Sunday, May 11, 2014

First place Sporting KC earns emphatic 3-0 road victory over Montreal Impact

KANSAS CITY, KAN. ----- Sporting Kansas City claimed a 3-0 road win over the Montreal Impact on Saturday at Stade Saputo in record-setting fashion.

Forward Dom Dwyer scored twice to move into fourth among MLS goal scoring leaders with six on the season and Paulo Nagamura added another as the Sporting Kansas City defense recorded the team's fifth shutout through nine MLS matches in 2014.

Manager Peter Vermes' side completed 739 of 803 passes, both MLS records since the statistic was first tracked by Opta in 2011, for a 92 percent passing accuracy percentage. Midfielder Oriol Rosell led all players with 160 successful passes out of the 166 he attempted, also setting-single game records by an MLS player since 2011.

The two teams entered Saturday's match on opposite ends of the Eastern Conference standings and Sporting Kansas City were quick to showcase their early season form, taking full advantage of a 17th minute red card to Impact midfielder Collen Warner for a handball on the goalline.

While it ended in a penalty kick for Sporting KC, their second of the season, the play began with a trademark long throw-in from Matt Besler. Montreal goalkeeper Troy Perkins made an initial save however Rosell earned the penalty when his follow-up effort was blocked by the outstretched arm of Warner.

Dwyer stepped to the spot and converted the eventual match-winner, calmly sending his penalty attempt low and to Perkins' right. The third-year forward had also scored on Sporting KC's only other penalty kick in 2014 during a 1-0 win over San Jose in March and continued a stretch of nine successful penalty kicks for the club dating back to 2012.

Nagamura then doubled Sporting Kansas City's lead in the 34th minute, putting the exclamation point on a 21-pass scoring sequence. Graham Zusi played the penultimate pass, sending the ball out wide where right back Chance Myers sent a first-time cross through traffic. Nagamura was stationed beyond the back post and skipped his shot over the sliding challenge from Jeb Brovksy with Perkins going the wrong direction.

The Brazilian native now has 11 goals in his 10 MLS seasons and Saturday's marked his first since 2012. Sporting Kansas City is 7-0-3 in the last 10 MLS matches (including postseason) with Nagamura in the starting lineup.

The shorthanded Impact were missing Matteo Ferrari, Eric Miller and Hassoun Camara -- three defenders who had each played in every MLS match this season prior to Saturday -- and were also limited in the attack without Designated Player Marco Di Vaio and former No. 1 draft pick Andrew Wenger. Held to only two shots on goal in the game, Justin Mapp was credited with the home side's first in the 43rd minute. He cut inside from the right flank and struck a left-footed attempt from outside the area that was covered by Eric Kronberg, who is yet to allow a first half goal in MLS play during the 2014 season.

The Sporting Kansas City goalkeeper was called into action again in the opening moments of the second half. Designated Player Heran Bernardello whipped a cross into the area that found teammate Wandrille Lefevre, whose header was re-directed into the arms of Kronberg from 15 yards out.

The team's second straight clean sheet lowers Sporting Kansas City's league-leading goals against average to 0.66 per game. As part of the club's Shutout for Slices promotion with Papa John's, all Sporting KC fans can receive 50% off any regular price online order at local participating Papa John's retailers over the next two days by entering the code 'SPORTINGKC' online at

Two weeks after Dwyer scored twice in a 4-0 victory over Montreal at Sporting Park, the Englishman bagged a brace again versus the Impact with his second goal of the game in the 64th minute. Second-half substitute Antonio Dovale split the Montreal defense with a pass slipped to Dwyer, who took one touch to rush into the penalty area and a second touch to bury his shot beyond the reach of Perkins with a left-footed laser.

Dwyer now has nine career goals in MLS competition (including playoffs). As a result of the second half away goal, all fans can text BWWSKC to 72727 to receive a buy one, get one free snack size wing order at all Kansas City area Buffalo Wild Wings locations.

Sporting Kansas City nearly matched the scoreline from the season's previous meeting but were unfortunate not to find a fourth. Claudio Bieler's half-volley was blocked by Brovsky in the goalmouth in the 82nd minute and Seth Sinovic sent his shot from close range over the crossbar one minute later.

In sole possession of first place in the Eastern Conference after the road result, Sporting Kansas City will now return home to host the Philadelphia Union at 7:30 p.m. CT on Wednesday at Sporting Park. A limited number of tickets for the match, presented by Price Chopper, are available online at or by calling 888-4KC-GOAL.