Thursday, July 02, 2015

#TBT Hattricks for KC.

For Throw Back Thursday this week I thought I'd go through all the hattricks in KC's history before last night's four goal performance by Dom Dwyer against FC Dallas.

The first hattrick in KC history actually didn't come until the team's third season, when Digital Takawira hit a second half hattrick for KC in their 3-1 win over New England on May 16th of 1998. Takawira scored three goals in the span of nine minutes to help KC to the 3-1 win. His first goal came in the 76th, with the second coming three minutes later in the 79th. In the 83rd, New England pulled one back from the penalty spot before Takawira finished off his hattrick two minutes later in the 85th.

The team's second hattrick came later in the same year as Preki scored his only hattrick in his KC career on September 5th of 1998 in a 5-1 win over San Jose. After going down 1-0 in just the 7th minute, Mo Johnston scored in the 12th to tie the game off an assist from Preki. In the 18th minute, Preki got his first goal of the game. He added his second just three minutes after the half time break. After a Paul Wright goal in the 59th, Preki finished off his hattrick in the 80th minute.

KC had to wait almost six full years for their next hattrick, which came almost 11 years ago tomorrow, July 3rd 2004 against the same Dallas team, back when they were still the Dallas Burn. Davy Arnaud scored that hattrick in his break out season in a 5-1 win. Arnaud opened the scoring in the 22nd before Jason Kreis equalized less than 10 minutes later. A Kreis red card though just before half time changed the game. Chris Klein made it 2-1 in the 72nd in the second half, Josh Wolff added one three minutes later before Arnaud added his second in the 79th. Arnaud finished his hattrick in stoppage time of the rout.

Up to this point there has been an inability to find highlights, but from here we now have highlights of the goals.

The next hattricks for KC came in back to back games in the 2007 season, both for Eddie Johnson. The first came against the New England Revolution on the road again. After falling behind 2-0 early in the first half, Davy Arnaud scored in the 25th to pull KC within one and a minute later in the 26th, Johnson got his first goal of the game. Johnson got his second goal of the game in the 38th minute as he beat Jay Heaps for a second time and beat Matt Reis at the near post to make it 3-2 KC.  New England pulled it back level in the 69th on a Sharlie Joseph penalty kick before Johnson finished off his hattrick in the 82nd on a through ball from Carlos Marinelli. Johnson rounded Reis and put the ball in the net for his hattrick and the 4-3 win.



The very next week at Arrowhead, Eddie Johnson hit a second hattrick, the first natural hattrick in KC history. New York had an 8th minute goal by Juan Pablo Angel hold up through the first half, even with a Clint Mathis red card in the 36th minute. KC struck early in the second half though to level the score on a long ball over the top by Michael Harrington for Johnson who chipped Jon Conway in the New York net to level the game. Johnson added his second just before the hour on a cross by Jose Burciaga that found Johnson unmarked at the back post. Johnson finished his hattrick in the 85th after being played in by Sasha Victorine he slotted the ball into the corner past Conway. A late Dema Kovalenko goal made it 3-2 but KC won the game.



The final hattrick before last night's Dom Dwyer four goal performance came from the most unlikely of sources, Birahim Diop. The "Diop Game" had occurred earlier in the year when Diop scored twice in his first start for KC. This game, the finale of the 2010 saw KC already eliminated from playoff contention against the San Jose Earthquakes. Diop opened the scoring for KC in the 36th minute as he headed a long ball by Jonathan Leathers past an onrushing Jon Busch to put KC up 1-0. Diop added a second on the hour mark, after he missed a Roger Espinoza cross, the ball came back to Diop who headed the ball past push and into the net. 10 minutes later, San Jose pulled one back through Chris Wondolowski. Diop though finished off his hattrick in the 76th off a long ball from Craig Rocastle, Diop brought the ball down and fired a curling shot into the net to give KC a 3-1 lead. KC added a fourth on an own goal in second half stoppage time to make it 4-1 KC.




S.A.S. Thursday After Stats

Here is the Dom Dwyer dominated Thursday after stats.

First time KC has scored 6 goals in a game since a 6-1 win over the Des Moines Menace on August 3 of 2005.

Dom Dwyer's hattrick was the first by KC since 10/23/2010 when Birahim Diop scored 3 in a 4-1 win over San Jose.

It's the first non-league hattrick in KC's history.

It's also the first time a player has scored 4 goals in a game for KC.

Dwyer joins Preki, Chris Brown, Matt McKeon, Claudio Bieler, and Francisco Gomez as players that have scored a league, playoff, Open Cup, and international goal for KC.

The 4 goals is a record for a single US Open Cup run for KC.

Dwyer's 4 goals gives him 22 at home in all competitions, tying him with Josh Wolff and Mo Johnston for the 5th most in team history.

Dwyer's 4 goals put him in a tie with Soony Saad for third for goals in the US Open Cup proper for KC.

It also ties him for fourth with Saad and Ryan Pore for goals scored in all levels of the US Open Cup (including qualifiers).

Dwyer's third goal was his 9th game winner in all competitions for KC, tying him with Miklos Molnar, CJ Sapong, and Graham Zusi for 6th on that list.

Benny Feilhaber's 3 assists give him 29 for his KC career, moving him past Mark Chung and into sole possession of 7th place on that list.

Roger Espinoza moved past both Chance Myers and Seth Sinovic into 4th place for the most minutes played in the US Open Cup proper, he finished with 815 minutes played in the tournament proper.

Espinoza made his 121st start in all competitions for KC, tying him with Myers for 20th on that list.

Matt Besler moved up to 6th place for minutes played in the US Open Cup proper.

Besler made his 12th appearance across all versions of the USOC, moving him into a tie with Sapong, Davy Arnaud, and Chance Myers for 4th on that list.

Besler made his 10th start in all versions of the USOC, tying him with Eric Kronberg for 4th on that list.

It was the 10th appearance in the Open Cup proper for Besler and Jacob Peterson, tying them with Sapong and Chris Klein for 4th on that list.

Peterson made his 50th start in all competitions for KC, he's the 54th player to hit that mark for KC.

Kamara Increases Golden Boot Lead - Former SKC Wizards Update

Kei Kamara is in the midst of a career year for the Columbus Crew. Since returning to MLS and to his original MLS club, the Columbus Crew, Kamara has enjoyed a fantastic season. This past week Kamara scored a pair of goals in Columbus' 2-1 win over New England, increasing his total to a career high 12, and now is three ahead of second play Chris Wondolowski as we close in on the near point of the season.

Here is the rest of this week's update.

Active without a club or unknown
Scott Angevine
Federico Bessone
Bobby Convey
Will John
Michael Kafari
Neal Kitson
Jonathan Leathers
Carlos Marinelli
Nelson Pizarro
Ivan Trujillo
Konrad Warzycha

MLS
Davy Arnaud - DC - Did not dress in DC's 1-0 win over Chicago. Started and palyed 90 minutes in DC's 0-0 draw with Toronto. Did not dress in DC's 2-1 loss to Philadelphia in the USOC.
Teal Bunbury - New England - Started and played 90 minutes in New England's 2-1 loss to Columbus. Started and played 90 minutes, scoring a goal in New England's 2-1 loss to Vancouver.
Aurelien Collin - Orlando City - Did not dress in either of Orlando's games.
Luis Gil - Salt Lake - Came off the bench and played 20 minutes in RSL's 1-0 loss to New York. Started and played 90 minutes in RSL's 2-2 draw with Columbus.
Michael Harrington - Colorado - Did not dress in any of Colorado's games.
Jack Jewsbury - Portland - Started and played 90 minutes in Portland's 5-0 los to LA. Came off the bench and played 10 minutes in Portland's 4-1 win over Seattle.
Kei Kamara - Columbus - Started and played 90 minutes, scoring two goals in Columbus' 2-1 win over New England. Started and played 90 minutes, recording an assist in Columbus' 2-2 draw with RSL. Did not dress in Columbus' 2-0 USOC loss to Orlando.
Chris Konopka - Toronto - Started and played 90 minutes in Toronto's 3-1 win over Montreal. Started and played 90 minutes in Toronto's 0-0 draw with DC.
Eric Kronberg - Montreal - Dressed but did not play in either of Montreal's games.
CJ Sapong - Philadelphia - Started and played 90 minutes, scoring a goal in Philadelphia's 1-0 win over Seattle. Started and played 90 minutes in Philadelphia's 2-2 draw with Montreal. Started and played 24 minutes before being red carded in Philadelphia's 2-1 USOC win over DC.
Khari Stephenson - San Jose - Did not dress in San Jose's 3-1 win over LA.
Tyson Wahl - Columbus - Dressed but did not play in Columbus' 2-1 win over New England. Came off the bench and played 9 minutes in Columbus' 2-2 draw with RSL. Started and played 90 minutes in Columbus' 2-0 USOC loss to Orlando.
Sal Zizzo - New York - Came off the bench and played 27 minutes in New York's 1-0 win over Salt Lake. Came off the bench and played 23 minutes in New York's 3-1 win over NYCFC.

NASL
Stefan Antonijevic - Tampa Bay - No game this week.
James Marcelin - Fort Lauderdale - No game this week.
Rauwshan McKenzie - Atlanta - No game this week.
Kyle Miller - Atlanta - No game this week.

USL
Christian Duke - Oklahoma City - Started and played 90 minutes in OKC's 6-2 loss to Louisville.
Brian Fekete - Austin - Did not play in Austin's 0-0 draw with Sacramento.
Adnan Gabeljic - Sacramento - Did not play in either of Sacramento's games.
Cyprian Hedrick - Oklahoma City - Started and played 45 minutes in OKC's 6-2 loss to Louisville.
Mechack Jerome - Charlotte - Did not play in either of Charlotte's games.
Alex Martinez - Charlotte - Started and played 45 minutes in Charlotte's weather shortened 0-0 draw with Richmond. Started and played 80 minutes, recording an assist in Charlotte's 3-1 loss to Chicago.
Victor Munoz - Arizona - No game this week.
Tony Rocha - Austin - Started and played 90 minutes in Austin's 0-0 draw with Sacramento.
Michael Thomas - Oklahoma City - Started and played 90 minutes in OKC's 6-2 loss to Louisville.
Yomby William - Richmond - Started and played 45 minutes in Richmond's weather shortened 0-0 draw with Charlotte.

Indoor
Jamar Beasley - Ontario - Offseason.
Adnan Gabeljic - St. Louis - Offseason.
Josh Gardner - Missouri - Offseason.
Pat Healey - Baltimore - Offseason.
Mike Jones - Dallas - Offseason.
Michal Mravec - Tacoma - Offseason.
Boris Pardo - Wichita - Offseason.

International
Korede Aiyegbusi - Auerbach - Germany - Offseason
Vicente Arze - Blooming - Bolivia - Offseason.
Claudio Bieler - Quilmes - Argentina - No game until 7/12.
Omar Bravo - Chivas - Mexico - Offseason.
Reinaldo Brenes - Saprissa - Costa Rica - Offseason.
Mitchell Cardenas - Atlético Coatzacoalcos - Mexico - Offseason.
Sunil Chhetri - Bengaluru - India - Offseason.
Jorge Claros - Qingdao Jonoon - China - Did not dress in Qingdao's 0-0 draw with Yanbian Changbaishan.
Eloy Colombano - AD Berazategui - Defeated JJ Urquiza 1-0.
Daneil Cyrus - Ha Noi T&T (W Connection) - Vietnam (Trinidad) - Did not dress in either of Ha Noi's games.
Toni Dovale - CD Lugo - Spain - Offseason.
Pablo Escobar - Cúcuta Deportivo - Colombia - No game until 7/11.
Herculez Gomez - Puebla - Mexico - Offseason.
Jermaine Hue - Harbour View - Jamaica - Offseason.
Jeferson - Boavista - Brazil - Offseason.
Peterson Joseph - Azam FC - Tanzania - Offseason.
Igor Juliao - ABC (Fluminense) - Brazil - Started and played 54 minutes in ABC's 3-3 draw with Nautico.
Igor Kostrov - FK Kyzyl-Zhar - Kazakhstan - Defeated Ekibastuz 2-0.
Luis Marin - CD Palestino - Chile - Offsason.
Neven Markovic - Servette FC - Switzerland - Offseason.
Yura Movsisyan - Spartak Moscow - Russia - Offseason.
Lawrence Olum - Kedah FA - Malaysia - Defeated Kuala Lumpur SPA 2-1.
Akeem Priestley - Sheikh Russel KC - Bangladesh - Offseason.
Pablo Punyed - Stjarnan - Iceland - Lost 2-1 to Keflavik.
Oriol Rosell - Sporting Club de Portugal - Portugal - Offseason.
Soony Saad - BCC Tero (loaned from BEC Tero Sasana FC) - Thailand - Offseason.
Peter Schmetz - Wuppertaler SV - Germany - Offseason.
Yann Songo'o - Blackburn - England - Offseason.
Martin Steuble - Ceres-La Salle - Philippines - No game this week.
Milos Stojcev - FK Sarajevo - Bosnia - Offseason.
Matt Taylor - Saarbrücken - Germany - Offseason.

Sporting Cruise into the USOC Quarterfinals

Behind a record setting performance by Dom Dwyer, Sporting KC cruised to a 6-2 win over FC Dallas in the 5th round of the US Open Cup. Sporting will now host the Houston Dynamo in the quarterfinals later this month with a chance to advance to their fourth US Open Cup semifinal in club history.
Sporting got things started off quickly when Dwyer scored his first goal of the night in just the fifth minute. Off a Benny Feilhaber corner kick Dwyer got himself space at the back post and was able to head it past Chris Seitz in the Dallas net to put KC up 1-0. KC continued the pressure and almost made it 2-0 shortly after, as a cross came into the box where Jacob Peterson met it, but Seitz had done a good job coming off his line and making himself big, blocking the shot. Dallas couldn't hold out forever though with only four regular starters, KC found the back of the net again in the 30th minute off another set piece. Feilhaber played the ball towards the back post, Seitz came for the ball, but Dwyer beat him to it heading it past him and into the net to put KC up 2-0. About 10 minutes later, he would get to make it 3-0. After being fouled just inside the box by Moises Hernandez for a shove as the KC forward was played into the box, Dwyer stepped up himself and buried the penalty to finish off his first half hattrick, the team's first hattrick since 2010. KC wasn't done in the first half either as Krisztian Nemeth got in on the action in first half stoppage time. After Feilhaber played in Peterson down the line, Peterson was able to get into the box and laid a nice ball off to Nemeth in the middle of the box for him to slot into the net as Seitz committed towards Peterson to make it 4-0 as the teams went in at the half.
The second half started on a sour note for KC though as Peterson picked up an injury after a tackle early on in the half. Peterson only made it to the 50th minute before the injury forced him to the sideline. His replacement though was involved in the fifth goal of the game though. In the 59th minute the ball came to Saad Abdul-Salaam at the top of the box, the rookie tried to hit the ball on goal, but miss hit it causing it to go towards the end line. Nemeth raced the ball down, settled it on the end line and then chipped the ball into the middle with the outside of his right foot. The ball floated over Seitz and curled into the net as Matt Hedges tried to make the save on the line, but only helped the ball into his own net as KC made it to five. Shortly after Dallas ruined the shutout as Michael Barrios and David Texeira worked a good give and go as Barrios beat Tim Melia to make it 5-1 in the 61nd minute. KC though responded with another goal of their own. After a foul at the top of the box, Dwyer stepped up and curled the ball over the wall and into the net to score his fourth goal of the night; the first KC player to ever score four in a game and KC was up 6-1. A few minutes later, Dallas was able to get one more consolation goal as a shot by Kellyn Acosta deflected off of Matt Besler and past Melia into the net to make it 6-2. KC killed most of the rest of the game with possession through their midfield and defense as they cruised into a bye weekend and into the quarterfinals.
Wizards Man of the Match - Dom Dwyer - Hard to argue when a guy goes and scores four goals in a game. Dwyer looked on top of his game last night and hopefully it's a sign that he's rounding into form. His four goals and Nemeth's two give both of them nine of the season, the more balanced attack should serve KC very well going forward if the two can continue to play well together.
Honorable Mention - Krisztian Nemeth, Benny Feilhaber
Player Ratings - Melia 6, Anibaba 6, Ellis 7, Besler 6, Dia 6, Mustivar 7, Espinoza 7, Feilhaber 8, Nemeth 8, Dwyer 10, Peterson 8. Subs Abdul-Salaam 6, Nagamura 6, Hallisey 6.

Sporting KC Signing WBA U21 Player?

Robb Heineman had mentioned this past weekend that the team had potential signings in town for games recently. Today, news out of the UK may have identified one of those players. According to the North Devon Journal out of Southwest England, West Bromwich Albion U21 player, Danny Barrow is set to sign for Sporting KC. The 19 year old midfielder is expected to play in a wide role for Kansas City and he says he's hoping to break into the first team by the end of the season when Sporting KC hosts Steven Gerrard and the LA Galaxy.
Depending on how he plays he's likely to need to beat out the likes of Connor Hallisey, Jacob Peterson, and Saad Abdul-Salaam for a spot in the first team for that game. That's if he really does sign. While the paper in England is reporting it's a done deal, it doesn't sound like it is finalized at this point. Although in a since deleted Tweet, Barrow said he's returning to KC, a signing doesn't look out of the question at all.
He'd be the first of what would be expected to be a few signings in this window for Sporting KC with the team down to 25 players currently on the team, and that includes injured defender Ike Opara who is on injured reserve, so really KC has four spots open right now. We'll see how that goes, but with the Marko Marin talk, the continued talk of needing more center back depth, and likely needing a third goalkeeper there's lots of roster spots that look to already be earmarked.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Match Day USOC Round of 16: Route to the Final is at Home, it Starts Here

Sporting KC return to US Open Cup action tomorrow at home against FC Dallas. With the draw a couple weeks ago, the path to the US Open Cup final goes through KC, at least for the Western half of the bracket. So things are in KC's hands at this point, and it's something that they really need to take advantage of. With KC's home form this season at Sporting Park it's gotta be something that KC feel they can take advantage of.

FC Dallas comes into the game after beating the Oklahoma City Energy 4-1 in their last Open Cup match up and beating Houston 2-0 last Friday in league play. Dallas won't be an easy team, while they haven't always taken the Open Cup seriously, call ups for the Gold Cup leave them a little limited in numbers and may require them to play a number of starters during the midweek. They also have a league match this coming weekend at home against New England that they may be looking towards as well to help them move up the league table.

KC on the other hand is off this next weekend from league play and should be able to put out a primarily first team line up with the club having 11 days before their game on the 12th against Vancouver. The team is now without Graham Zusi and Marcel de Jong who have both departed for Gold Cup duty. The rest of the team should be available for tomorrow's game, although with Chance Myers playing close to 90 minutes on the weekend and still recovering from injury may need a break, but KC has Jalil Anibaba who can immediately come in and start. Meanwhile, with Jon Kempin out, I'd expect Tim Melia to get another start in goal ahead of loaned goalkeeper Alex Riggs.

Melia
Anibaba - Ellis - Besler - Dia
Mustivar
Feilhaber - Espinoza
Peterson - Dwyer - Nemeth

Key Match Up - Soni Mustivar vs Mauro Diaz - Not sure if Diaz will play tomorrow with Dallas' schedule, but if he's on the field it's going to be a difficult match up. In the last match up between the two teams, Mustivar did a very good job of keeping Diaz under wraps, and KC will have a good chance of winning the game.

Number to Remember - 6 - That's the number of shutouts that KC has at home in their last seven home games. In those seven games, KC has allowed just two goals in their 4-2 win over the New England Revolution.

PREDICTION - This game is set up for KC to win, with Dallas having this game sandwiched between two league games and playing without three players that have been providing minutes for Dallas this year due to the Gold Cup. The way that KC has been playing lately and with their home form this is a game that KC should be able to win and advance in the Open Cup.

SKC - 1 (Dwyer)
FCD - 0

Kempin Out, Sporting Bring in Riggs on Loan

Sporting KC's issues with goalkeepers over the last two years or so has come up again for KC. Tomorrow, Sporting KC's first home grown signing, Jon Kempin will not be in the 18 man roster for the game. Kempin is being held out of tomorrow's US Open Cup game against FC Dallas as a precautionary measure because of minor arm infection. He could apparently go if need be, but the team wants to keep him on.
In his place, KC has picked up goalkeeper Alex Riggs from St. Louis FC on loan. Riggs, a 27 year old Missouri State graduate is from the St. Louis area, but has yet to play in a game for St. Louis this year as Chicago Fire loanee, Alec Kann and Mark Pais have split time in net this year for the expansion side. He does have some MLS experience, being on the Columbus Crew roster in 2011, but not appearing in any league games. I'd expect he'll just be on the bench and Tim Melia will get another start in the US Open Cup.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Sunday After Stats

In the 82nd minute, Benny Feilhaber hit the 10,000 minute mark for league play in his MLS career.

Feilhaber's assist was his 19th in league play with KC, tying him with Sasha Victorine and Digital Takawira for 11th on that list.

It was his 26th for KC in all competitions, tying him with Mark Chung for 7th on that list.

Chance Myers' recorded his 14th league assist for KC, tying him with Francisco Gomez and Diego Gutierrez for 18th on that list.

It was his 15th in all competitions for KC, tying him with Gutierrez, Chris Henderson, and Michael Harrington for 18th on that list.

Myers' made his 147th appearance in all competitions for KC, tying him with Gutierrez and Seth Sinovic for 16th on that list.

Myers' made his 124th league appearance for KC, breaking his tie with Chris Brown for 17th on that list.

In the 8th minute, Graham Zusi moved past Harrington and into 10th place for league minutes played for KC, Zusi finished the game with 11,716 minutes played.

In the 60th minute, Zusi moved past Mo Johnston and into 11th place for minutes played in all competitions. In the 83rd minute, he moved past Tony Meola and into 10th place for minutes played in all competitions, he finished the game with 14,213 minutes played.

Zusi started his 127th league game for KC, breaking his tie with Matt McKeon for 13th place on that list.

Roger Espinoza made his 126th appearance in league play for KC, breaking his tie with Meola for 15th on that list.

Marko Marin a Sporting Target

Last night during the pregame show for the Sporting KC game, Robb Heineman was on the broadcast and gave some insight into the plans for the team during this summer transfer window that is getting ready to open. Beside one target being in town for last night's game and another target in town for Wednesday's US Open Cup game, Heineman also dropped the name of one target, Chelsea midfielder/winger, Marko Marin. The 26 year old German has spent much of the last couple years on loan in Spain, Italy, and Belgium. He's struggled for time since signing with Chelsea in 2012 after having a lot of success in Germany and earning a trip to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. He's had no appearance for his country since then. Bringing him in would give KC a very dangerous attacking team on paper with the likes of Dom Dwyer, Krisztian Nemeth, Benny Feilhaber, and Graham Zusi as well.

We'll see if anything actually comes from that name, or if it turns out like a few other players named by Heineman over the years that actually don't come to play here.

Also during the interview he gave a bunch of other information like contract news, Benny Feilhaber is the club's only key piece close to being out of contract and he has a year left on his deal.
Also the team is below their expected budget at this point. See the whole interview below.


Sporting Take Care of Business

Sporting KC took care of business on Saturday night at Sporting Park against the Colorado Rapids 2-0. The win was an expected result for Kansas City against a Rapids team that currently sits at the bottom of the Western Conference and has won just twice in their last 31 league games.

Early on, KC was able to take the game to the Rapids and could have taken the lead in the fifth minute off a Benny Feilhaber corner, but Chance Myers wasn't able to direct the ball on goal, instead putting it over the net. The Rapids had some dangerous opportunities of their own, in the 14th Tim Melia came well off his line to punch a ball away, the rebound was struck on goal from about 35 yards out, Melia had to race back into his net to keep the ball out and then jump on the rebound before anyone else on Colorado reacted to the loose ball. They had another opportunity in the 21st as Luis Solignac got the ball down the wing before playing it back into the middle for Lucas Pittinari. Pittinari's shot deflected off of Kevin Ellis, but unlike last week, this deflected shot went just around the far post keeping the game scoreless. KC was able to break the deadlock in the 32nd minute thanks to Krisztian Nemeth. Benny Feilhaber got the ball played wide to Chance Myers who had made a good run down the line. Myers continued into the Rapids' defensive third before firing a cross to the top of the box where Nemeth hit it first time sending it into the corner to put KC up 1-0. KC had some more half chances, but couldn't find the net for a second.

In the second half, KC continued to control the game, but still struggled to create chances. In the 53rd they did test Clint Irwin from distance with Dom Dwyer striking a free kick on goal, but the Colorado keeper knocked the ball away. Almost immediately at the other end Solignac had a chance to level things after a nice through ball, but he put his shot just wide of Melia's post. In the 64th minute though KC was able to double their lead. Off a short corner played between Feilhaber, Nemeth, and Graham Zusi, the ball eventually found its way back to Feilhaber who beat his man and fired a cross into the box towards Kevin Ellis. Rapids midfielder, Sam Cronin beat Ellis to the ball, but was unable to control the ball as it deflected off of him and into the net to make it 2-0. With the 2-0 lead, Colorado started putting more numbers into their attack, but while they created some half chances they never overly threatened KC's goal. The numbers forward also left Colorado suseptable to the counter. In the 79th Dwyer almost capitalized as he got played in behind the Colorado defense, but as he dribbled into the box to get a shot the defense recovered and his shot was deflected wide. KC was able to cruise to the win and continue their unbeaten home form.

Wizards Man of the Match - Chance Myers - In his return to MLS play last night, Myers looked like he'd not missed any time at all. Had some good crosses, including the assist on the opener. Also was strong defensively in shutting down the Rapids attack.

Player Ratings - Melia 8, Myers 8, Ellis 7, Besler 7, de Jong 7, Mustivar 7, Espinoza 6, Feilhaber 7, Zusi 6, Dwyer 6, Nemeth 8. Subs Peterson 5, Abdul-Salaam 5, Dia NR.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Match Day 16 - Maybe We'll Play Colorado this Time

Sporting KC welcome the Colorado Rapids for the second time this season, and hopefully for the first time this season, the two teams will actually play the game. The last time these two teams were scheduled to meet, the game was canceled and scheduled to be made up at the end of the season. The forecast for this weekend's match up looks better and the two teams should actually take the field this time.

Colorado comes into the game after a midweek game in Orlando on Wednesday that was delayed due to weather. The game is the second of three straight road games for Colorado as they'll travel to Houston for a US Open Cup game on Wednesday of next week as well. While the Rapids haven't been getting a lot of wins this year, they have only two, they also haven't been losing a lot, they're tied for the second fewest losses in the league, with five. They do lead the league in ties though with nine, two more than the LA Galaxy who have played three more games than Colorado has this season. The Rapids are also the lowest scoring team in the league with just 12 goals on the season, and four of those came in one game. They've welcomed new designated player Kevin Doyle into the team but he was subbed out before the hour in Orlando on Wednesday night.

KC is the only team in the league with fewer losses than Colorado, having lost just three times on the year. None of those three losses have come at home, where the club is still undefeated on the season, they'll try to continue that unbeaten run tomorrow night. While the Rapids are the lowest scoring team in the league, KC is the second highest scoring team, behind LA who have scored three more, but have played five more at this time. For probably the last time until after the Gold Cup, KC will have as close to their full first team as they can get. They'll see the departure of Graham Zusi and Marcel de Jong after tomorrow's game. The other worry is that Zusi and Benny Feilhaber are both questionable at this time, although both players participated in practice today, I'd think both will play tomorrow.

Melia
Anibaba - Ellis - Besler - Dia
Mustivar
Espinoza - Feilhaber
Zusi - Dwyer - Nemeth

Number to Remember - 2 - Outside Colorado's win 4-0 in Dallas, Colorado has scored just two goals in their seven other road games this year. The Rapids are 0-2-5 in those other seven games and have scored just twice. On the positive side for the Rapids, they've allowed just five goals in their eight road games this year.

Key Match Up - Dom Dwyer vs Clint Irwin - Dwyer's scored in two straight league games for Kansas City and seems like he may be rounding into some form. Irwin is allowing less than a goal a game for the Rapids, even though they're averaging less than a point a game.

 PREDICTION - The way the two teams are playing right now, this should be a win for KC. But Colorado is stubborn team on the road and will be extremely organized defensively and difficult to break down. It's going to be a tough task for KC to get all three points even with Colorado's busy schedule right now, but with the way that Sporting can knock in goals, they should be able to top the Rapids at Sporting Park, but a draw tomorrow night wouldn't surprise me at all.

SKC - 2 (Dwyer, Nemeth)
CO - 0

Thursday, June 25, 2015

#TBT The Gold Cup

With the Gold Cup rosters being announced this week, I thought it'd be a good Throw Back Thursday to take a look at some past Gold Cup highlights that involve people currently with Sporting Kansas City.

First, we'll go back to the very first Gold Cup, after it had previously been the CONCACAF Championship, in 1991, the federations championship was officially played as the Gold Cup. Sporting KC's head coach, Peter Vermes was on the team that won the competition on penalty kicks over Honduras. The highlights below though are from the semifinals against Mexico, which the US won 2-0 thanks to second half goals by John Doyle and Vermes.



 We're going to now jump ahead 16 years to a point where current players were involved in the tournament. The 2007 tournament saw the US advance to the finals against Mexico in a bit of controversial fashion in the semifinals against Canada. But in the final, with the game tied 1-1, a 22 year old Benny Feilhaber hit one of the sweetest goals you'll ever see. The goal, 8 years ago yesterday stood up as the winner and the US qualified for the 2009 Confederations Cup (which also saw a historic win that occurred this week in history.



The 2011 Gold Cup really became the coming out party for Roger Espinoza at central midfield. Before that in his career with KC and Honduras he had mainly played as an outside midfielder or outside back. But during that Gold Cup, he performed so well, included in the semifinal against Mexico that when he returned, Vermes really had no other choice than to move him to central midfield for KC as well.



The 2013 US Open Cup saw the United States again grab the championship. Sporting KC's Matt Besler had been called in as a knockout stage replacement for the team. Besler started all three of the USA's knock out games, including the final, which the US won 1-0 over Panama to claim the Gold Cup and at least clinch them a playoff against the winner of this year's Gold Cup for a chance to qualify for the 2015 Confederations Cup.


Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Five Former KC Players on Gold Cup Rosters - Former SKC Wizards Update

Yesterday the Gold Cup rosters were announced, and along with two KC players being named to rosters, five former KC players were named to rosters. Three of the five will be in same group as the United States with Mechack Jerome and James Marcelin are on the 23 man roster for Haiti while Jorge Claros has been called up for Honduras. In Group B, Pablo Punyed, a former Sporting draft pick has been called up for El Salvador while in Group C, Daneil Cyrus has been called up for Trinidad and Tobago.

Here's the rest of this week's update.

Active without a club or unknown
Scott Angevine
Federico Bessone
Bobby Convey
Will John
Michael Kafari
Neal Kitson
Jonathan Leathers
Carlos Marinelli
Nelson Pizarro
Ivan Trujillo
Konrad Warzycha

MLS
Davy Arnaud - DC - Did not dress in DC's 3-1 win over Pittsburgh. Started and played 88 minutes in DC's 2-1 win over New England.
Teal Bunbury - New England - Did not dress in New England's 1-0 loss to Charlotte. Started and played 78 minutes in New England's 2-1 loss to DC.
Aurelien Collin - Orlando City - Did not dress in Orlando's 4-4 (8-7) PK shootout win over Charleston. Started and played 49 minutes in Orlando's 2-0 loss to Montreal.
Luis Gil - Salt Lake - Came off the bench and played 20 minutes in RSL's 2-1 win over KC.
Michael Harrington - Colorado - Did not dress in Colorado's 1-1 draw with Dallas.
Jack Jewsbury - Portland - Dressed but did not play in Portland's 2-0 win over Houston.
Kei Kamara - Columbus - Did not dress in Columbus' 3-1 win over Richmond.
Chris Konopka - Toronto - Started and played 90 minutes in Toronto's 2-0 loss to NYC.
Eric Kronberg - Montreal - Dressed but did not play in Montreal's 2-0 win over Orlando.
CJ Sapong - Philadelphia - Started and played 90 minutes, scoring a goal in Philadelphia's 5-1 loss to LA.
Khari Stephenson - San Jose - Dressed but did not play in San Jose's 2-0 win over Seattle.
Tyson Wahl - Columbus - Started and played 90 minutes in Columbus' 3-1 win over Richmond.
Sal Zizzo - New York - Started and played 45 minutes in New York's 2-1 loss to Vancouver.

NASL
Stefan Antonijevic - Tampa Bay - No game this week.
James Marcelin - Fort Lauderdale - No game this week.
Rauwshan McKenzie - Atlanta - No game this week.
Kyle Miller - Atlanta - No game this week.

USL
Christian Duke - Oklahoma City - Started and played 73 minutes in OKC's 2-1 loss to Sacramento.
Brian Fekete - Austin - Did not dress in Austin's 2-0 loss to Houston. Came off the bench and played 13 minutes in Austin's 1-1 draw with Tulsa.
Adnan Gabeljic - Sacramento - Did not play in Sacramento's 2-1 win over OKC.
Cyprian Hedrick - Oklahoma City - Did not play in OKC's 2-1 loss to Sacramento.
Mechack Jerome - Charlotte - Started and played 90 minutes in Charlotte's 1-0 win over New England. Started and played 90 minutes in Charlotte's 2-1 win over Charleston.
Alex Martinez - Charlotte - Started and played 80 minutes in Charlotte's 1-0 win over New England. Came off the bench and played 45 minutes in Charlote's 2-1 win over Charleston.
Victor Munoz - Arizona - Started and played 74 minutes in Arizona's 2-1 win over Seattle.
Tony Rocha - Austin - Started and played 90 minutes in Austin's 2-0 loss to Houston. Started and played 77 minutes in Austin's 1-1 draw with Tulsa.
Michael Thomas - Oklahoma City - Started and played 90 minutes in OKC's 2-1 loss to Sacramento.
Yomby William - Richmond - Started and played 90 minutes in Richmond's 3-1 loss to Columbus. Started and played 90 minutes in Richmond's 0-0 draw with Harrisburg.

Indoor
Jamar Beasley - Ontario - Offseason.
Adnan Gabeljic - St. Louis - Offseason.
Josh Gardner - Missouri - Offseason.
Pat Healey - Baltimore - Offseason.
Mike Jones - Dallas - Offseason.
Michal Mravec - Tacoma - Offseason.
Boris Pardo - Wichita - Offseason.

International
Korede Aiyegbusi - Auerbach - Germany - Offseason
Vicente Arze - Blooming - Bolivia - Offseason.
Claudio Bieler - Quilmes - Argentina - No game until 7/12.
Omar Bravo - Chivas - Mexico - Offseason.
Reinaldo Brenes - Saprissa - Costa Rica - Offseason.
Mitchell Cardenas - Atlético Coatzacoalcos - Mexico - Offseason.
Sunil Chhetri - Bengaluru - India - No game this week.
Jorge Claros - Qingdao Jonoon - China - Started and played 90 minutes in Qingdao's 3-1 win over Beijing BIT.
Eloy Colombano - AD Berazategui - Tied Talleres Remedios 1-1. Lost 2-0 to San Telmo.
Daneil Cyrus - Ha Noi T&T (W Connection) - Vietnam (Trinidad) - Defeated Quang Ninh 5-2.
Toni Dovale - CD Lugo - Spain - Offseason.
Pablo Escobar - Cúcuta Deportivo - Colombia - No game until 7/11.
Herculez Gomez - Puebla - Mexico - Offseason.
Jermaine Hue - Harbour View - Jamaica - Offseason.
Jeferson - Boavista - Brazil - Offseason.
Peterson Joseph - Azam FC - Tanzania - Offseason.
Igor Juliao - ABC (Fluminense) - Brazil - Started and played 90 minutes in ABC's 2-0 los to Vitoria.
Igor Kostrov - FK Kyzyl-Zhar - Kazakhstan - Won 1-0 over Bulat-AMT.
Luis Marin - CD Palestino - Chile - Offsason.
Neven Markovic - Servette FC - Switzerland - Offseason.
Yura Movsisyan - Spartak Moscow - Russia - Offseason.
Lawrence Olum - Kedah FA - Malaysia - Tied UiTM 2-2. Defeated UITM 3-1.
Akeem Priestley - Sheikh Russel KC - Bangladesh - Offseason.
Pablo Punyed - Stjarnan - Iceland - Started and played 90 mintues in Stjarnan's 1-0 loss to KR.
Oriol Rosell - Sporting Club de Portugal - Portugal - Offseason.
Soony Saad - BCC Tero (loaned from BEC Tero Sasana FC) - Thailand - Offseason.
Peter Schmetz - Wuppertaler SV - Germany - Offseason.
Yann Songo'o - Blackburn - England - Offseason.
Martin Steuble - Ceres-La Salle - Philippines - Started and played 90 minutes in Ceres' 6-1 win over Loyola. Started and played 90 minutes in Ceres' 5-0 win over Pachanga.
Milos Stojcev - FK Sarajevo - Bosnia - Offseason.
Matt Taylor - Saarbrücken - Germany - Offseason.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Zusi and de Jong Called Up, Mustivar Turns Down Call

The 23 man rosters for next month's Gold Cup were released today with two Sporting KC players named to the roster. Marcel de Jong was named to Canada's roster while Graham Zusi was named to the USA's roster. Zusi will join the US team after this weekend's game against Colorado ahead of a friendly against Guatemala next week. De Jong's departure date has not been stated, so he could play in next week's US Open Cup game against Dallas before leaving. Meanwhile a third player has been named to his country's 23, but has apparently turned down the call up. According to the completed rosters, Sporting's Soni Mustivar was named to Haiti's roster but apparently turned down the call up and talks with the Haiti federation are currently on going. Of the three, Mustivar may be the biggest loss with the way that KC has played since he came into the starting lineup if he does in fact get called up for the tournament. Along with the Open Cup game, the players would also miss a trip to Vancouver on July 12th.

For those teams that advance past the group stage, games against Montreal on the 18th, Salt Lake on the 24th, and potentially a US Open Cup quarterfinal on July 21st or 22nd. KC's remaining players not called up, Matt Besler and Roger Espinoza could also be called in for the knock out round as all teams are allowed six replacements. Espinoza, like Mustivar turned down a call up for the Gold Cup, instead wanting to stay with KC and work on his fitness. Besler's absence may be the most surprising of all, and one has to wonder if he asked to not be called in for the group stage as well due to KC's lack of depth right now at the center back position. The KC captain though would be a prime candidate to be one of the six replacement players named after the group stage.