Coming off of a strong win in Seattle, Sporting Kansas City fell back into old ways dropping points to rival Real Salt Lake in a 2-1 loss at Children’s Mercy Park.
The match kicked off to a rocky start with winger Gerso Fernandes forced to leave the pitch early in the sixth minute due to an ankle injury. Daniel Salloi came off the bench to take his place in helping the team maintain possession of the ball.
Johnny Russell put SKC on the board in the 31st minute with a free kick. But seven minutes later, Corey Baird was quick to respond for the visitors and leveled the match.
The home side had a chance to restore their lead after being awarded a penalty kick when RSL’s Donny Toia tripped Russell from behind inside the box. Felipe Gutierrez stepped up to convert but he watched as the ball rattled off the left post – sending them into the half tied up 1-1.
The visitors found their lead in the 70th minute when Jefferson Savarino picked out an unmarked Baird who tucked in a left footed shot into the bottom right corner for a brace.
The home team petitioned for a penalty in the 73rd minute after Gutierrez went down under Aaron Herrera’s lunging challenge and with the support of the crowd chanting for VAR – referee Fotis Bazakos reviewed the play but stood by the call of no penalty.
Things took a turn for the worst in the 84th minute when Sporting lost their second player of the match. Salloi was shown a straight red for a hard tackle on Damir Kreilach when he clipped the midfielder studs up, reducing the home side to 10 men for the duration of the match.
Sporting KC watched as their chances of playoff contention diminished further last night but is it too late? Maybe.
With ten games left in the regular season and still sitting in tenth place with 28 points and a -6 goal differential, every game from now on is crucial for SKC.
“I’m not giving up,” Peter Vermes told the press during the post match press conference.
Sporting KC will now look to bounce back in a mid-week fixture when the team visits Orlando City.
A revived Sporting Kansas City proved they have what it takes, despite snapping their first two-game winning streak in a 2-0 loss against FC Dallas on Saturday night at Children’s Mercy Park.
On a smothering 98 degree evening, missing Ilie due to yellow card accumulation – a full strength roster kicked off strong with Gerso Fernandes, Gianluca Busio, Yohan Croizet, and Seth Sinovic constantly attacking Dallas’ side but could not capitalize on any chances.
Dallas would capitalize on a costly Sporting giveaway shortly thereafter, as Michael Barrios intercepted a stray back pass and squared low for Dominique Badji who got the opening goal in the 37th minute.
The hosts threatened near the half-hour mark when Graham Zusi whipped a teasing free kick into a crowded penalty area, but Seth Sinovic’s snap header skipped wide of the target.
Shortly after Croziet received a yellow after catching Ziegler from behind and a short hydration break; Felipe Gutierrez spread it right to Johnny Russell, whose low drive was blocked behind for a corner kick. The Scottish foward’s ensuing corner kick was nodded wide by a leaping Barath.
Like his teammate, Gutierrez picked up a caution in the 43th minute and will miss the match next Friday due to yellow card accumulation.
Dallas moved forward to double the lead, but Tim Melia punched away Santiago Mosquera’s strike leading the game into the half.
Shortly after the restart, Croziet’s right footed shot from outside the box went high and wide to the left; before he was substituted out for Krisztian Nemeth in the 55th minute.
Two minutes later, Mosquera sent a through ball to 18-year-old Jesus Ferreira who moved around Matt Belser and Botond Barath, then slotted past Melia at close range to double the advantage for the visitors in the 57th minute.
Now trailing by two – the home side got a much needed boost of energy when Roger Espinoza entered to a standing ovation in the 65th minute. This marked his first match since April 14th, having missed the last three months due to a knee injury.
Less than a minute after his introduction, Zusi’s service inside the box to the far post was headed just wide and into the side netting by Sinovic.
Daniel Salloi and Krisztian Nemeth both threatened to put Sporting KC on the scoresheet. But Salloi’s drive was blocked behind for a corner kick and Nemeth’s effort was tipped over the bar by Jesse Gonzalez – ending the match in a devastating loss.
For all their possession, Sporting KC failed to register a shot on target until the 88th minute, with 10 off target and six blocked. And they still remain in 10th place with 25 points.
In hindsight, the result is a bump in the road for the home team that is finally finding their footing again and getting players back from the injury list at the right time. The only question that remains is: what will it take to get back above the line?
Sporting KC will have a chance to bounce back when the club visits New York City FC at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx on Friday, July 26.
One of the biggest questions that Sporting KC fans have had for the past few seasons is, “When will Peter Vermes sign a proven goal-scorer?” Well, guys, I think we’re good.
We’re ten games in (oh man…look at those recap articles…insert sad-disappointed emoji here) and not only are we in first place in the west…say that again for the people in the back…FIRST PLACE IN THE WEST! but we are averaging just over two goals per game, and have a +9 goal differential. All of these things are quite awesome. So let’s discuss these guys, and see what might be in store for the rest of the season.
The Top Guys
Johnny “Russellmania” Russell
Johnny Russell came from Derby (Darby) County, and he hit the ground running. If you haven’t seen this guy score in person, then you are missing out. Though I live super far away from KC now, I was able to take a spur-of-the-moment trip up to Chicago to see SKC win against the Chicago Fire. His goal was not only his first for the boys in blue, but it was also gorgeous. Just watch him blast the ball between three Fire defenders, not that anyone would have been able to stop it…
Clinical finishing from SKC's new man, Johnny Russell! And a terrific assist from @DanielSalloi.
That was his first goal, but Russell’s crowning glory so far this season was the game against the Vancouver Whitecaps where he became the 8th player in SKC history to score a hat-trick. The coolest part though is that he is the fastest player to ever get three in one game, clocking in at 48 minutes.
He could have probably scored more, but the Verms subbed him out in the 52nd minute for Cristian Lobato…who scored another goal. A 6-0 win was pretty sweet, guys. When you score three goals in one game you are almost guaranteed to be MLS Player of the Week, so naturally, that happened. Please enjoy this goal-a-palooza.
So, Felipe Gutiérrez was the leading goal-scorer in the league, then he got injured and he was still the leading goal-scorer for another two weeks. That’s what happens when you score five goals in the first five games. Quick side-note: Sporting didn’t score in their first game, so it’s basically five goals in four games.
I would like you to ignore the obnoxious music in this video and watch his field awareness. He knows exactly where the defenders and his teammates are at all times. The goal off of the backheel from Daniel Salloi should have been the goal of the week, but Atlanta United fans stuff the ballot box any time one of their guys is nominated…cough cough.
His reaction time is also crazy. The two goals off of rebounds are sheer perfection. Felipe has been injured basically since March ended. He subbed in against Vancouver but wasn’t on the field for that long, and he’s out now after sports hernia surgery. Depending on how quick he’s back, and how prolific other scorers are, he could possibly still end the season near the top of the leading scorers.
Do you need a guy to take a penalty? (Which SKC are magically getting this season. Not bitter, but we didn’t get one until almost the All-Star break last year. Pepperidge Farm remembers.) Well, we have a guy that can take your penalties. Not only will he make said penalty shot, but he won’t even make a big deal out of it. I wish he could score more, because The Cauldron has a new cheer for Ilie this season, and it is my absolute favorite thing.
My name is…
I’m from Barcelona
I play defensive-mid for the Wiz (THE WIZ)
When I walk down the street
Everyone that I meet
Says, “Hey, Muchacho, what’s your name?”
My name is…
Young Daniel has worked his way back into the starting lineup since Felipe’s injury, and if Saturday’s game was any indication, he’ll fill in fine. Daniel has scored twice so far this season, and he didn’t play at all in one game since he was coming back from international duty in Hungary. I refuse to do a Hungary pun. Refuse!
This guy is still young, and even if he’s not scoring, he provides a spark on the offensive end. He has four assists on the season including a beautiful backheel on one of Felipe’s goals from above. Check out his goal from the game against Colorado Rapids. Not only is the finish great, but literally every single piece of this puzzle is bomb.