury (Shavar Thomas 78), Milos Stojcev (Graham Zusi 58).
SPORTING KANSAS CITY
Sporting Kansas City extended their unbeaten streak to 12 games, strolling to a 4-2 victory against Toronto FC on Saturday evening at Livestrong Sporting Park. Sporting have 26 points from 20 matches on the season, sitting in fourth place in the Eastern Conference.
- Sporting took the lead in the 28th minute. Jéferson’s corner kick took a ricochet in the box and Kei Kamara rose and unleashed a flying scissor kick that found the net. Then just five minutes later, he doubled his haul when Roger Espinoza’s floating cross found him at the far post, where he rose high above Yourassowsky and nodded the ball home.
- Omar Bravo and Jéferson then combined for Sporting’s third goal in nine minutes, Jéferson slipping Bravo through on goal where the Mexican rounded Frei and finished from an acute angle.
- Toronto FC pulled a goal back in the 50th minute when Ryan Johnson curled the ball to the back post and Danny Koevermans headed it off the ground and into the top corner.
- Sporting restored their lead when Graham Zusi slipped Chance Myers down the right sideline and the right back found Bravo alone at the six-yard box, where he side-footed the ball home. TFC pulled another goal back when Johnson latched onto a weak bass from defender Daneil Cyrus and hooked it inside the right post.
- Sporting manager Peter Vermes made three changes to the team that got a late 1-1 draw with the Houston Dynamo at Robertson Stadium. Julio Cesar and Jeferson came into the midfield for Birahim Diop and Graham Zusi, and Seth Sinovic returned to the lineup for Michael Harrington.
- SPORTING KANSAS CITY (4-2-1-3): Jimmy Nielsen - Chance Myers, Aurelien Collin (Daneil Cyrus 62), Matt Besler, Seth Sinovic - Julio Cesar (Graham Zusi 58), Roger Espinoza - Jeferson - Kei Kamara, C.J. Sapong (Teal Bunbury 53), Omar Bravo.
- Sporting KC maintained their unbeaten home record at Livestrong Sporting Park, now with three wins and three draws in league play after coming off their 10-game road swing to start the season.
- The 12-game unbeaten run matches the club record set during the 2000 season when KC won MLS Cup, and is still one game behind the LA Galaxy’s current 13-game streak.
- “The one thing I’ve been proud of this group of guys, as we have moved through this season, we have learned some lessons along the way. Haven’t made the same mistake twice. They’ve been very resilient in that regard,” said KC manager Peter Vermes. “I knew that we had it in us. I just had to remind everyone that we needed to make sure that there’s a chance a team can come back and we couldn’t let them.”
- Sporting did allow more than one goal in a game for the first time since their 4-1 loss to the LA Galaxy on May 14, but the four goals matched the season-high scored against FC Dallas.
- “We did well in areas of the game, in set pieces I thought we were very strong offensively and defensively,” said KC manager Peter Vermes. “Like I said, scoring four goals against this team is not an easy feat. I think they’ve improved their team with some of the players they have now. I’m happy with the fact that we scored four goals.”
- Two players hit for multiple goals in the same game for Kansas City for the first time since the inaugural season of 1996, when the then-Wiz saw it happen twice.
- “Team’s clicking really well and this is the best time of the season to start clicking,” said Kei Kamara. “Training’s been going well, haven’t had much training. When you’re playing at training and everyone’s clicking so well you just have a good feeling going into the weekend.”
- Jeferson made his MLS debut, playing the full match after seeing his first action with the club in the midweek friendly against Newcastle United.
- “I think at times he was good for us tonight, in the way that he gave the final pass, breaking down players, relieving pressure. Another thing was he got used to a game in our league and what can happen in 90 minutes,” Vermes said. “He got a chance to break pressure which was really good.”
- The TFC game kicked off a nine-game homestand in league play, which would match the MLS record for consecutive home games, set in 2006 by Chicago.
NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION
The New England Revolution came back for a second result in as many games, getting a late 2-2 draw with the Colorado Rapids on Saturday evening at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. The Revolution have 20 points from 21 matches, in seventh place in the Eastern Conference.
- The Revolution took the lead after 25 minutes. Benny Feilhaber snuck in front of Wells Thompson to latch onto a flick-on by Stephen McCarthy from Kevin Alston’s long throw-in, his first MLS goal.
- The Rapids pulled level midway through the second half. Sanna Nyassi ran onto a return pass in a one-two with Omar Cummings, and was upended by left back Chris Tierney. Referee Geoff Gamble pointed immediately to the spot and produced a red card, and Caleb Folan completed the damage by converting the penalty.
- Then 17 minutes later, Kosuke Kimura sent a speculative long ball toward the New England penalty area from inside his own half. The ball caught ‘keeper Matt Reis in no-man’s land, as he let the ball bounce over him and into the goal.
- But the Revs fought back despite being a man down for the second time in three games. Substitute Kenny Mansally snuck into the top of the penalty area and was fouled by Scott Palguta for the game’s second penalty. Shalrie Joseph stepped up and made no mistake in converting the spot kick, finishing smoothly.
- Revolution head coach Steve Nicol made two changes to the team that came away from RFK Stadium with a 1-0 victory against D.C. United. Darrius Barnes came in for Ryan Cochrane at center back, and Benny Feilhaber returned to the team for Zak Boggs.
- NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION (4-2-3-1): Matt Reis - Kevin Alston, A.J. Soares, Darrius Barnes, Chris Tierney (sent off 64), Stephen McCarthy (Sainey Nyassi 68), Pat Phelan - Zack Schilawski (Franco Coria 66), Shalrie Joseph, Benny Feilhaber - Rajko Lekic (Kenny Mansally 75).
- The game in Colorado was the second of three consecutive games on the road, and the Revolution had results in the first two.
- “With two games on the road at least we got a point. We get the point so that’s great for us. We just have to work hard next week,” said Kenny Mansally. “We have three games in a row that are all away games. It’s tough, but we’re just going to work hard, get points, and we’re going to make the playoffs I hope.”
- The Revolution conceded a penalty kick for a second consecutive game and still came away with a point. In the game against D.C. United, Charlie Davies missed from the spot in New England’s 1-0 win.
- “This is our fourth game in 10 days. The heat that we’ve been playing in recently, for them to come back as I said for the fourth game in 10 days to go down to 10 men and come back the way they did I think tells you everything you need to know about our players,” said Revolution boss Steve Nicol.
- Shalrie Joseph has scored three of his goals on the season from the penalty spot, having now converted 11 for his MLS career.
- Darrius Barnes was inserted into central defense in the first team for the first time this season. He had previously started matches at both fullback positions.
- Benny Feilhaber returned from suspension and scored his first MLS goal. He leads the Revolution with three assists.
- Zack Schilawski was included in the first XI for the first time since starting back-to-back games April 9 and 17, vs. Real Salt Lake and at Houston.
- When Sainey Nyassi came into the game in the 68th minute, it marked the first time that the Nyassi identical twins (Sanna plays for Colorado) faced each other. In five previous meetings between their respective clubs, they never were on the field at the same time. Philadelphia Union brothers Michael and Gabriel Farfan earlier this season became the first set of twins to appear in the same game together.