SKCvNE, Aug. 10, 2013

Sporting Kansas City vs. New England Revolution | MLS Match Preview

SPORTING PARK, Kansas City, Kan.
August 10, 2013 (WEEK 24, MLS Game #218)
7:30 p.m. CT (KSMO; CSN-NE)

Sporting Kansas City and the New England Revolution meet in a key match for both clubs in the Eastern Conference on Saturday evening at Sporting Park. SKC comes off back-to-back league losses, last weekend losing 3-2 to New York at home, leaving them two points out of the division lead. The Revolution hit the road following a 1-0 home loss to Toronto that left them three points out of fifth place and the final playoff spot in the division.


REFEREE: Baldomero Toledo. AR1 (bench): Fabio Tovar; AR2 (opposite): Mike Rottersman; 4th: Daniel Radford
MLS Career: 158 games; FC/gm: 25.0; Y/gm: 3.4; R: 54; pens: 60

SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: KC: Seth Sinovic, Oriol Rosell, Peterson Joseph … NE: Lee Nguyen
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: KC: Lawrence Olum, Aurelien Collin … NE: Juan Toja, Kelyn Rowe, Andrew Farrell

ALL-TIME (46 meetings): Sporting 22 wins (1 shootout), 71 goals… Revolution 13 wins (1 shootout), 54 goals… Ties 11
AT KC (22 meetings): Sporting 11 wins (1 shootout), 32 goals … Revolution 6 wins (0 shootout), 23 goals … Ties 5

  • The teams are meeting for the second time this season. They reached a scoreless draw March 23 at Gillette Stadium.
  • Sporting are unbeaten in their last five meetings overall with the Revolution, and have a 412-minute shutout streak alive vs. the Revolution, their last goal conceded in the series coming July 30, 2011.
  • New England haven’t won in Kansas City since 2008. KC has four wins in their last six home matches with New England, with two draws.
  • Coaches record: Peter Vermes vs. NE: P9 W4 L2 D3 … Jay Heaps vs. KC: P4 W0 L2 D2

3/23: NE 0, KC 0

  • Neither side came to terms with the blustery afternoon at Gillette Stadium and ultimately settled for the stalemate.
  • Revolution goalkeeper Matt Reis was credited with four saves for the match, while Sporting 'keeper Jimmy Nielsen did not record a save as the home side was not shown with a single attempt on target for the match, and just two shots total.
  • NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION (4-4-1-1): Matt Reis - Andrew Farrell, Jose Goncalves, A.J. Soares, Kevin Alston - Kelyn Rowe, Clyde Simms, Scott Caldwell, Lee Nguyen - Juan Toja - Chad Barrett (Ryan Guy 64).
  • SPORTING KANSAS CITY (4-1-2-3): Jimmy Nielsen - Mechack Jerome, Ike Opara, Aurelien Collin, Seth Sinovic - Oriol Rosell - Paulo Nagamura, Benny Feilhaber - C.J. Sapong, Claudio Bieler, Soony Saad (Peterson Joseph 63).

Sporting Kansas City suffered a second consecutive defeat, falling 3-2 to the New York Red Bulls on Saturday evening at Sporting Park. Sporting are now in second place in the Eastern Conference with 36 points from 23 matches.


  • The Red Bulls took the lead in the 27th minute. Dax McCarty won the ball 40 yards from goal and sent a long diagonal pass to Jonny Steele, who held off a defender and blasted a left-footed shot inside the near post.
  • Sporting pressed back and equalized just before halftime. Chance Myers sent in a cross to Soony Saad, who snapped off a header that Luis Robles could only parry, but the rebound fell kindly for Kei Kamara to stab home.
  • The Red Bulls took control in the 63rd minute. Lloyd Sam freed Fabian Espindola with a long pass down the right flank, and he slotted an angled shot inside the far post from inside the area. Then in the 69th minute, goalkeeper Robles sent a long throw down the left side to Steele, whose cross found Sam streaking down the middle for a well-taken finish.
  • Sporting pulled a goal back in the second minute of stoppage time when Dom Dwyer headed home a Kamara cross in the heart of the area, but it wasn't enough.
  • Sporting manager Peter Vermes made three changes to the team that fell 1-0 to the Montréal Impact at Stade Saputo. Aurelien Collin and Matt Besler returned to central defense in place of Ike Opara and Lawrence Olum, and Benny Feilhaber came into the team for the injured Graham Zusi.
  • SPORTING KANSAS CITY (4-2-1-3): Jimmy Nielsen - Chance Myers, Aurelien Collin, Matt Besler, Seth Sinovic - Oriol Rosell, Peterson Joseph (Ike Opara 90) - Benny Feilhaber (Teal Bunbury 80) - Kei Kamara, Claudio Bieler (Dom Dwyer 71), Soony Saad.


  • Sporting have lost back-to-back league games for the first time since April 20-27, when they suffered defeats vs. LA and Portland.
  • “They were both six point games in conference standings and in Supporters’ Shield as well. Tough to drop those points, especially this one at home hurts,” said midfielder Benny Feilhaber. “We played good enough to win but just had a few lapses of concentration so we just have to try and get that out of our game. One good thing in MLS is that you have plenty of games and when we get to the playoffs hopefully we have all of that stuff corrected because that’s when it really matters.”
  • SKC conceded three goals to match their season-high, also allowing three in a 3-2 home loss to Portland on April 27.
  • “We gave up three goals that were horrendous goals. All of them,” SKC manager Peter Vermes said. “All three of them were bad on our part. With me, that is unacceptable. Those goals were horrendous.”
  • Sporting had a season-high 27 attempts at goal, matching the club record set seven times previously, the last time in a 1-1 draw with Houston last Sept. 14.
  • “Definitely not good enough from that perspective. We had so many chances in the first half we need to score. The bottom line is we need to put the ball in the back of the net,” said Vermes. “There were too many good chances there for us not to score and our desire in the second half to close that game out was not of Sporting level. The guys are going to feel this one; they’re going to feel it from me.”
  • Sporting had their first-choice central defense pair of Aurelien Collin and Matt Besler together for the first time since July 13, because of national team duty and suspension.
  • Dom Dwyer scored his first career MLS goal in his eighth career league appearance (all as a substitute), heading home the late consolation goal.
  • “He came on and was great. He gets a great goal. It’s unfortunate he doesn’t get the one of the crossbar. I thought he was mobile, he was strong, he was hungry. The goal he gets was great timing by him, he sensed it; great place, right time,” said Vermes. “That’s a hungry man's goal so I thought his performance was very, very good. He was a big spark to us when he came on.”
  • With Graham Zusi unavailable after suffering a thigh injury in the MLS All-Star Game, Feilhaber returned to the starting lineup after a two-match absence.
  • On Wednesday, Sporting got their first CONCACAF Champions League campaign off on the right foot with a  2-0 victory against Real Estelí in Nicaragua. Ike Opara (31) and Dom Dwyer (76) scored for SKC.
  • Here’s the Sporting team: Eric Kronberg; Seth Sinovic, Ike Opara, Aurelien Collin, Mechack Jerome; Oriol Rosell, Benny Feilhaber (Peterson Joseph 70), Lawrence Olum; Soony Saad (C.J. Sapong 89), Dom Dwyer (Teal Bunbury 86), Jacob Peterson
  • “We understand how difficult this competition can be as we've seen our teams in our league obviously participate in this. They're never easy games. I think we came in here with the right mentality. I definitely think we chose the right formula in regards to travel and coming down here. And again, I thought the guys were very good at the way they executed our game plan,” said Vermes.

The New England Revolution saw their winning streak put to an end at two games, falling 1-0 to Toronto FC on Sunday evening at Gillette Stadium. The Revolution are in sixth place in the Eastern Conference with 30 points from 22 matches.


  • The game's only goal came after just two minutes. Matias Laba won possession at midfield and surged into the Revolution half. His deft hitch inside the penalty area created room to shoot, but Scott Caldwell charged down his effort. But he stuck with his task and thumped home the rebound.
  • TFC goalkeeper Joe Bendik was called upon to make two saves in keeping the clean sheet and ensuring the first back-to-back wins for Toronto this season.
  • Revolution head coach Jay Heaps made two changes to the team that came back for a 2-1 win vs. D.C. United at RFK Stadium. Scott Caldwell and Juan Toja came into the midfield for Clyde Simms and Kelyn Rowe.
  • NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION (4-1-4-1): Bobby Shuttleworth - Andrew Farrell, Stephen McCarthy (Chad Barrett 74), Jose Goncalves, Chris Tierney - Scott Caldwell - Saer Sene, Lee Nguyen, Juan Toja (Kelyn Rowe 60), Diego Fagundez - Dimitry Imbongo.


  • The Revolution lost by shutout for the first time since a 1-0 home defeat by FC Dallas on March 30. Each of their three previous shutouts on the attacking end came in scoreless draws.
  • “We were still creating chances, but it was more about where we were trying to win the ball back and where we were possessing the ball. We made a few changes positionally – pushed Saer (Sene) a little higher, tried to talk about where we could get him the ball more dangerously,” said Revolution head coach Jay Heaps. “As the half went on, we were talking more about what we would need to do to go to a 3-5-2 – it was more like a 3-4-3 – but to try to get more guys around the box for opportunities. We had chances.”
  • The Revolution have suffered back-to-back defeats on their home ground, their last game in Foxborough a 2-1 loss to Houston on July 13. They return to the road with a two-game road winning streak alive.
  • “We concede early again tonight and it’s just tough to chase games in this league. We need to be smarter to start the game, turn them around instead of try to play 50-50 ball in our own half,” said defender Chris Tierney. “That’s something we’ll work on, being smarter and it’s just between the ears you know. We’re playing well, the first half we played well but just that one crucial mistake cost us.”
  • Juan Toja returned to the starting lineup for the first time since July 17, when he scored his only goal of the season, coming off for Kelyn Rowe at the hour mark.
  • While Diego Fagundez saw his goalscoring streak come to an end after two matches, he equaled the club season-high (his own) with six attempts at goal, three on target.
  • The Revolution went to a three-pronged attack late in the match when center back Stephen McCarthy was sacrificed in favor of Chad Barrett.
  • “We practice these things – game situations. It’s all semantics, the starting points. It was just a matter of taking [Stephen McCarthy] off, getting another player on the field that can score,” said Heaps. “Chad Barrett, we thought was going to give us a good opportunity. I thought that Chad went in and fought well.”

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