Mar 22, 2014; Kansas City, KS, USA; Sporting KC forward Graham Zusi (8) brings the ball up field against the San Jose Earthquakes during the second half at Sporting Park. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

Sporting KC Gets Comeback Win in Colorado

Sporting Kansas City needed this.

Refueled after a streak of playing five games in 15 days, Sporting KC used their rested legs to get a come-from-behind victory over the Colorado Rapids, 3-2.

Dom Dwyer scored his second goal in as many matches in the 92nd minute to give Sporting the win, 14 minutes after Benny Feilhaber netted his first goal of the year to tie the match. Sporting is now 2-1-1 (7  points) on the season and sits in second place in the Eastern Conference table.

It looked early like the game was going to be a traditional defense-heavy match for Sporting heading into half as the match was scoreless. Graham Zusi opened the scoring five minutes into the second half, his first of the year. It appeared from there Sporting would be able to cruise by Colorado without much drama.

What Sporting probably did not expect was Colorado would awarded two penalty kicks. Vicente Sanchez took and made two penalty kicks in the 60th and 78th minute, giving the Rapids a 2-1 lead. The second penalty kick appeared to be a legitiment call, but there was some questioning after the game if the first penalty should have every happened.

“I don’t know what the penalty kick was,” manager Peter Vermes said in his post-game press conference. “Everybody tells me that there was no handball, that it was just… I don’t know what he called but I’ll find out.”

Zusi had a good view of things and suggested there should have been a foul on Colorado.

The first one, from what I saw it looked like Ike [Opara] just got absolutely crushed and he might have just fallen on to the ball,” Zusi said, who was a factor in all three Sporting goals. “I think the call was a hand ball. I guess I need to see a replay but I saw Ike got absolutely demolished and fell on the ball afterwards. It’s a tough one but our reaction to it was good.”

The reaction was good indeed.

One minute after Colorado took the lead, Benny Feilhaber scored his first goal of the MLS season on a cross from Zusi. Sal Zizzo played Zusi’s cross to Feilhaber, who put it in the back of the net. It was Zizzo’s second assist of the season, Zusi’s first.

Sporting could have settled for the tie but instead chose to keep the pressure high. The result was a poor decision by Colorado’s Marvell Wynne, who earned his second caution after a reckless foul and was ejected from the game in the 85th.

SKC used the ejection to their advantage in stoppage time as Zusi found Dom Dwyer racing to the corner of the box. Dwyer dribbled his way past Drew Moore to create enough space for a slamming shot into the left corner of the goal.

“But the point is that we’re trying to play at that point,” Vermes said. “We’re still trying to do things and that causes that situation, which then now we go up a man and we get the third goal. We take advantage of something where at that point, maybe they could have done some different things, because now it’s 2-2. What do they want to do? Do they want to win? Manage the ball at this point? What do you want to do? The great thing is that we found the way at the end to stick the third one in.”

ZUSI PLAYER OF THE WEEK

Zusi was named MLS player of the week by the North American Soccer Reporters on the strength of his goal and two assists against Colorado. This is the third time he has won the award in his six-year career.

Sporting is 14-0-1 when Zusi scores a goal in MLS play.

Zusi and Matt Besler will join the U.S. Men’s National Team for Wednesday’s international friendly against Mexico.

ROSTER CHANGES

Speculation is growing Sporting is on the verge of adding another international signing as the team released Josh Gardner. Sporting now has two open roster spots, but one is being kept open for Peterson Joseph, who is on the disabled list.

The thought is Sporting could add a player very soon.

“We’ve been working on a few players for quite some time,” Vermes said. “We haven’t been able to fit the roster together the way we wanted to in certain situations. Negotiations just crept along slowly, that happens sometimes. The good thing is because of the extension of our window is longer, it gives us a chance to work on those guys and it kind of takes competitors out of the way.”

Transfer window closes on May 12.

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