Recap: Sporting down Houston Dynamo 3-0

Teal Bunbury leads KC into first place in East with two-goal performance

MLS Game #28
Saturday, September 10, 2011, 3:00 p.m. CT
English TV: KSMO
Spanish TV: Telefutura
Spanish Radio: La Gran D 1340 AM 

LIVESTRONG Sporting Park | Kansas City, Kansas
Weather: Partly Cloudy, 75 degrees
Attendance: 14,791
Video: Match Highlights

Score                                                            1     2     F
Sporting Kansas City (10-8-10, 40 pts)   1     2     3
Houston Dynamo (8-9-11, 35 pts)            0     0     0      

Sporting Kansas City: Jimmy Nielsen; Chance Myers (Michael Harrington 78), Matt Besler, Julio Cesar, Seth Sinovic; Roger Espinoza, Graham Zusi, Jeferson (Davy Arnaud 57); C.J.Sapong, Teal Bunbury (Kei Kamara 74), Omar Bravo© 

Subs not used: Eric Kronberg, Birahim Diop, Peterson Joseph, Soony Saad

Houston Dynamo: Tally Hall; Hunter Freeman, Andrew Hainault, Jermaine Taylor, Corey Ashe; Colin Clark (Cam Weaver 67), Geoff Cameron, Adam Moffat, Brad Davis (Luiz Camargo 81); Carlo Costly, Brian Ching © (Je-Vaughn Watson 46) 

Subs not used: Tyler Deric, Kofi Sarkodie, Jason Garey, Will Bruin 

Stats:              KC      HOU
Shots                 11        9
Shots on Goal   6          0
Saves                0          3
Fouls                10        14
Offside               2          2
Corner Kicks    5          8 

Misconduct Summary:
KC – Jeferson (Caution; Reckless Tackle) 37
HOU – Geoff Cameron (Caution; Reckless Foul) 61
HOU – Carlo Costly (Ejection; Serious Foul Play) 64

Scoring Summary:
KC – Teal Bunbury 6 (Graham Zusi 5) 9
KC – Teal Bunbury 7 (Julio Cesar 1) 73
KC – C.J. Sapong 4 (Kei Kamara 3, Graham Zusi 6) 79

Sporting Kansas City moved into first place in the Eastern Conference on Saturday courtesy of a 3-0 win over the Houston Dynamo at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park. Teal Bunbury scored two goals and rookie forward C.J. Sapong added a late third to secure the victory for a Sporting Kansas City side that has now lost just twice in its last 20 matches.

The action picked up early in the first half, as Sporting Kansas City created ahandful of chances inside of the first 15 minutes. The first came in just the seventh minute of action as Designated Player Omar Bravo latched on to a long pass out of the back from Julio Cesar following Dynamo defender Andre Hainault’s failed attempt to intercept. Bravo tried directing a shot past an onrushing Tally Hall, but the Houston goalkeeper did well to stand up and turn away the breakaway effort. 

Sporting Kansas City would go in front just two minutes later through Bunbury, back in the lineup after serving a one-match suspension against the LA Galaxy on Monday. Taking a long, angled pass from midfielder Graham Zusi, Bunbury ranpast Hainault and kept his balance to tuck a right-footed finish past Hall and into the side netting. The goal was Bunbury’s sixth of 2011, setting a career-high for the second year forward thanks to Zusi’s team-leading fifth assist of the season. 

Designated Player Jeferson nearly added a second for Sporting Kansas City in the 18th minute. Receiving a pass from a quick free kick taken just inside the Houston half, the Brazilian midfielder burst into space towards the edge of the penalty area and smacked a powerful left-footed shot that flew just wide of the far post beyond an outstretched Hall. 

In the 29th minute, Sapong very nearly made it two for Sporting Kansas City, as the rookie forward stretched to reach a Chance Myers cross at the far post. Sapong was tightly marked, however, and couldn’t direct his acrobatic attempt on target. 

One minute later, Houston nearly notched an equalizer through newly-acquired Honduran forward Carlo Costly. Receiving a pass with his back to goal, Costly turned past Cesar and fired a searing shot past Sporting Kansas City goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen that caromed back off the far post and out ofdanger. Costly was once again involved in a promising Houston attack in the 38th minute, this time from a set piece. Following a foul on the right side of midfield, Davis curled a free kick into the Sporting Kansas City penalty area that was met in the air by Costly. Costly’s flicked header attempt flew just wide of the far post, however.

Sporting Kansas City would earn the final chance of the half in a flowing counterattack move that nearly resulted in the first career goal for left back Seth Sinovic. Receiving the ball in the center of midfield, Espinoza switched fields quickly to a streaking Bravo who had ran in behind the Houston backline. Bravo played a low cross across the face of goal for Sinovic who had started his run inside of his own half, but Sinovic misfired from close range as his shot went over the bar. 

After the halftime break it was Houston who earned the first chance, again through Costly. In a near carbon copy of his chance that banged off the post in the first half, the Honduran turned quickly in the box and hit a low shot between the legs of Matt Besler, and just wide of the far post. That would be the last chance of Costly’s afternoon, as the forward was shown a straight red card for a late tackle on Myers in the 64th minute. 

Going down to ten men would hurt the Dynamo throughout the remainder of the match, as Sporting Kansas City began to exploit the extra space on the counterattack. In the 73rd minute, the second goal finally came for Sporting Kansas City, once again from Bunbury. A bouncing ball in the Sporting Kansas City half prompted a first-time volley clearance from Cesar. Cesar’s long ball out of the back skipped beyond Hainault and into the path of Bunbury, who finished lowbeyond Hall for his second multi-goal game of the 2011 season. 

In the 79th minute, Sporting Kansas City added a third goal, this time from Sapong. With time to survey his options in Houston’s final third, Graham Zusi played a through ball into the right channel for substitute KeiKamara, who had replaced Bunbury five minutes earlier. Kamara cut a low pass back across goal for Sapong, who finished with one touch into the open goal. 

Sporting Kansas City next travels to face Real Salt Lake on Saturday, September 17th at Rio Tinto Stadium before returning home to host the Philadelphia Union on Friday, September 23rd at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park. Tickets are available at TicketMaster.com or at the LIVESTRONG Sporting Park box offices.

FAST FACTS

• Sporting Kansas City is now 10-8-10 and moves into first place in the Eastern Conference.

• Sporting Kansas City is 7-2-5 at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park since it’s opening on June 9th.

• Saturday’s win marked the first time in the 2011 season and just the third time in club history that Sporting Kansas City has held an opponent without a single shot on goal.

• Sporting Kansas City has not been shutout in 14 straight games dating back to a scoreless draw at the Philadelphia Union on June 22nd.

• Sporting Kansas City’s 40 points earned through 28 games in 2011 is the most points earned through 28 games since the 2005 season when Kansas City earned a total of 43 points.

• Saturday’s match was Sporting Kansas City’s ninth in a nine-game homestand, which is tied for the longest in MLS history along with the Chicago Fire in2006.

• Prior to Saturday, Sporting Kansas City had not been in first place in September or later since 2004. 

• Sporting Kansas City is 9-2-1 when leading at halftime in 2011.

• Sporting Kansas City is 9-3-1 when scoring the first goal in 2011.

• Sporting Kansas City has lost only twice in their past 20 MLS matches.

• Midfielder Graham Zusi is now tied for third in the League in game-winning assists with four. 

• Zusi’s two assists are tied with defender Michael Harrington for the highest single-game total against the Dynamo in club history. Harrington notched two assists in Sporting Kansas City’s 4-3 win over Houston at CommunityAmerica Ballpark in 2010. 

• Zusi’s two assists marked the first multi-assist game of his career. 

• Saturday’s three goal output moves Sporting Kansas City into a tie for most goals scored in MLS this season with 43. 

• Bunbury’s ninth minute strike also moves Sporting Kansas City into a tie for most first half goals scored in MLS this season with 22.

• The win over Houston is Sporting Kansas City’s first in 2011 when an opposing player has received a red card.  

• Sporting Kansas City is 8-2-4 in matches that Seth Sinovic starts this season and 8-2-9 in matches Chance Myers has appeared in the starting lineup in 2011.

• With an appearance Saturday, captain Davy Arnaud now has 247 games played (including postseason) for Sporting Kansas City, tied for second-most in club history with Nick Garcia.

•Bunbury joins Kei Kamara, Omar Bravo and Graham Zusi as players on Sporting Kansas City’s roster with two multi-goal games in 2011.

•Bunbury becomes the first player in Sporting Kansas City history to record a multi-goal game against the Dynamo in MLS play. 

• Bunbury now has three career goals against the Dynamo, the most by a Sporting Kansas City player in club history. 

• Bunbury’s two goals took his total on the season to seven, a new career high. Saturday’s match was his 50th career appearance for Sporting Kansas City. 

• Bunbury’s ninth minute goal was also the first time in which Sporting Kansas City had scored against Houston during the first 15 minutes of any of theirregular season meetings.

• Defender Julio Cesar recorded his first career assist for Sporting Kansas City on Bunbury’s second goal.

• Sporting Kansas City began the season with their first 10 MLS matches on the road, a new MLS record.

• Saturday’s match marked just the second occasion in 2011 when Houston has given up more than two goals in a match.

• Sporting Kansas City striker C.J. Sapong played 90 minutes on Saturday and is the only Sporting Kansas City player to appear in all 28 MLS matches for the club this season.

• Sapong leads all MLS rookies in games played (28) and points (12) in 2011.

• Defender Matt Besler has started 21 straight MLS matches for Sporting Kansas City, the most of all current players.

• Bunbury returned on Saturday after serving a mandatory one-match suspension on Monday after receiving two cautions in the club’s match against FC Dallas.

• Sporting Kansas City forward Kei Kamara made his first appearance since helping Sierra Leone to a 2-1 win over Egypt in a 2012 African Cup of Nations qualifier.

• Sporting Kansas City defender Aurelien Collin and Dynamo defender Bobby Boswell were both unavailable due to a one match suspension for yellow card accumulation.

• Newly-acquired midfielder Peterson Joseph made his first appearance in Sporting Kansas City’s gameday squad, but did not enter the match.

• Prior to kickoff on Saturday, a Kansas City, Kansas fireman was recognized on the field as one of four first responders from the Kansas City area to serve as a volunteer responder in New York City after September 11th, 2001. The club also recognized the families of three local families who lost loved ones during the recent SEALS helicopter crash in Afghanistan.

• Sporting Kansas City also maximized the promotion of League initiatives to recognize the victims of the 2011 terrorist attacks, as a moment of silence was held prior to kickoff along with memorial messaging on both the videoboard and fieldboards prior to the match. Additionally, each player from both sides wore a memorial armband.