Fantastic 4-0

Third shutout of season sees Sporting KC move to 4-0-0 for first time in club history

Kamara Header Chivas

Photo Credit: 
Harry How
Home Depot Center | Carson, CA
Attendance: 13,372
Weather: Clear, 69 degrees
 Video: Match Highlights
 
Score
1
2
F
Sporting Kansas City (4-0-0, 12 pts)
0
1
1
Chivas USA (1-3-0, 3 pts)
0
0
0
 
      
Sporting Kansas City: Jimmy Nielsen©; Chance Myers, Matt Besler, Aurelien Collin, Seth Sinovic ; Julio Cesar, Roger Espinoza, Graham Zusi (Paulo Nagamura 89); Kei Kamara, C.J. Sapong (Teal Bunbury 72), Bobby Convey (Jacob Peterson 73)
 
Subs not used: Jon Kempin, Michael Harrington, Lawrence Olum, Luke Sassano
 
Chivas USA: Dan Kennedy; James Riley, Rauwshan McKenzie, Heath Pearce, Ante Jazic (Cesar Romero 80), Oswaldo Minda, Ryan Smith, Nick LaBrocca, Laurent Courtois; Alejandro Moreno (Miller Bolanos 72), Casey Townsend
 
Subs not used: Tim Melia, Scott Gordon, Peter Vagenas, John Valencia, Ben Zemanski
 
Stats
KC
CHV
Shots
19
6
Shots on Goal
6
0
Saves
0
5
Fouls
15
11
Offside
0
3
Corner Kicks
7
1
 
 
Misconduct Summary:
KC – Seth Sinovic (caution; professional foul) 34
CHV – Rauwshan McKenzie (caution, professional foul) 84
 
Scoring Summary:
KC – C.J. Sapong 3 (Graham Zusi 5) 47
 
Sporting Kansas City improved to 4-0-0 with a 1-0 victory on Sunday at Chivas USA, marking the first time in club history to have secured maximum points in each of the club’s first four MLS matches.
 
C.J. Sapong scored his team-best third goal of the season in the 47th minute on an assist from Graham Zusi, who now leads MLS with five assists on the year. Goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen recorded his third shutout of 2012, also a League-high, as Sporting Kansas City’s defense held their opponent without a shot on goal for the fourth time in club history on Sunday.
 
The first half at The Home Depot Center was highlighted by half-chances, largely created by Chivas USA midfielder Ryan Smith. Acquired from Sporting KC in the offseason, Smith nearly connected with rookie Casey Townsend in the 15th minute but Nielsen was quick off his line to smother the through ball.
 
Smith again threatened in the 44th minute but Sporting KC defender Aurelien Collin and Nielsen partnered in defense to prevent the English playmaker from finding ample space to shoot. The solid defensive display from both sides continued to withstand any and all attempts in the opening 45 minutes as Sapong’s shot in the 30th minute was the only shot on target in the half.
 
But Sporting Kansas City wasted little time after the halftime break to find the eventual match-winner. Less than two minutes after resuming play, Sapong played a pass to Zusi inside midfield with space to make a spirited run forward before firing a shot from 30 yards out. The blast caromed off the crossbar after Chivas USA goalkeeper Dan Kennedy got his fingertips to it in flight, eventually falling inside the six-yard box. Zusi put himself in position to win the header, bouncing it off the ground and into the path of Sapong to re-direct into the net from close range.
 
With the goal, Zusi now has assists in each of the team’s first four matches and the Maryland product has played a part in every game-winning goal so far this season with three game-winning assists and the game-winning goal against the New England Revolution.
 
Sapong’s strike was his third of the season, tied for fifth most in MLS, and gives him eight in his career after scoring five times during his Rookie of the Year campaign last season.
 
Sporting Kansas City continued to press with the 1-0 advantage, nearly capitalizing on a Bobby Convey corner in the 49th minute as Sapong’s scissors was cleared at the backpost by Smith before Julio Cesar’s follow-up volley worked its way through to Kennedy.
 
Chivas USA were inches from pulling even five minutes later as Nick LaBrocca’s shot from the top of the penalty area struck the outside of the post. The home side came close again in the 66th minute as Ante Jazic played a pass from the endline back for Townsend at the penalty spot but his first-time shot sailed high and wide.
 
Sporting Kansas City peppered 16 shots toward Kennedy throughout the second half, most in a half by any MLS team this season, and he made his best save of the match in the 73rd minute to turn away Kei Kamara’s header off a corner kick from Zusi.
 
Sporting Kansas City will return home to host the LA Galaxy at 3 p.m. CT on Saturday, April 7 at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park. The match will be nationally broadcast on ESPN and a very limited number of seats are still available.
 
LIVESTRONG Sporting Park will also host the CONCACAF Men’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament championship at 7 p.m. CT on Monday, April 2. Tickets are available at Ticketmaster.com or at the LSP box offices.
 
FAST FACTS:
  • With the win, Sporting Kansas City is 4-0-0 in 2012 and in first place of the Eastern Conference at the conclusion of week four. This is thefirst time Sporting Kansas City has started a season with four consecutive wins.
  • Sporting KC is 2-0-0 on the road in 2012 and is one of three teams with a perfect record on the road in MLS this year.
  • Sporting Kansas City is one win shy of a .500 record all-time (198-199-100) and has a 65-127-57 record on the road in the team’s 17-year history.
  • Sporting Kansas City’s all-time record against Chivas USA improves to 7-4-4 after the win.
  • Sporting Kansas City won for the third straight time on the road against Chivas USA, evening their record on the road in the series to 3-3-2.
  • Sporting Kansas City is 32-26-11 all-time in the month of April.
  • Sporting KC started the same lineup in Sunday’s match as theydid in their previous two matches against New England and FC Dallas.
  • Sporting Kansas City goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen earned his 20th shutout of his MLS career in Sunday’s match and how has three shutouts in the first four games of the 2012 season.
  • Nielsen has the second-lowest goals against average in MLS this season at 0.25.
  • Nielsen has the most wins (4) and shutouts (3) of any MLS goalkeeper.
  • Kansas City is second in the League in goals allowed, allowing just one goal in four games.
  • Sporting Kansas City is 2-0-0 against Western Conference opponents and Sunday was the second of six straight matches against Western Conference teams for Sporting Kansas City.
  • C.J. Sapong scored his third goal of the 2012 season, tied for fifth most in MLS this year.
  • Sporting Kansas City is 8-0-0 in MLS matches when Sapong scores a goal.
  • Sapong’s goal marks the third game-winning goal of his careerand second of the season, tied for second most in MLS this year.
  • Sapong is tied for fifth place in MLS this year with eights shots on goal. Sapong has put 80% of his shots on target this season, with eight of his 10 total shots on frame.
  • Sapong is averaging more than a goal per every 90 minutes played this year with three goals in 267 minutes of action.
  • Seth Sinovic earned the fifth yellow card of his career in the first half of Sunday’s match.
  • Graham Zusi earned the assist on tonight’s goal and now leadsMLS with five assists in 2012, tallying at least one assist in each of the team’s first four games. The four-game streak matches the longest in the League last year.
  • Only 22 players in MLS history have recorded assists in five or more consecutive regular season matches.
  • This is the first time that Graham Zusi has accumulated assists in four consecutive games. In 2011, he accumulated assists in three consecutive games in a streak that lasted from June 12 to June 25 and tied for third longest in the League.
  • Graham Zusi’s assist on the goal marks the seventh game-winning assist of his career and third of the 2012 season. Zusi leads the League ingame-winning assists in 2012 and is the only player in MLS with multiple game-winning assists.
  • Zusi moves into a tie for eighth place on the club’s all-timegame-winning assist chart, joining Chris Henderson and Francisco Gomez withseven.
  • Zusi now has 13 assists in his MLS career.
  • Sporting Kansas City held Chivas USA to zero shots at the end of the first half. Thelast time Sporting Kansas City was able to hold a team to zero shots in a half was on April 5, 2009 versus San Jose in a match with resulted in a 2-0 Kansas City victory.
  • Sporting Kansas City has outshot their opponent by ten or more shots in each of the first four games in 2012. KC leads the league in shots with 81 and shots ongoal with 30.
  • Sporting Kansas City’s 16 shots in the second half on Sunday was the most by an MLS team in a half this season.
  • Sporting Kansas City and Chivas USA combined for 22 shots in the second half on Sunday, most by any two teams in a single half of an MLS match this year.
  • Sporting Kansas City also leads MLS with eight assists and 23 corner kicks in 2012.
  • Sporting Kansas City is averaging 1.75 goals per game in 2012, third best in MLS.
  • Paulo Nagamura entered the match in the 88th minute replacing Graham Zusi. Nagamura came to Kansas City in trade with Chivas USA on November 29, 2011.
  • Kamara leads all MLS players in shots in 2012 with 28 and shots on goal with 12.
  • Sporting Kansas City held Chivas USA without a shot on goal in the entire match, marking the fourth time in club history that a KC goalkeeper has faced no shots. The other three times were:

    • 4/13/96 vs. Colorado 3-0
    • 9/20/2008 vs. Toronto 2-0
    • 9/10/2011 vs. Houston 3-0
  • Chivas USA become the third team in MLS this season to not record a shot on goal in a match.
  • Sporting Kansas City is tied with Toronto FC for the fewest shots allowed this season with 32.
  • Chivas USA earned a single corner kick on Sunday, tied for the fewest in an MLS match by a team this season.
  • Chivas USA midfielder Ryan Smith suffered five fouls on Sunday, tied for the most by a player in an MLS match this season.
  • Sporting Kansas City did not hold the majority of possession for the first time in the 2012 season.
  • Sporting Kansas City surpassed 45,000 minutes played in team history on Sunday.
  • Bobby Convey surpassed 14,000 minutes played in his MLS career in Sunday’s match. Convey becomes one of 88 field players all-time to surpass this milestone and just one of 33 active field players to accomplish this feat.
  • Peter Vermes sits atop the team’s all-time coaches chart for best winning percentage (.519, 31-28-21).
  • Broadcast sponsors for tonight's match were Anheuser-Busch, Panasonic, Providence, Sprint, US Bank, Time Warner Cable, Hendrick Auto, Roma Bakery.