If you’ve been following Sporting KC and Seattle match ups in recent years, then you know that Seattle is notorious for scoring a second half stoppage time goal to beat Sporting KC, doing it in the last five matches against Kansas City.
Sporting KC played with what some described as a weaker squad. The normal starters Seth Sinovic and Chance Myers didn’t even travel with the squad, and Uri Rosell, along with Claudio Bieler, were on the bench but didn’t make it into the game against the Sounders.
The game was played in front of 39,240 attendees, with around 500 of them being traveling Kansas City supporters. The cool temperature and rain looked to have an effect on Sporting’s game as they never seemed to find their usual rhythm.
Kansas City is known for being a good passing side, yet on Saturday they completed 70% of their passes.
Kevin Ellis made his second MLS start, filling in for Myers. Josh Gardner started in Sinovic’s place, who suffered a slight ankle injury in Kansas City’s last pre-season match. He is expected to start Wednesday night.
Sporting KC had a great chance to open the scoring in the second minute. Gardner found Benny Feilhaber open with space in the midfield. Feilhaber received Gardner’s pass and gave a nice layoff to Graham Zusi, who was making a run towards goal. Zusi had a nice shot from about 20 yards out. Seattle goalkeeper Stephen Frei fumbled the save, and forward Dom Dwyer was able to beat Frei to the ball. But Dwyer’s follow up attempt was saved by Frei.
Seattle had a good look at goal in the 31st minute. DeAndre Yedlin was able to get in a good cross from the right side of the pitch. His cross was headed out by Aurelien Collin, which fell to the new Seattle player Marco Pappa. His shot was deflected towards goal, and new starting goalkeeper Eric Kronberg was able to make a diving save.
Sporting had another great chance to score in the first half. Dwyer was able to slip past two defenders and place a great shot on target. His shot was saved, and the ball fell to an open Jacob Peterson, with the Seattle goalkeeper out of position. But Peterson’s attempt at the side half-volley was hit into the stands.
Seattle would finally get the game winning goal in the 94th minute. Forward Sean Okoli played in a cross, which caused Kronberg to come off his line and try to snag the ball out of the air. Three players collided with Kronberg, and the clearance fell to Clint Dempsey.
Dempsey tried to head the ball in, but it hit off the post. The shot came back to Dempsey, who was able to get a slight touch on the ball. The ball eventually fell to the feet of Chad Barrett, who was able to score after the scramble in the box.
Sporting KC is back in action on Wednesday when they host Cruz Azul in the quarterfinals of the CONCACAF Champions League. Cruz Azul currently sits atop the Liga MX table. Kansas City will be back in MLS action on Saturday, March 15th when they host FC Dallas.
(Editor’s Note – I would like to thank Brandon for all his hard work covering Sporting Kansas City for us. He has done a lot to help KC Kingdom grow our SKC coverage. We wish him all the best of luck in his future endeavors. Thanks for everything!)