Saturday, February 20, 2016

A Pair of Draws for Sporting and the Rangers

Just two weeks before the start of the 2016 MLS season Sporting KC and their USL team, the Swope Park Rangers played their second game in the Desert Diamon Cup.

The Rangers kicked off the first game of the two taking on fellow USL side, Arizona United. The Rangers had some good play in the first half, but it was United that had the better chances, with Jon Kempin having to come up with a good double save to keep the game scoreless in the first half. In the second half United was the better side, pressuring the Rangers but this time it was Zac Lubin who was coming up with the saves in the Rangers net. The Rangers had their own chances in the second half, with Sporting academy player Will Little again creating a good chance from distance after scoring from distance in the club's 3-1 win over the Colorado Rapids. The Rangers had to settle for the 0-0 draw with their USL opponent in the game.

Sporting faced off against MLS opposition in the New England Revolution tonight. The Revs came out as the better side from the start of the game, pressuring Kansas City and having Lee Nguyen hit the cross bar in a shot after a short corner. The Revs couldn't score with their early possession and KC made them pay as Sporting scored in their first real trip forward as Jordi Quintilla picked out Graham Zusi with a long ball over the top. Zusi cut in on his defender and curled a shot into the far post to give Sporting a 1-0 lead. After the goal, Sporting seemed to wake up and played better, although goalkeeper Tim Melia was called upon to make some big saves to keep KC up heading into the break.

Peter Vermes stuck with his starters into the second half, giving them a full hour on the field before making mass substitutions. Unfortunately before those substitutions, KC got hit on the counter as a long ball over the top found Tel Bunbury who had gotten behind Seth Sinovic. The former KC player beat Melia to the far post tying the game at 1-1. After the mass changes in the 60th, both teams had chances to win it but neither side could. KC's best chances came down their left side where Connor Hallisey continued to show well this preseason. He was also able to combine well with Amadou DIa on overlapping runs. In the end KC couldn't find a winner.

Both Sporting and the Rangers will be back in action this coming Wednesday when Sporting will take on the Rapids while the Rangers will be taking on the Columbus Crew.

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