Sporting Kansas City played their second preseason game of the year tonight in Tucson against the Portland Timbers. Sporting grabbed the lead in the 31st minute as Sal Zizzo flicked a header from a Claudio Bieler free kick into the net to give KC an early lead.
Shortly after Zizzo's goal, Sporting found themselves down a man as Aurelien Collin picked up a second yellow and was dismissed. A bit surprising for a preseason game, Sporting did not (or was not allowed to) replace the Frenchman, and for just under an hour, Sporting KC played a man down to the Timbers. It took until late in the second half before the Timbers were able to find the net though to level the game at 1-1. This is how the game ended. Sporting have one more game in Tucson before returning to KC. Next Friday they will take on NASL side, Indy Eleven.
Earlier in the day, the US national team kicked off the World Cup year with a 2-0 win over fellow World Cup 2014 participant, South Korea 2-0 thanks to a pair of goals by Chris Wondolowski. Sporting KC's Matt Besler and Graham Zusi started the game for the US. Zusi helped set up both goals. On the first goal, Zusi played in a cross that Brad Davis put on goal to force a save. The rebound fell to Wondolowski who put the ball in to make it 1-0 in just the 4th minute.
South Korea had much of the play during the half, but Nick Rimando came up with some good saves and the US back line held firm keeping Korea off the board. At the hour mark, Zusi helped create the second goal. Zusi played a cross into the box that Landon Donovan flicked on to Wondolowski who fired home to make it 2-0. After the goal Besler made way for Clarence Goodson and fellow Sporting KC player, Benny Feilhaber entered for Mix Diskerud. The US held on for their first win of 2014 defeating the Koreans in their first match up since the 2002 World Cup.