Saturday, August 13, 2016

Sporting Grab a Point to Start Long Trip

Facing the start of their long trip around North America and the Caribbean, Sporting Kansas City got a 2-2 draw on the road against an FC Dallas team that had dropped only six points out of a possible 36 home points heading into the game tonight. In the first half both teams had some chances, but it was FC Dallas putting Kansas City goalkeeper Alec Kann to the test more. He did a good job early on blocking an effort by Maximilliano Urruti in front of goal after a cross by Michael Barrios. While Kann was the busier goalkeeper, Dom Dwyer forced a good save out of Chris Seitz in the 24th minute off a Graham Zusi corner. Dwyer headed a powerful header on goal but Seitz got down really well and saved the shot right at his feet and the rebound was cleared away. KC suffered an injury blow just 35 minutes in as Ike Opara had to leave with an ankle injury, forcing Kevin Ellis into action in defense for KC. The injury comes at a bad time as the team is still without Matt Besler and Nuno Coelho is just starting to return to form. With the busy stretch ahead the defensive Kann came up big again on another cross by Barrios, this time palming the cross away before it could get to Urruti who had gotten himself space on in the middle of KC's defense.

Kann continued to keep Kansas City in the game in the second half as he made a good save on a header by Walker Zimmerman off a Mauro Diaz free kick. The rebound was put off the post, but Kann appeared to have that shot covered as well. Dallas did finally beat Kann in the 66th minute as Tesho Akindele ghosted into the box completely unmarked by the KC defense and headed home a cross by Atiba Harris to put Dallas on top 1-0. The lead didn't last long for Dallas though as just two minutes later Kansas City was level. Brad Davis received the ball cutting towards the box and fired a shot that Dwyer intercepted as Seitz went to ground, Dwyer was able to turn and fire a shot into the roof of the net over Seitz to level the game at 1-1. Five minutes later Kansas City grabbed the lead. Benny Feilhaber fed the ball into Dwyer who flicked the ball up to himself but Zimmerman knocked the ball into the air. Dwyer followed the ball and one timed a shot past Seitz and into the net putting Kansas City on top 2-1. Once again the lead didn't last long though as three minutes later, Dallas was level. On a cross toward the near post, Kann tried to nonchalantly tip the ball over the bar for a corner, but missed. The ball bounced off the post to Urruti who biked the ball into the net as Kann tried to punch the ball away as he recovered. For as good as Kann played all night it was a glaring mistake that leveled the game at 2-2. Dallas almost retook the lead in the 82nd when Akindele was played in behind the KC defense, but as Kann came out, Akindele attempted to chip the KC goalkeeper, but he put it just wide of the post. Minutes later Dallas had another great opportunity as Dallas countered a KC corner and got a four on one break against Saad Abdul-Salaam, but after a ball played wide, all Dallas got out of the counter was an offside header wide of the post. KC was able to escape that chance and get out of Dallas with a point and will now move on to Trinidad to kick off their Champions League campaign.

Wizards Man of the Match - Alec Kann - The gaff on the second goal for Dallas aside, Kann came up big for Kansas City tonight he made some exceptional saves to keep the game scoreless and to keep Kansas City in the game. He had one miss step and it cost KC the lead.

Honorable Mention - Dom Dwyer

Player Ratings - Kann 7, Medranda 5, Olum 6, Opara 5, Abdul-Salaam 6, Coelho 6, Appiah 5, Feilhaber 5, Peterson 4, Dwyer 7, Zusi 5. Subs Ellis 5, Davis 6, Nagamura NR.

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