Saturday, February 25, 2017

Sporting KC Fall in Preseason Finale

Sporting Kansas City ended their preseason on a sour note, falling in their final game in Tucson, Arizona to New York City FC 1-0. Peter Vermes put out a lineup that would likely be considered extremely close to the 11 that will take the field next weekend in DC. The big absence from the team was forward Dom Dwyer who had a minor knock. Also missing was midfielder Ilie Sanchez who is battling with Soni Mustivar for the starting defensive midfield position.

KC had a good chance early as Mustivar played a nice through ball to Benny Feilhaber who beat Sean Johnson for the goal, but the assistant referee raised his flag for an offside call against Feilhaber ruling the goal out. Both teams had their chances as the half rolled on but the sides went into the break tied at 0-0.

KC made just a single change at the half, bringing on Saad Abdul-Salaam for Graham Zusi at right back. Just over five minutes after his introduction though Abdul-Salaam was involved in the only goal of the game. Abdul-Salaam had held up his run back on a ball over the top trying to get an offside call that never came. Maximiliano Moralez brought the ball down and crossed into the middle for David Villa who out jumped Seth Sinovic and headed the ball in to put NYCFC up 1-0. KC pushed for an equalizer and had a good chance to tie it up in the 64th minute when Feilhaber was brought down in the box for a penalty. Soony Saad stepped up to take the penalty putting it towards the corner, but not getting enough pace on it to get it past Johnson, who made the save. KC struggled to create clear chances as the game wore on and were put in a bigger hole with less than 10 minutes left. Saad's day got worse as he was given a straight red for a poor challenge from behind on James Sands of NYCFC.

Sporting will now head back to KC to prepare for their season opener in DC next Saturday.

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