Sporting KC Impresses In National Spotlight


The stage was set for Sporting KC to face off against the New England Revolution at Sporting Park on an ESPN 2 Nationally televised game on Wednesday and they did not disappoint.

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Sporting KC took the field in what was looked at as a weakened lineup due to the injuries of defender Marcel de Jong, defender Seth Sinovic, midfielder Roger Espinoza, and forward Graham Zusi who were all ruled out for the game. Defender Erik Palmer-Brown was also not available because he is currently with the United States Men’s Under 20 National Team for the Under 20 World Cup.

Rookie defender Amadou Dia was given the start at left back in place of Sinovic and de Jong. Rookie Connor Hallisey had previously played just six minutes but set a new career high after being subbed on for Jacob Peterson in the 70th minute. Rookie defender Saad Abdul-Salaam made his Sporting KC debut when he was subbed in for Krisztian Nemeth in the 92nd minute.

Despite all the absences and changes Sporting KC was able to make a statement to the league that they are a force and have the depth to overcome recent injuries.

New England nearly opened the scoring in the ninth minute when Fagundez got his foot to a ball that was crossed in from the right wing, but the young forward sent the ball just wide of the right post.

New England was able to capitalize on a rare mistake from Sporting midfielder Benny Feilhaber. Feilhaber misplaced a pass in the midfield and Kelyn Rowe was able to intercept and play a quick ball to Juan Agudelo behind Sporting KC’s defense. Agudelo was able to slot the ball past goalkeeper Tim Melia to give New England the 1-0 lead in the 11th minute.

Sporting KC were able to find an equalizer when Krisztian Nemeth chipped a ball into the middle of the box and Dom Dwyer with his back to goal used his chest to bounce the ball up then turn and fired a shot to the bottom right side of goal. Dwyer’s goal will likely be the goal of the week, but more importantly brought Sporting KC even with New England at 1-1 in the 29th minute.

Sporting KC was able to pull ahead when Feilhaber curled a free kick into the box that found the head of on-rushing Nemeth who directed the ball low and into goal to put the home side up 2-1 in the 39th minute. The assist by Feilhaber was his league leading sixth of the season and Nemeth’s goal brought him even with Dwyer with four on the season.

Sporting KC found some fortune in the 42nd minute when Dwyer was fouled in the box and the referee signaled for a penalty kick to be taken. Feilhaber elected to take the penalty kick, and as he approached the ball he took a quick studder step the fooled the keeper who dove to his left and Feilhaber calmly slotted it into the opposite side to give Sporting the 3-1 advantage in the 43rd minute.

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Sporting had to be satisfied to take the 3-1 advantage into half time but would need to bunker down and hold on for the final 45 minutes to get the victory.

Sporting KC wasted no time putting the game away coming out of halftime when Jacob Peterson stole the ball from a New England defender and played a quick ball to a wide open Nemeth who calmly slotted the ball past the keeper to give Sporting a convincing 4-1 lead. The goal for Nemeth was his league leading fifth of the season.

New England was able to pull one back when Charlie Davies found room up the left flank and sent a rolling ball back to the top of the box that found Scott Caldwell who beat Sporting KC keeper Tim Melia and brought New England a little closer at 4-2 in the 64th minute.

The 64th minute goal was ultimately too little too late as Sporting KC was able to hold on for the 4-2 victory.

Sporting KC will have a quick turn around as they travel to Seattle to take on the Seattle Sounders Saturday, May 23rd at 9:00 PM CT.

Next: Sporting KC Draw D.C. United 1-1