Saturday, August 30, 2014

Sporting KC suffers 3-1 loss to Houston Dynamo

KANSAS CITY, KAN. ----- Sporting Kansas City suffered a 3-1 loss to the Houston Dynamo on Friday night at Sporting Park and remain in second place in the Eastern Conference, one point back of D.C. United.

Dom Dwyer scored his 17th goal of the season and is now one shy of the team's all-time record set by Preki in Major League Soccer's inaugural season (1996).

Friday's match -- the 50th consecutive MLS sell out at Sporting Park with more than 20,000 in attendance -- was halted due to inclement weather in the 17th minute and resumed after a 75-minute delay. Sporting Kansas City nearly took the lead in the 26th minute when Kevin Ellis' glancing header off a Graham Zusi corner kick was saved by Tally Hall and cleared amidst a goalmouth scramble.

However it was Houston who opened the scoring in the game's 35th minute. Will Bruin was on the end of a deflected cross from Kofi Sarkodie and buried his first-time shot from near the penalty spot for his 10th goal of the season.

Dwyer did well to level the score at 1-1 in the 54th minute. Benny Feilhaber slipped past Jermaine Taylor on the dribble and slotted a pass square for Dwyer inside the penalty area. With two Dynamo defenders converging, Dwyer pushed his shot past Tally Hall and moved within three goals of fellow Englishman Bradley Wright-Phillips in the MLS Golden Boot race.

Thanks to the second half goal, fans who text BWWSKC to 72727 will receive a buy one, get one snack size wings offer from the Sporting Kansas City sponsor.
Feilhaber's assist was his sixth of the season, most on the team and an MLS career high. The playmaker came close to scoring a go-ahead goal five minutes later only to see his shot carry over the crossbar from the top of the 18-yard box.

Both Feilhaber and Dwyer will miss Sporting Kansas City's next match due to caution accumulation. Each received yellow cards from referee Mark Geiger during the first half and will serve mandatory one-game suspensions.

The Dynamo put the game out of reach with two goals in a five-minute span and both came from free kicks off the foot of captain Brad Davis. The U.S. Men's National Team midfielder curled a left-footed delivery onto the head of David Horst in the 62nd minute for the game-winning goal, his first of the season and second of his seven-year MLS career.

Minutes later, Davis again earned the assist -- his eighth of the year -- with a set piece flicked inside the far post by Ricardo Clark. The visitors three goals came on just three shots on goal and marked the second straight match in which Sporting Kansas City conceded three times on their home field.

Hall exited the match due to injury in the 80th minute and Sporting Kansas City twice tested backup goalkeeper Tyler Deric. Dwyer's backheel flick was saved in the 90th minute and he then held onto Aurelien Collin's header three minutes later. Deric's appearance marked the second straight week in which two homegrown goalkeepers were on the field, an occurrence that had never previously happened in MLS history.

With four shots on goal in Friday's loss, Sporting Kansas City supporters can take advantage of 44-cent Monster Tacos at area Jack in the Box locations on Saturday.

The defeat marks the first time Sporting KC has lost back-to-back MLS matches at Sporting Park since its opening in 2011. Friday's match also snapped a seven-game unbeaten streak against Houston (including postseason), during which Houston had scored only twice against Sporting KC.

With eight games remaining in the regular season, Sporting Kansas City will play away from home in their next three MLS matches. The road trip begins Wednesday at New England with coverage beginning at 6 p.m. CT on KMCI-TV 38 the Spot and SKCTV. The team's official watch party will be held at Turn 2 Sports Bar & Restaurant inside Hollywood Casino, featuring $6 wings and $3 Boulevard draft specials.