DC United vs. Sporting Kansas City | MLS Match Preview
D.C. UNITED vs SPORTING KANSAS CITY
RFK MEMORIAL STADIUM, Washington, D.C.
May 19, 2013 (WEEK 12, MLS Game #111)
5 p.m. ET (UDN; KSMO)
Riding the longest winless run in the club’s 19-year history, D.C. United will be aiming to put a halt to it when they play host to Sporting Kansas City on Sunday afternoon at RFK Stadium. United saw their winless streak extended to seven games last weekend in a 2-1 loss at FC Dallas. Sporting are on the second game of a road swing, having put an end to the Houston Dynamo’s historic home undefeated run in a 1-0 victory last Sunday.
REFEREE: Jair Marrufo. AR1 (bench): Paul Scott; AR2 (opposite): Matthew Nelson; 4th: Daniel Fitzgerald
MLS Career: 150 games; FC/gm: 24.1; Y/gm: 3.0; R: 32; pens: 44
DISABLED LIST: KC: Teal Bunbury
SUSPENDED: KC: Aurelien Collin (caution accumulation; through May 19), Oriol Rosell (caution accumulation; through May 19)
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: none
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: KC: Seth Sinovic
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none
ALL-TIME (46 meetings): United 18 wins (1 shootout), 61 goals … Sporting 19 wins (0 shootout), 71 goals … Ties 9
AT RFK (22 meetings): United 12 wins (0 shootout), 33 goals … Sporting 6 wins (0 shootout), 25 goals … Ties 4
FUTURE MATCH: 10/18: Sporting Kansas City vs. D.C. United, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)
- The teams are meeting for the second time this season. Claudio Bieler’s goal in the 89th minute gave Sporting a 1-0 home win on April 5.
- Sporting KC have a five-game winning streak alive vs. D.C. United. The last D.C. victory in the series came May 5, 2010 at RFK Stadium. United have not won in Kansas City since 2007.
- United have not won in Kansas City since 2007. In the eight visits since, Sporting have won five games with three ties; that includes two wins and two draws in four meetings all-time at CommunityAmerica Ballpark, and victories in both meetings at Sporting Park.
- Sporting have won on each of their last two visits to RFK Stadium, a 1-0 scoreline on each occasion.
- Coaches record: Peter Vermes vs. DC: P9 W6 L2 T1 … Ben Olsen vs. KC: P5 W0 L5 T0
LAST MEETING (MLS):
4/5: KC 1, DC 0 (Bieler 89)
- The game's only goal came with a minute remaining in regulation time. Soony Saad stole possession of the ball on the left flank, then nutmegged United's Marcelo Saragosa at the byeline before cutting the ball back to Claudio Bieler just outside the 6-yard box, and he buried a left-footed shot inside the far post.
- It was one of just two shots on frame for Sporting, while KC goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen had to make just one save.
- SPORTING KANSAS CITY (4-1-4-1): Jimmy Nielsen - Chance Myers, Aurelien Collin, Matt Besler, Seth Sinovic - Oriol Rosell (Peterson Joseph 85) - Graham Zusi, Paulo Nagamura (Lawrence Olum 90), Benny Feilhaber (Soony Saad 83), C.J. Sapong - Claudio Bieler.
- D.C. UNITED (4-4-2): Bill Hamid - Chris Korb, Brandon McDonald, Dejan Jakovic, Daniel Woolard - Marcos Sanchez, Raphael Augusto (Carlos Ruiz 72), Perry Kitchen, Chris Pontius - Lionard Pajoy, Rafael Teixeira (Marcelo Saragosa 65).
D.C. United saw their losing streak extended to a club record seven games, falling 2-1 to FC Dallas in Frisco on Saturday evening. United are in 10th place in the Eastern Conference with 4 points from 10 matches.
- FC Dallas took the lead after just 11 minutes. Catching United out in transition, Eric Hassli had time to find Jackson all alone on the left side of the box, and he blasted a high, hard shot past United 'keeper Joe Willis.
- But United pulled level just before the halftime whistle. From a foul just outside of the Dallas 18, United used a quick touch from the restart to give Dwayne De Rosario an angle for a low shot, beating Chris Seitz at full stretch inside the right corner.
- The winner came in the 77th minute. Michel flighted his corner kick from the right all the over to the far post, where Je-Vaughn Watson provided the final touch over the line with his chest for the eventual game-winner.
- United head coach Ben Olsen made five changes to the team that fell 4-0 to the Houston Dynamo at RFK Stadium. Joe Willis came in between the posts for Bill Hamid, Ethan White and James Riley started in the back four for Brandon McDonald and Daniel Woolard, Nick DeLeon came into the midfield for Marcos Sanchez, and Casey Townsend started up top in place of Rafael.
- D.C. UNITED (4-4-1-1): Joe Willis - Chris Korb, Ethan White (Lionard Pajoy 79), Dejan Jakovic, James Riley - Kyle Porter, Raphael Augusto (Brandon McDonald 70), Perry Kitchen, Nick DeLeon (Marcos Sanchez 46) - Dwayne De Rosario - Casey Townsend
- D.C. United lost their seventh match in a row, a record for the storied club over its 19-year history, with their 2-1 defeat at FC Dallas.
- “We lost the game. But, I was proud about the overall commitment and the way they went about things tonight. The spirit was good. They looked like a team that cared and wanted to dig themselves out of the situation they we’re in. That’s important,” said United head coach Ben Olsen.
- As well, the eight-game winless streak is two shy of the all-time club record, set July 4-Aug. 25, 2002. United also lost nine in a row from Sept. 29, 2011-March 24, 2012.
- “It’s a tough one to swallow, especially when you come out here and you fight back in it. You give up a goal and we could have easily put our heads down, especially from recent results,” said Dwayne De Rosario. “But, we bounced back. The way we played… We were unlucky to hit the post, but we showed some resilience and that’s a plus going forward. We have two big games at home so it’s a must, must, must win.”
- D.C. United gave up their third goal from a corner kick this season. They have allowed six goals from set pieces among their 19 total goals allowed, the most in MLS this season.
- “It’s also important to make teams earn goals. We’re still slipping at the key moments. We’re still giving up set pieces. These have to stop,” said Olsen.
- Recalled from his loan to USL Pro side Richmond Kickers, Casey Townsend made his United debut, playing as the target striker.
- De Rosario scored his first goal of the season, the 101st league goal of his MLS career, moving him into a tie for sixth on the all-time list with Taylor Twellman. Next on the list is current Real Salt Lake head coach Jason Kreis, who scored 108 league goals in his career.
- “I was dying to get that goal. (It was) the first goal of the year for me so that’s always a good thing,” said De Rosario. “We did well in certain parts of the game, and then in other parts… there was another set piece we gave up and then obviously some set pieces that just weren’t good enough, especially some corners, where it was an important time in the game and we weren’t getting them past the first guy.”
- Goalkeeper Joe Willis made his first start of the league season, as Bill Hamid went to the substitutes’ bench for the first time. “I thought Joe Willis had a very good night. Joe Willis is a very good ‘keeper,” said Olsen.
- Home Grown Player Ethan White made his first start of the season, coming into central defense. James Riley also returned to the lineup for the first time since March 23.
- “It will help when Nick DeLeon can play 90 minutes. It will help when Chris Pontius gets back. It will help when Johnny Thorrington gets on the field again soon,” said Olsen. “We will still evaluate our group to get better, but overall I’m pleased with the spirit they went about the game with and that was what I was looking for and obviously a result.”
SPORTING KANSAS CITY
Sporting Kansas City put an end to the Houston Dynamo’s long home undefeated streak, coming away from BBVA Compass Stadium with a 1-0 victory on Sunday evening. Sporting are in a tie for second place in the Eastern Conference with 20 points from 12 matches.
- The game's lone goal came after 73 minutes. SKC fullback Seth Sinovic found Aurelien Collin on a long throw-in into the penalty area and he flicked the ball past Houston goalkeeper Tally Hall, despite the best efforts of Corey Ashe to clear the shot off the line.
- KC goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen made three saves for seventh shutout of the season. Sporting became the first visiting team to win at BBVA Compass Stadium, and the first to win in Houston since June 18, 2011.
- Sporting manager Peter Vermes made four changes to the team that lost 1-0 to Seattle Sounders FC at Sporting Park. Mechack Jerome and Seth Sinovic came in at fullback for Chance Myers and Josh Gardner, Paulo Nagamura started in the midfield for Benny Feilhaber, and Claudio Bieler replaced C.J. Sapong up top.
- SPORTING KANSAS CITY (4-1-2-3): Jimmy Nielsen - Mechack Jerome, Ike Opara, Aurelien Collin, Seth Sinovic - Oriol Rosell (Lawrence Olum 61) - Paulo Nagamura, Peterson Joseph - Jacob Peterson (Kei Kamara 55), Claudio Bieler (C.J. Sapong 87), Graham Zusi.
- Aurelien Collin scored his second goal of the season, and both have been the only goal of the match in SKC victories. He netted the only goal in the victory at New York on April 17.
- “When he's locked into the game, and he's calm and collected, that's the way he can play,” SKC manager Peter Vermes said. “It was excellent.”
- With Matt Besler still sidelined, for a third consecutive game, with an MCL sprain in his knee, Ike Opara again slotted into central defense alongside Collin.
- “He was an absolute monster in the game. Monster in the game,” Vermes said. “He was tremendous. He was great on every aerial duel. He was fantastic in 1-v-1 situations. The kid was absolutely locked in.”
- Opara will almost certainly get the nod again in the D.C. United match, as Collin – along with midfielder Oriol Rosell – will be suspended for the match after each received his fifth yellow card of the season in the Houston contest.
- Besler also said he will should be available for the United match. “It was something I wanted to take care of and make sure it healed completely, instead of injuring it more seriously and forcing myself to be out for a longer time,” he said. “I always give everything I have to the team and try my hardest to fight through injuries, but in this situation, it was best to be smart and give it rest for a week."
- The goal was the second this season scored from a long throw-in. Besler set up the opening goal in the April 27 loss to Portland with a long throw that found Chance Myers.
- “We have been very good this year on set pieces. It is something that is becoming a part of who we are. We are very dangerous when we have these long throw-ins,” said Vermes. [Aurelien] Collin was very courageous to get into that pack because there were a lot of guys in there. He got his head on it, flicked it and it went into the back of the net.”
- It was a seventh shutout for Sporting this season, leading Major League Soccer. They have the league’s best goals against average at 0.75.
- “I thought we were good defensively as well because they just had a ton of [set pieces] in the second half,” said Vermes.
- Sporting conclude their two-game road swing looking to put together back-to-back wins for only the second time this season. They won three in a row March 30-April 17, their only winning streak this season.
- “We've got a big match coming with D.C. We're not going to take D.C. lightly. We were in that position a few years back. We know what can happen,” Vermes said of the 2011 season when SKC started 0-6-1 before finishing atop the Eastern Conference by the end of the regular season.