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Sporting Kansas City 2, Vancouver Whitecaps 1 | 2016 MLS Match Recap

Sporting Kansas City opened their 2016 home slate on Saturday with a 2-1 win over a 10-man Vancouver Whitecaps at Children's Mercy Park. Dom Dwyer scored a first-half brace for the hosts, while Jordan Smith received a straight red card in first-half stoppage time for a tackle from behind on Graham Zusi. Vancouver found some signs of life when Pedro Morales scored a penalty with 20 minutes to go; the Whitecaps picked up their intensity, but were unable to find the tying goal.

The result leaves Sporting perfect two games into the season, while Vancouver still seek their first points of 2016.

Box score

Three Things

  1. DWYER OPENS 2016 ACCOUNT … WITH A BANG: Sporting's broadcast noted on Saturday that Dwyer is looking to score what would be a league-record 30 goals this season. Well, he's on pace for 34 in the league (we know, it's early). And he opened his season tally with aplomb, stealing the ball away from Deybi Flores and blasting a screamer past David Ousted:
  2. NEW FACES, SAME RESULT: Vancouver are 0-for-2 so far this season. Carl Robinson attempted to make adjustments for the first road game of the campaign, with Flores replacing Kianz Froese in the starting XI in midfield, Smith getting the starting nod ahead of Fraser Aird at right back, and Kekuta Manneh staring in place of the suspended Christian Bolaños. Those moves did not pay off, especially with Smith getting his marching orders and Flores giving the ball away on the edge of the defensive third to Dwyer. Will Robinson opt for more changes next week?  
     
  3. TURNING POINT: Sporting appeared to be in complete control from the start, and had scored both of their goals by the time of the red card. But given Vancouver's fight back in the closing minutes of the game, one wonders what might have been had they kept all 11 players on the field for the full game. Regardless, the outcome appeared to be more or less decided by Smith's red-card tackle.

Next up

  • SKC: Sunday, 3/20 vs. Toronto FC (7 pm ET, FS1, TSN2)
  • VAN: Saturday, 3/19 at Seattle (10 pm ET, TSN1, MLS LIVE)
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