Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Collin Injury Overshadows All Star Win for Sporting KC

The MLS All Stars got a stoppage time winner from former Wizard, Eddie Johnson to defeat Chelsea 3-2 in the all star game at PPL Park outside Philadelphia, PA.  The MLS all stars grabbed the lead through Chris Wondolowski, saw John Terry and Frank Lampard score to put the Blues in front.  Chris Pontius scored an equalizer in the second half and Johnson scored the winner in stoppage time.  But it's what happened between the first two goals that will haunt Sporting KC fans going forward. 

Aurelien Collin and Jimmy Nielsen started for the All Stars as they actually played Chelsea pretty straight up early on in the game.  In the 21st, Landon Donovan picked out Thierry Henry on the wing.  Henry's cross into the middle was met by Wondolowski and Terry at the same time. But Wondolowski reacted first to the second ball and put it home.  In the 25th minute is when things went bad for Sporting fans.  Collin barreled over Michael Essien from behind.  Both players remained down and when Collin got up he looked dazed and out of it.  He walked off the field under his own power and was off the field for a few minutes being given a concussion test.  In the 32nd he came back on right as Chelsea were taking a corner.  Collin's mark was Terry who out jumped the dazed Collin and put the ball in the net.  Shortly after that, Collin left the field, being substituted for Carlos Valdes of the Philadelphia Union. 

KC's other starter, Nielsen had a little work to do but wasn't forced to do much, in fact he only had to make 1 save in his 45 minutes of action before subbing out at half time.  Sporting's third all star, Graham Zusi entered the game in the 57th minute for Henry.  Only a minute later, Chelsea were in front.  After coming up with a big save on Lampard only a minute earlier, Dan Kennedy missed on a cross and Lampard slotted the ball into the empty net to put Chelsea on top.  The all stars tied it up in the 73rd when Dwayne DeRosario combined with his United teammate Pontius, laying a ball back to him that Pontius made no mistake with.  The game looked like it was going to PKs, when a nice combination in the field led to Kyle Beckerman picking out Johnson with a through ball.  Johnson's shot was deflected by David Luz, but the deflection carried the ball over Chelsea goalkeeper Ross Turnbull and into the net putting the All Stars up 3-2. 

Collin is the big concern for Peter Vermes and Sporting KC, what appears to be a concussion for Collin could leave him out for a few games, which isn't a good thing as KC continues a difficult stretch.  While Collin is suspended for the Open Cup final, having him on the field in league play was going to be crucial.  If he can't go on Saturday either Neven Markovic, Lawrence Olum, or Konrad Warzycha will replace him in the starting lineup next to Matt Besler.

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