Thursday, August 18, 2011
Sporting KC's Own Z-Man
With Brisket Bob outside the Members Club last night cutting up brisket each time the Wizards scored last night, the team did not disappoint, scoring 3 times as they defeated the Portland Timbers 3-1 at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park. Sporting KC's own Z-Man, Graham Zusi, led the way scoring a brace, and Soony Saad scored a birthday goal on his professional debut.
KC dominated the game early on as they have done the past two games against Salt Lake and Seattle, Chance Myers fired an early shot wide of the post, although Troy Perkins appeared to have the shot covered. KC continued to push and Milos Stojcev had a deflected effort go off the bar leaving Perkins stranded as the deflection took the shot the opposite direction. Finally in the 24th minute, KC got their deserved lead. A poorly cleared header by Rodney Wallace went straight to Zusi about 25 yards out from goal. Zusi took a touch and then let fly, leaving Perkins with no chance as the ball flew past him and into the back of the net giving KC the lead. After the goal some idiots decided that it'd be funny to throw the head of one of the Omar Bravo bobbleheads given away for the game. One of them hit Jimmy Nielsen in the eye causing him to require stitches and force the game to be stopped for a few minutes while he received treatment. Thankfully on both accounts, Nielsen was able to finish the game in goal, and the offending parties were arrested, spent a night in WyCo jail and are banned for life from LIVESTRONG Sporting Park. Calling them assholes is an insult to assholes, seriously who throws a heavy object like the head of a bobble head at your own player?
KC should have doubled their lead a few minutes later through Teal Bunbury as he got played in behind the Portland defense by Seth Sinovic. Bunbury raced into the box, but took one touch too many, allowing Eric Horst to recover and tackle the ball away before he could get a shot off. In the 40th minute though KC did double their lead, and for the third straight game, it came off of a throw in from Matt Besler. Besler's throw in was flicked on by CJ Sapong to the back post where Bunbury did well to one time it. Perkins had done well to get across the goal and make the initial save, but the rebound fell to Zusi who bundled the ball over the line from a foot out to send KC into the half up.
In the second half, KC continued to attack but not as much as in the first. Early on we had some adventures in goalkeeping, as Nielsen misjudged a long clearance that bounced over his head, but Nielsen got back in time to save the ball on the line. Shortly after that, KC almost grabbed a third as a cross from Chance Myers was headed onto the bar by Kei Kamara. Sapong followed up but missed on his acrobatic effort and finally Portland were able to clear. Jack Jewsbury on his return had a good effort blocked by Julio Cesar before it could get through to Jimmy Nielsen. In the 72nd minute, Saad got probably the best birthday present he could think of, and one of the luckiest goals ever. Sinovic played a ball through for Saad, but it was too far in front of him and Eric Brunner attempted to clear it. The clearance though deflected off of Saad, over Perkins and into the net to give KC the 3-0 lead and Saad his first professional goal. In the 80th minute, Portland got themselves on the board, as Wallace found Bright Dike in the box, Dike's little flick went through the legs of Besler and into the net past a diving Nielsen to make it 3-1. Bunbury had a great chance to restore the 3 goal lead. when he was played in down the line by substitute, Michael Harrington. Bunbury attacked Perkins goal, but instead of either taking a quicker shot, or squaring the ball, Bunbury's final touch was heavy and Perkins was able to beat Bunbury to the ball. KC survived a late flurry from the Timbers and captured another win.
WIZARDS Man of the Match - Graham Zusi - A brace for the guy the day before his birthday to go along with Saad's birthday goal. Zusi also did great work helping Roger Espinoza to shut down Jewsbury in the middle of the field for Portland.
Player Ratings - Nielsen 6, Sinovic 6, Besler 7, Cesar 6, Myers 7, Espinoza 6, Zusi 8, Stojcev 5, Sapong 6, Bunbury 5, Kamara 6. Subs Saad 6, Harrington 6, Aiyegbusi NR