Heading into Friday night's game between Sporting Kansas City and Chivas USA, there was the feeling that something had to give, with both teams on four-game losing streaks.
In the end, Sporting made the most of the situation, grabbing three important points in a 4-0 win at StubHub Center, a game in which KC forward Dom Dwyer made history for his club.
Dwyer broke Sporting’s single-season scoring record with this 19th goal this year, moving above the mark set by Preki in 1996, to open the scoring for the visitors.
With the win, Sporting move to within two points of Eastern Conference leaders D.C. United, with a 13-10-6 mark. Chivas USA remain rooted to the bottom of the Western Conference at 6-16-6.
Both teams exchanged half-chances for most of the first half, with Kansas City holding the upper hand in possession and the run of play. Once they grabbed the lead, the visitors took hold of the game for good, as Chivas continued their winless streak, which now stretches to 10 games.
They doubled their lead in first half stoppage time, when Benny Feilhaber followed up on a chance. Antonio Dovale’s curling shot bounced off the far post, before Feilhaber got an acrobatic touch on the rebound to knock it into the open net.
Chivas, who have scored just two goals since the start of August, could not find the back of the net against a Sporting side that had struggled defensively in recent games. Leandro Barrera had a good opportunity in the 19th minute, as he sent a good cross into the six yard box, but no teammate made the run to get a shot away.
Zusi grabbed a goal of his own seven minutes after the half, when he picked up the ball on the edge of the box, dribbled, and shot through a collection of Chivas defenders.
Kennedy got a save on a Dwyer shot in the 56th minute to stop Kansas City’s momentum, but by that point, the damage was done.
Substitute Claudio Bieler notched a goal in the 87th minute, as he got the ball on a breakaway, tried to round Kennedy, but ended up scoring with a tightly-angled shot.
SKC return to CONCACAF Champions League action on Thursday when they host Costa Rica's Saprissa. They won't return to MLS action until Sept. 26 against New England. Chivas will take to the road to play another Eastern Conference opponent next week, when they face Toronto FC Sept. 21.
MLSsoccer.com Men of the Match
|Rank||Player||What We Saw|
|1||Graham Zusi||Set up the opener on a long ball, displayed some tricks in the corner, and scored a nice individual goal - all in a game's work for Zusi|
|2||Dom Dwyer||He didn't just break Sporting's scoring record with his goal, but showed why he's emerged with the poise to get the vital goal for his team|
|3||Matt Besler||It wasn't the toughest test he'll face this season, but getting a clean sheet should help the veteran get KC back on track for stretch run|