It wasn't pretty, but it was effective, Sporting KC ended their run without a win with a 1-0 win over the New England Revolution at Gillette Stadium. With the US Open Cup final on Wednesday, Sporting never seemed to really get going, coasting through the game, doing just enough to get the result on the road.
Peter Vermes put out his best available 11 last night, 4 days before the US Open Cup final against Seattle, with Chance Myers, CJ Sapong, Jacob Peterson, and Aurelien Collin all missing out. Inside the first 4 minutes, KC almost grabbed the lead off a deflection. On a long ball over the top, Teal Bunbury settled the ball enough to get a shot off that Darrius Barnes deflected just a little bit. Matt Reis had to just touch the ball over the bar for a corner. In the 7th minute KC's injury issues deepened. Bobby Convey who only just returned from injury limped off the field with a hamstring injury to be replaced by Soony Saad. Shortly after Saad's entry, the Revs had a chance to take the lead as Saer Sene got in font of Michael Harrington on a cross, but put his header wide of the goal. In the 20th minute, Sporting grabbed the lead. Saad and Benny Feilhaber tangled in Sporting's half. Paulo Nagamura played the ball ahead towards Bunbury. Clyde Simms reached it first and headed the ball back towards Stephen McCarthy. Bunbury beat McCarthy to the ball, touching the ball over his head and went off to the races. Bunbury let the ball bounce in front of him, settled and slotted the ball past Reis and into the net to put KC up 1-0. New England controlled much of that half after that, and should have equalized in the 36th minute. Feilhaber won the ball and raced into the KC box. He then laid the ball back across the middle towards Dimitry Imbongo, who from about the penalty spot skied a shot well over the goal.
Early in the second half the Revs should have equalized. Fernando Cardenas dribbled past two KC defenders before picking out Chris Tierney on the wing. Tierney played a ball into the box to Imbongo who was unmarked between Matt Besler and Seth Sinovic. Imbongo though put the header over the bar from 6 yards out. Chances as a whole were at a premium in the second half as KC was content to defender their 1 goal lead and the Revs struggled to create chances. KC's best chance in the second half came through Bunbury. Kei Kamara made it into the box and played the ball back to Bunbury who was just outside the 6, let the ball roll across his body, turned and fired, but right at Reis who made the save. Neither team really tested the opposing keeper the rest of the day as KC pulled off the win in their second home as KC improved to 8-3-5 at Gillette all time in league play.
Wizards Man of the Match - Teal Bunbury - Got the goal and looked dangerous throughout. If he's getting into some good form he picked a good time to do it ahead of Wednesday's US Open Cup final.
Player Ratings - Nielsen 7, Harrington 6, Besler 6, Olum 6, Sinovic 6, Cesar 6, Nagamura 5, Zusi 6, Kamara 5, Bunbury 7, Convey NR. Subs Saad 5, Thomas 5, Joseph NR.