Tag Archives: Kelyn Rowe

Johnny Russell’s historical hat trick helps Sporting KC break winless streak

Official Sporting KC Reporter

By Araceli Villanueva // @Aracelv1

Sporting Kansas City finally snapped it’s seven-game winless streak in a thrilling 3-2 win over the Seattle Sounders at Children’s Mercy Park on Sunday. Johnny Russell’s hat trick and Tim Melia’s cat-like reflexes sealed the deal.

Even though ten players remain on the injury list, with five totally out, the list is finally shrinking as Vermes nearly sat a full bench. Yohan Croizet started in Krisztian Nemeth’s place, who was out due to a red he picked up in the match against the Vancouver Whitecaps last weekend. And Jimmy Medranda made his triumphant return.

Sporting KC got off to a strong start, attacking the visitor’s side twice, but Stefan Frei was quick to deny both attempts.

Nicolas Hasler provided the spark the team needed for the opening goal by keeping the ball in play in the 29th minute. He slotted it through to Croizet who defeated the defender to find Russell. And Johnny smashed it home!

The team has clearly put a lot of trust in Kelyn Rowe as they helped place him into 1v1 situations. However, all attempts were either denied by Frei or flew over the bar.

Luckily, Russell completely dismantled the Sounders’ defense to double Sporting KC’s lead just before the half.

Shortly after the restart, Raul Ruidiaz pulled one back for the visitors putting the score up 2-1.

Croizet kept it away from the defender, passing it to Kelyn Rowe who sent a cross to Russell in the penalty area. Without hesitation, Russell flicked it into the back of the net, scoring the hat trick in the 68th minute. He is the second player in club history to score two hat tricks. And a bonus fact, his second hat trick came on the same day that Eddie Johnson scored his second hat trick for the club.

However, the celebrations were cut short. Seattle’s Kelvin Leerdam quickly answered Russell’s goal by putting in a header off of a set piece, going straight through SKC’s defense.

With the score now 3-2, Sporting KC went into full gear to protect the goal at any cost. Even seeing an injured captain, who kept grabbing his hamstring for a better part of the half, fight through the pain to help his team. Unfortunately, Besler would call it quits in the 79th minute because of fatigue. Graham Smith would take this place.

But his exit didn’t displace SKC as Melia went on to make a stunning double-save and was later called back into action to deny a Sounder from close range.

Jimmy Medranda, who entered to a standing ovation from the crowd; after spending nearly a year and a half out due to injury, wasted little time to fire a rocket shot at the goal, but it deflected off the post.

A last-minute attempt saw Frei step out to the half to assist his teammates. But it would fail as the ball flew wide of the goal – ending the match in a much needed 3-2 victory for Sporting KC.

Sporting KC will have a quick turnaround as they host the LA Galaxy on Wednesday, May 29.

Featured image: @sportingkc

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Sporting KC secures 1-1 draw on the road in Cincinnati

Official Sporting KC Reporter

By Araceli Villanueva // @Aracelv1

Sporting Kansas City earns a hard-fought point on the road in a 1-1 draw against FC Cincinnati on Sunday afternoon at Nippert Stadium. The 16-year-old, Gianluca Busio scored the equalizer; becoming the youngest player in MLS history to score in back-to-back matches.

Manager Peter Vermes mixed things up when he drastically changed the lineup for the first time this season. With more than half of the regular starters missing, Sunday’s match introduced Adrian Zendejas, Nicolas Hasler, Rodney Wallace, and Gedion Zalem; all of whom made their club debuts.

Zendejas was quickly called into action just seconds after kickoff when Kenny Saief struck in a shot off of a low cross from Allan Cruz. But his attempt was blocked by the 23-year-old keeper. Yohan Croizet, who made his first start as a central forward, was quick to reply but was denied by Spencer Richey.

The 17th minute was nothing short of dramatic. Roland Lamah was fouled by Ilie Sanchez who brought him down following a miscue from Zendejas. After the play underwent review, the caution was mistakenly given to Ilie and instead shown to Andreu Fontas. A penalty was awarded to FC Cincinnati. Darren Mattocks stepped up and covered the first penalty in FCC’s history.

Fortunately, the Chula Vista native managed to disband Mattocks’ attempt to double the lead in the 27th minute.

Although it was clear from the start the heavy rotation was taking a toll on some players – the squad still created a few dangerous chances. For example, Kelyn Rowe and Busio proved to be a good tag team, as the duo produced two huge chances. The first came in the 33rd minute after Busio helped direct the ball to Rowe, but he hit it over the post. The second chance resulted in the equalizer.

SKC would get another huge opportunity to tie things up before the half in the 37th minute when Johnny Russell curled a shot into the back of the net, but his goal was called offsides.

Kelyn Rowe sent a long shot to Busio who ran the equalizer home into an open net in the 63rd minute. A miscommunication between Greg Garza and Richey would give the 16-year-old his second goal of the campaign.

The remainder of the second half saw SKC get chance after chance, but all opportunities would either go wide of the post or were saved by Spencer Richey. The second half also included regular starters, like Krisztian Nemeth, who entered the match for Croizet in the 70th minute.

Now sitting in seventh place in the Western Conference, Sporting KC will switch gears once again as they host C.F. Monterrey for the second leg of the Concacaf semifinals on Thursday, April 11.

Featured image: Sporting KC

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