Preview: Sporting look to stay atop East vs. visiting Revs
SPORTING KANSAS CITY vs NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION
LIVESTRONG SPORTING PARK, Kansas City, Kan.
July 21, 2012 (WEEK 20, MLS Game #191)
8:30 p.m. ET (CSN-NE)
Sporting Kansas City and the New England Revolution meet for the second time this season when the clubs clash in a key Eastern Conference matchup Saturday evening at Livestrong Sporting Park. Sporting return home off a 2-1 loss at midweek at the Houston Dynamo, while the Revolution lost for a second match in a row, also on the road, a 2-1 loss at Montreal. The clubs met in the second week of the season, Sporting taking a 3-0 victory in KC.
REFEREE: Jasen Anno. SAR (bench): C.J. Morgante; JAR (opposite): Matthew Kreitzer; 4th: Leszek Stalmach
MLS Career: 32 games; FC/gm: 22.8; Y/gm: 2.8; R: 20; pens: 10
- SPORTING KANSAS CITY -- OUT: DF Cyprian Hedrick (L fibula fracture); GK Jon Kempin (R ankle fracture); QUESTIONABLE: FW Jacob Peterson (L ankle sprain); PROBABLE: DF Korede Aiyegbusi (R knee sprain); FW Bobby Convey (L calf strain); FW Kei Kamara (L knee contusion); DF Lawrence Olum (L groin strain); MF Graham Zusi (R quad strain)
- NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION -- OUT: FW Alec Purdie (L ankle sprain); QUESTIONABLE: DF Stephen McCarthy (concussive-like symptoms); PROBABLE: FW Zak Boggs (R ankle sprain); FW Jose Moreno (R ankle sprain)
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: KC: Roger Espinoza (Honduras, Olympic Games) ... NE: Jerry Bengtson (Honduras; Olympic Games)
SUSPENDED: KC: Peterson Joseph (through July 22)
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: none
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: KC: Julio Cesar, Aurelien Collin, Chance Myers, Jimmy Nielsen, Paulo Nagamura ... NE: Benny Feilhaber, Chris Tierney, Shalrie Joseph
ALL-TIME (43 meetings): Sporting 21 wins (1 shootout), 70 goals ... Revolution 13 wins (1 shootout), 54 goals ... Ties 9
AT KC (21 meetings): Sporting 11 wins (1 shootout), 32 goals ... Revolution 6 wins (1 shootout), 23 goals ... Ties 4
FUTURE MATCH: 8/4: New England Revolution vs. Sporting Kansas City, 7:30 p.m. ET
- Goals from Graham Zusi, Kei Kamara and C.J. Sapong gave Sporting a 3-0 win in the first meeting between the teams this year, March 17 at Livestrong Sporting Park.
- The teams played to a 1-1 draw in their first meeting ever at Livestrong Sporting Park last year, after the Revolution claimed a 3-2 victory in Foxborough.
- New England's win last year ended a seven-game winless streak against Kansas City. The Revs' last previous victory in the series had come April 9, 2008, a 3-1 triumph at CommunityAmerica Ballpark.
- Coaches record: Peter Vermes vs. NE: P6 W3 L2 D1 ... Jay Heaps vs. KC: P1 W0 L1 D0
LAST MEETING (MLS)
3/17: KC 3, NE 0 (Zusi 28; Kamara 39; Sapong 47)
- The tenor of the match changed after just 14 minutes, when Revolution center back Stephen McCarthy was shown a straight red card for a foul on C.J. Sapong.
- Graham Zusi was the first to take advantage of the man advantage, cleaning up in front of goal in the 28th minute. Kei Kamara sent in a ball from the right, and Zusi slid to shoot. New England goalkeeper Matt Reis did well to block, but the rebound fell to Zusi, who fired home while still on the ground.
- The second goal came on another putback, this time by Kamara. Left winger Bobby Convey drove into the area and crossed to Kamara in the 39th minute. Reis blocked his first low shot, but Kamara pounced on the rebound and drove it home.
- Sapong, starting at center forward with Teal Bunbury on U.S. U-23 national team duty, put the game away less than two minutes into the second half when he scored from point-blank range after left back Seth Sinovic pulled back a low pass from the byeline.
- SPORTING KANSAS CITY (4-2-3-1): Jimmy Nielsen - Chance Myers, Aurelien Collin (Lawrence Olum 59), Matt Besler, Seth Sinovic - Roger Espinoza, Julio Cesar (Luke Sassano 76)- Kei Kamara, Graham Zusi (Paulo Nagamura 57), Bobby Convey - C.J. Sapong.
- NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION (4-2-3-1): Matt Reis - Kevin Alston, A.J. Soares, Stephen McCarthy (sent off 14), Chris Tierney - Clyde Simms, Shalrie Joseph - Kelyn Rowe (Ryan Guy 46), Benny Feilhaber (Jeremiah White 61), Lee Nguyen - Saer Sene (Diego Fagundez 57).
SPORTING KANSAS CITY
Sporting Kansas City saw their three-game unbeaten run come to an end, going down to a 2-1 defeat by the Houston Dynamo on Wednesday evening at BBVA Compass Stadium. Sporting now have 36 points from 20 matches, still leading the Eastern Conference.
HIGHLIGHTS: 10-man Sporting fall short in Houston
- The Dynamo took the lead in the 25th minute following a 23-pass sequence. Will Bruin took an Andre Hainault ball into the box and slotted a pass to Calen Carr, who had little trouble placing the ball past SKC goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen.
- Sporting evened terms in the 41st minute. After Teal Bunbury was fouled from behind in the box by Hainault, prompting referee Mark Kadlecik to point to the spot, Kei Kamara converted the resulting penalty.
- But just before halftime, SKC were reduced in numbers when Peterson Joseph was sent off for a sweeping, two-footed tackle from behind on Carr.
- The home side hit for the winner in the 79th minute. After setting Brad Davis up out wide, Carr made a run in the box for the return ball, collided with the pass in a mass of bodies and watched it trickle into the goal.
- Sporting head coach Peter Vermes made three changes to the team that knocked off the Columbus Crew 2-0 at Crew Stadium. Michael Harrington came into the back four for Chance Myers, Michael Thomas started in midfield for Roger Espinoza, and Teal Bunbury came in up top for Soony Saad.
- SPORTING KANSAS CITY (4-2-3-1): Jimmy Nielsen - Michael Harrington, Aurelien Collin, Matt Besler, Seth Sinovic (Chance Myers 79) - Michael Thomas, Paulo Nagamura - Kei Kamara, Peterson Joseph (sent off 47+), Jacob Peterson (Bobby Convey 82) - Teal Bunbury (C.J. Sapong 45).
MLS Pop Quiz at Livestrong Sporting Park
- Sporting had a season-low eight attempts at goal for a second consecutive match, their third game with that total this season.
- "Our performance was good but unfortunately they got one goal and it was a lot of effort put out by the guys to walk away with nothing," said SKC manager Peter Vermes. "It is a good experience to play a man down. It's good to see what it's like at this point in the season and to be able to do what we did because we did it for a pretty long time."
- With Peterson Joseph suspended for the New England match, and Roger Espinoza with Honduras for the 2012 London Olympic Games, there is a question if Graham Zusi will be able to return to the Sporting lineup either.
- "If he was able to play (against Houston), he would have played," Vermes said. "So I have no idea at this point."
- Jacob Peterson was able to start and feature for 82 minutes, just four days after suffering an ankle injury against FC Dallas that forced him off before halftime.
- "He made a great run into the box to draw the foul," Vermes said. "That's what we want from those guys, and he did a great job of getting in there."
- Bobby Convey made his first appearance in nine matches, since May 19, coming on for the final eight minutes. He had been sidelined with a series of calf strains.
- "He was good," Vermes said. "He was actually very good. He gave us a lot of energy when he came in."
- Kei Kamara took over the team lead with his seventh goal. His last two goals have come on penalty kicks; his last goal from open play came May 27.
- "I think we were extremely well organized, and didn't give much away even when we were a man down," said goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen. "We didn't give much away and held a lot of the possession. It didn't really get dangerous. We created some small stuff but never got really dangerous."
NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION
The New England Revolution went down to a second consecutive defeat, dropping a 2-1 decision to the Montreal Impact on Wednesday evening at Stade Saputo. The Revolution are in a tie for seventh place in the Eastern Conference with 22 points from 19 games.
HIGHLIGHTS: Impact defend their house vs. NE
- The Impact took in the 28th minute on a penalty kick from Patrice Bernier, but not before referee Fotis Bazakos had the attempt re-taken not once, but twice.
- The Revolution pulled even a minute before halftime. Lee Nguyen hammered a blast from long range that hit the crossbar and rebounded off the legs of an airborne Donovan Ricketts and into the back of the net.
- But the Impact scored the winner in the 67th minute. Justin Mapp flighted in a cross from the left flank and Sanna Nyassi, standing at the far post, blasting a first-time volley past goalkeeper Matt Reis at the near post.
- Revolution head coach Jay Heaps made three changes to the team that fell 1-0 to Toronto FC at Gillette Stadium. Darrius Barnes came into central defense for Stephen McCarthy, and Kelyn Rowe and Ryan Guy came into the team for Fernando Cardenas and Blake Brettschneider.
- NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION (4-2-3-1): Matt Reis - Kevin Alston, A.J. Soares, Darrius Barnes, Chris Tierney - Clyde Simms (Blake Brettschneider 65), Benny Feilhaber, Kelyn Rowe (Fernando Cardenas 79), Lee Nguyen, Ryan Guy - Saer Sene (Sainey Nyassi 79)
Benny and Jerry's
- The Revolution have suffered consecutive losses for a third time this season. Their season-long losing streak is three games (April 5-28).
- "Overall, it wasn't a good performance," Revolution head coach Jay Heaps said. "Unfortunately, we didn't have enough guys who had a good enough game. We lost the ball in areas where it cost us. It was good to get back in the game after the first goal. But in the second half, I thought we would could have come out little bit sharper, we were a little bit flat."
- Darrius Barnes made his first start of the season,coming into central defense with Stephen McCarthy sidelined with concussion-like symptoms. Shalrie Joseph had come on for McCarthy in the Toronto match; he was out with back stiffness.
- "We've shown all year that we have some fight in us, whether we're up a goal or down a goal. We showed that again tonight," said Barnes. "Sometimes, it's going to go your way. Sometimes, it's not. Sometimes, it's your night. Sometimes, it's not."
- Lee Nguyen scored his second goal in three games, with all four of his Revolution goals having come over the last 10 matches.
- "Tactically, we have things that we need to improve on. I think they got the ball in the middle a lot of the time. We needed to make some changes at halftime," Heaps said. "Lee (Nguyen) helped us out with a fantastic goal. But after they got the goal in the second half, it was really difficult for us because we just wanted to push men forward."
- Ryan Guy made his first start since May 26, when he played in the center of midfield vs. D.C. United.
- "It's always difficult coming on the road. It was our first time here. We were maybe uncomfortable in a new place, despite the great atmosphere," Guy said. "Overall, we just have to keep our heads up and get ready for Saturday now."
- After two matches on the substitutes' bench, Matt Reis returned between the posts in place of Bobby Shuttleworth.
- Sainey Nyassi made his season debut, coming on for the final 11 minutes in place of Saer Sene. It was the second time he and twin brother Sanna were on the same field at the same time; the first came last July 23 when Sanna was with Colorado.