Photo courtesy of Matthias Potterinkski
The Kansas City Athletics found themselves behind from the start as they started their attempt to qualify for their second straight US Open Cup in a qualifier against the Iowa Menace. The Athletics only had 10 men on the field from the start against the Menace. Talking with some Kyle Perkins of the Athletics after the game I found that a lot of factors went into them playing with only 10 players. A few guys were out of town, a few were called into the office, some where called down to the Southeast for their job working with the clean up after the tornadoes, and two players signed pro contracts since rosters were due to the USSF.
Saying all that though takes away from the strong game that their opponents, the Menace player today at Rockhurst University. From the start, the Menace were the more dominate side, trying to capitalize on the numerical advantage that they had over KC. While KC started the game with only 10 players, the Menace traveled 17 for the game today. Early in the game though, the Athletics were able to weather the Menace with some good defense and a well worked offside trap as the Menace were called offside numerous times in the first half. The Menace did create good chances though, the best chance early on fell to John Sosa for the Menace as he was played in behind the defense beating the offside trap. Sosa's chip though was just wide of the net.
The lack of finishing by the Menace came back to bite them in the 31st. The Athletics had been working themselves back into the game, having weathered the early attack by the Menace. Marty Johnston collected the ball of the right side, his first cross was cleared, but not far enough, and Johnston had another chance. Johnston squared the ball into the middle where Kyle Perkins slide in, knocking the ball into the net giving the Athletics the 1-0 lead. The Menace almost had the equalizer in the 39th, when Sosa was played behind the defense again, but Bret Clark in goal for KC got enough on the shot to slow it down that Josh White recovered and cleared the chance.
In the 42nd minute, KC created a good chance through Johnston again that the Menace cleared for a corner. The corner came to nothing, but the Menace sprung the counter through Sosa. Sosa played Bryan Perez in behind the KC defense. Perez's first shot was saved by Clark in goal, but Perez followed and was able to slot home tying the game in the 43rd. The goal started a late flurry for the Menace as KC seemed to tire a bit. The Menace pressed for a second goal and got another just before stoppage time. Perez played a give and go with Sosa and Alvarez slotted the ball to the far post giving the Menace a lead that they wouldn't surrender. Things got worse for the Athletics as the Menace continued to push. The Menace earned a corner and with the last touch of the first half, the Menace made it 3-1. The Menace earned a corner and on the corner that followed Sosa played a ball into the box where Brady Blankenship had beaten his man and headed easily into the net to give the Menace a big half time lead.
The Menace extended the later flurry into the second half as the Athletics seemed to tire just a bit. Former PDL MVP, Tomas Boltnar, a half time sub set up the Menace's first goal of the half, playing Sosa through, who chipped Clark from the top of the box to give him a goal to add to his two assists in the first half in the 58th minute. Shortly after Sosa's goal, the Athletics almost got back into the game, as Geoff Miles, fired in a free kick from the side of the box that almost caught Menace keeper, Matt Wade napping. Wade palmed the ball away keeping it 4-1. Virtually on the Menace's next attack they made it 5-1. Right back, Ben Taylor played a cross into the middle or second half substitute, Jarrett Hamilton, who just had to tap the ball home. In the 67th, Hamilton got his second of the game as Perez broke down the right again. Perez's initial cross was nearly cut out by Ben Hicks for the Athletics, but his clearance deflected off of Hamilton and into the net making it 6-1.
Iowa seemed to take their foot off the gas a little bit, and at times got a little to fancy in trying to find a seventh goal. Perez got in behind the defense twice, but both times was too unselfish as he squared the ball back, once missing his man and once playing the ball to an offside Hamilton. Iowa also had a penalty shout in the 70th minute, when Sosa appeared to be sandwiched by two Menace defenders, but no call was made. KC was still trying to make a game of it, and in the 85th, they almost got a second. Josh White, normally a defender was playing up top trying to give a break to Perkins, who for long periods was totally isolated up top for KC. White got played in behind the Menace defense and got around Wade in the Menace goal, but Wade had done went to push White wide and his shot was wide of the near post. In the 89th minute, the Menace got their 7th goal, and the one that would automatically qualify them for the Open Cup. Substitute, Austin Otto played a great cross field ball into the box for Boltzmann, who settled, took a touch and then played the ball back to Sosa who fired the ball into the far post to make it 7-1.
KC Athletics – Bret Clark, Ben Hicks, Ryan Barber, Josh White, Mike Robards, Marty Johnston, Stephen Homan, Geoff Miles, Kyle Perkins.
Iowa Menace – Matt Wade, Anthony Colaizzi, Thomas Catania, Diego Marroquin, Ben Taylor (Austin Otto 75), Luis Piffer, Chris Van Leur (Tomas Boltnar 45), Brady Blankenship (Graham Nugent 67), Aaron Douthitt (Jarrett Hamilton 53), Bryan Perez, John Sosa.
Kyle Perkins (Marty Johnston) - 31
Bryan Perez - 43
Perez (John Sosa) – 45
Brady Blankenship (Sosa) – 45+
Sosa (Tomas Boltnar) – 53
Jarrett Hamilton (Ben Taylor) – 63
Hamilton – 67
Sosa (Boltnar) – 89
Anthony Solaizzi – 40
Diego Marroquin – 57
John Sosa – 90