The story so far in the 2014 season for Sporting Kansas City has been injuries and giving up late goals to lose crucial points, and that continued to play a major factor against Toronto FC.
Sporting Kansas City returned to their more familiar 4-3-3 formation after unsuccessfully playing with a 3-5-2 against the Chicago Fire.
The formation was about the only familiar think for Sporting though as they were playing without (take deep breath) Ike Opara (injured/out for season), Aurelien Collin (Injured/week to week), Oriol Rosell (Injured/day to day), Matt Besler (international duty), Lawrence Olum (international duty), Erik Palmer-Brown (suspended for red card), Graham Zusi (international duty).
Kronberg; Juliao, Myers, Ellis, Sinovic; Feilhaber, Martinez, Nagamura (C); Dovale, Dwyer, and Peterson made up the starting eleven for Sporting. Sporting lined up with four fullbacks on the back line because all of their natural CB are out with either injury or national team duties.
Sporting looked like much the better team early in the first half before disaster struck in the 33rd minute. Defender Chance Myers was battling with Jermaine Defoe for a ball and Defoe tugged on Myers shoulder and Myers immediately pulled up and went to the ground clutching the back of his ankle.
Myers was subbed off for Sal Zizzo and early word is it is a left Achilles injury which is worst case scenario for Myers and Sporting.
The teams went scoreless into half time despite both sides having their share of chances. Dom Dwyer wasted no time give Sporting the lead coming out of the break. Dwyer dribbles the ball up to just outside the penalty box and passes out wide to Sal Zizzo who dribbles in and sends a ball back into the middle that finds Dwyer who puts his boot to it and sends it just inside the right post to give Sporting the 1-0 advantage in the 47th minute.
Toronto defender Steven Caldwell was given a red card in the 63rd minute when he challenged for a ball and kicked Antonio Dovale in the midsection. Toronto refused to let that be a factor as they continued to attack searching for an equalizer. Dovale was not seriously injured and would continue in the game.
After a turnover in midfield by Sporting, Toronto pushed forward toward goal and Defoe passed off to Luke Moore who without taking a touch fired a shot past Kronberg and just inside the post to tie the game 1-1 in the 67th minute.
Sporting were on the attack late in the game and Julio dribbled into the box and was fouled by Toronto defender Doneil Henry. Sporting was awarded a penalty kick and would have a chance to take the lead. Dwyer took the PK and without hesitation drilled it past the keeper to give Sporting the 2-1 lead in the 84th minute.
Sporting looked to be heading towards a victory to break their two game losing streak until Toronto was awarded a FK from near midfield. Toronto launched a ball into the box that was headed away by Sporting but then kicked back in by Toronto and Bradley Orr got his head to it just in front of Kronberg and sent it into goal to tie the game at 2-2 in the 91st minute.
The game would finish 2-2 and each team left with a point. Sporting will once again be thinking about what could have been as they gave up their 5th 90+ minute goal of the season. Three points would of went a long way for Sporting due to their injuries this season. It wont get any easier as they have a quick turn around, with a nationally televised game against New York on Tuesday.
Sporting head coach Peter Vermes had this to say following the match:
We’re disappointed in the result. We felt we should’ve walked away with three points. But what I would say is that based on the number of injuries that we have currently and the different lineups that we have to put out there and then Chance [Myers] goes down there early. All of the decisions that not only we have to make on the sideline but more importantly the guys got to deal with, I thought they were the better team tonight and unfortunately at the end we got a little unlucky, we could’ve done a little bit better with both goals, actually. And, maybe that’s just a little bit of inexperience but at the end of the day, based on what we’re dealing with that was a very, very good performance and I’m actually very proud of the guys.
- Chance Myers was injured in the first half and early reports are that he suffered an achilles injury which would end his season.
- C.J. Sapong made his first appearance in the last eight games when he was subbed on in the second half.
- Dom Dwyer moved into the lead for the MLS Golden Boot (most goals) with 10. New York’s Bradley Wright-Phillips is second with 9.
- Sporting Kansas City has given up 5 goals in the 90th minute or later so far this season, leading MLS.
- Sporting’s goalkeeper from their 2013 Championship season Jimmy Nielsen, received his MLS Cup Championship ring prior to the game in a short ceremony.
Be sure to check out KC Kingdom throughout the day for news on the Chiefs, Royals, Sporting KC, Tigers, Wildcats, and Jayhawks.