USOC: Soony Saad's second-half brace paces Sporting KC to 3-2 win over Orlando City

Second-half brace from Soony Saad leads Sporting past Orlando

Sinovic Orlando City Open Cup

Photo Credit: 
Nick Smith

LIVESTRONG Sporting Park | Kansas City, Kan.
Attendance: 12,217
Weather: 81 degrees and sunny

Score 1 2 F
Sporting Kansas CIty 1 2 3
Orlando City SC 0 2 2

Sporting Kansas City: Jon Kempin; Chance Myers, Konrad Warzycha (Matt Besler 85), Aurelien Collin, Seth Sinovic; Paulo Nagamura ©, Lawrence Olum, Peterson Joseph (Graham Zusi 59); Jacob Peterson, Dom Dwyer (C.J. Sapong 46), Soony Saad       

Subs not used: Jimmy Nielsen, Teal Bunbury, Michael Harrington, Luke Sassano

Orlando City SC: Miguel Gallardo(c); Kieron Bernard, Erik Ustruck, Luke Boden, Robert Valentino; Charlie Campbell, James O'Connor, Anthony Pulis, Kevin Molino; Dennis Chin, Jamie Watson (Ian Fuller 78)

Subs not used: Westley Allen, Kyle Davies, Sean Kelley

Stats KC OC
Shots 18 13
Shots on goal 11 8
Saves 6 8
Fouls 12 11
Offside 1 7
Corner Kicks 6 2

Misconduct Summary:

KC – Aurelien Collin (caution; tactical foul) 23
OC – Robert Valentino (caution; reckless tackle) 51
OC – Anthony Pulis (ejection; violent conduct) 70
KC – Jacob Peterson (caution; tactical foul) 78

Scoring Summary:

KC – Paulo Nagamura (Peterson Joseph) 47+
OC – Kevin Molino (Erik Ustruck) 55
KC – Soony Saad (Paulo Nagamura, C.J. Sapong) 65
KC – Soony Saad (unassisted) 69
OC – Dennis Chin (unassisted) 84

Sporting Kansas City advanced to the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup fourth round on Tuesday with a 3-2 win over Orlando City SC at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park. Second-year striker Soony Saad scored twice in a four-minute span during the second half to complement Paulo Nagamura’s strike in first-half stoppage time.

Sporting Kansas City will next host the Colorado Rapids, who were 3-1 winners over the Tampa Bay Rowdies, at 7:30 p.m. CT on Tuesday, June 5 at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park. Tickets to the match are included for all Sporting Kansas City Season Ticket Members and will be available to purchase on Wednesday at Ticketmaster.com or at the LSP Box Offices.

Tuesday’s match saw the two teams combine for 19 shots on goal, with Orlando City SC captain Miguel Gallardo making eight saves on the night. His first stop came in the 13th minute as he smothered a low shot from Nagamura.

On the opposite end, Sporting KC started homegrown goalkeeper Jon Kempin, who made six saves in his first team competitive debut. His first came in the 24th minute to deal with a shot from Charlie Campbell off a dangerous set piece outside the penalty area.

Two days later after playing the full 90 in a 2-1 win over San Jose, right back Chance Myers was called upon again for Sporting KC and came close to scoring off a Dom Dwyer cross in the 26th.

Five minutes later, Lions forward Dennis Chin broke free behind the Sporting KC backline, but Aurelin Collin recovered to intervene. The opportunity was averted only momentarily as Kevin Molino tested Kempin from the right side and saw his shot blocked from the right side.

The visitors continued to attack with Anthony Pulis sending his free kick narrowly over the top right corner. Kempin then made his best save of the match with five minutes to play in the half, extending fully to his left to push away Jamie Watson’s attempt from the top of the penalty arc.

Sporting KC would finally break the deadlock in the closing seconds of the first half. Gallardo did well to deny Saad in the first minute of stoppage time, but could do little about Nagamura’s long-range strike that dipped beneath the crossbar from 30 yards out.

Saad would steal the spotlight in the second half, indicating his intentions early with a shot off the far post less than a minute after the break.

But it was Orlando City SC that looked poised to equalize in the 52nd minute if not for Kempin coming off his line and turning away Watson in a 1-on-1 situation. The Lions would level three minutes later as Molino headed home from close range on a cross from Erik Ustruck, a late addition to the starting lineup.

Manager Peter Vermes inserted playmaker Graham Zusi to aid in the Sporting KC attack and the move nearly paid off instantly with the U.S. Men’s National Team midfielder providing a pass to Myers. Gallardo was forced into a kick save as Myers unleashed a shot from the right side of the area.

Sporting Kansas City would take command of the match with two goals over the next four minutes. The go-ahead goal came in the 65th minute as Saad received a pass from Nagamura and curled his shot inside the far post to give Sporting KC a 2-1 lead.

The advantage doubled following a corner kick from Zusi. Central defender Konrad Warzycha won the original header and Gallardo punched away the rebound, which fell to Saad outside the area. The Michigan product settled calmly and directed a low, driven shot through traffic for his second goal of the night and now becomes the sixth player in KC history with a multi-goal game in Open Cup competition.

Orlando City SC was then reduced to 10 players for the final 20 minutes when Pulis was sent off for a deliberate elbow following the restart. Nevertheless, the Lions pulled one back in the 84th minute on Chin’s well-struck goal, which deflected off Kempin en route to crossing the goalline.

All-Star Matt Besler was brought on to close out the match in central defense and Sporting Kansas City withstood the Lions late surge to advance to the Round of 16 for the second straight season and 12th time in club history.

 

FAST FACTS:

  • Eight of the 11 Sporting Kansas City starters made their first Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup appearance of their KC careers on Tuesday.
  • Jon Kempin, Konrad Warzycha and Dom Dwyer played their first competitive minutes for Sporting Kansas City on Tuesday.
  • Soony Saad played his first competitive minutes of 2012 for Sporting Kansas City on Tuesday.
  • Win the win, Sporting Kansas City improves to 3-2-1 in the round of 32 in Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup play.
  • Sporting KC is 14-12-4 all-time in U.S. Open Cup competition, including qualifiers.
  • Sporting Kansas City is now 9-4-3 versus non-MLS opponents and 9-5-1 at home in Open Cup competition.
  • Sporting KC has scored 59 goals all-time in Open Cup contests and has conceded 41 goals. 
  • Tuesday’s match marked the first meeting between Sporting Kansas City and Orlando City SC.
  • Paulo Nagamura captained Sporting Kansas City in Tuesday’s match. 
  • Nagamura recorded his first goal and first assist since joining Sporting Kansas City in the offseason.
  • The assist on Nagamura’s goal goes to Peterson Joseph, his first point since signing with the club.
  • Saad becomes the sixth KC player to record a multi-goal game in U.S. Open Cup play. The other five:

 

Player

Date

Result

Opponent

Chance Myers

May 25, 2011

W 5-0

NE Revolution

Ivan Trujillo

July 1, 2008

W 4-2

Carolina RailHawks

Davy Arnaud 

August 3, 2005

W 6-1

Des Moines Menace

Josh Wolff`

August 3, 2005

W 6-1

Des Moines Menace

Davy Arnaud

July 20, 2004

W 4-1

Atlanta Silverbacks

Igor Simutenkov

August 5, 2003

L 3-2

Colorado Rapids

 

  • Sporting Kansas City is now 6-1-0 in Open Cup competition when a player has a multi-goal game.
  • Saad’s two goals in tonight’s match catapult him into a tie for sixth place on the team’s all-time goals scored chart during U.S. Open Cup play.

 

QUOTES:

 

Sporting Kansas City Manager Peter Vermes

Opening comments…

All over the League with 16 teams playing, these teams come in here and this is their biggest game of the year. They want to prove that they can play against MLS teams. Orlando is a team that wants to become a team in MLS, so they have a lot to fight for. I thought our group did a pretty good job creating lots of chances. To score three goals was good. I thought Kempin was excellent in the first half to keep up in the game. He made some great saves. He did a very good job for his debut as a young goalkeeper. 

After I yelled so many times to Soony, he finally listened to me a little bit and he got into good positions and scored two goals. Ninety minutes in the short turnaround we had from Sunday wasn’t easy, but I thought all the guys contributed very well. It’s a good result for us and now we move on to the (fourth) round. Credit to our club and organization for not only getting this game but the next game at home for us as well.

On playing lesser used players…

In a game like this, especially where there’s overtime, you want to be really careful where you use your subs. The difficulty is the pace of normal games, MLS games, and especially ones like tonight because (Orlando was) playing for everything. When you’re not regularly starting in those games, it’s hard to have that tempo for 90 minutes. The pace was high and even the transition from offense to defense is difficult when you’re not doing it week after week.

On forward Soony Saad’s performance…

I think Soony is one of our better finishers on the team at the end of the day. He worked himself through 90 minutes and secured the win.

On advancing in the U.S. Open Cup…

I’m glad we were able to get past this round and get to the next round. Now we have to get ready for that next game next Tuesday.

On goalkeeper Jon Kempin’s performance…

Kempin has grown over the last few years now. He’s grown a lot and I thought he was very good tonight. He made some really good saves that kept us in the game and also didn’t lose his cool. There are a lot of things we’ve been talking about—managing the game, building out of the back and being confident—and I thought he was pretty good. For his debut, that was a big-time game.

Sporting Kansas City Midfielder Paulo Nagamura

I received a good ball from (Peterson) Joseph at the top of the box and turned to goal. I was feeling pretty confident. I hit it pretty well, and it was a great goal. I’ve scored goals from outside the box before, so it’s one of my strengths. I try to work on that a lot.

They are a very good team. Just because they are a USL team doesn’t mean they’re a bad team. We had to respect them, and you have to give them credit. They played pretty well. They had a lot of chances.

I’m very happy for a lot of our players. A lot of guys stepped on the field today who normally are reserves and don’t play as much. So I’m pretty happy with the performance of our team.

We’ve played Colorado already. They’re a strong team, but we know what they are good at. We will be ready. I’m glad we play them at home.

Sporting Kansas City Defender Chance Myers

On making attacking runs down the right wing…

Going forward and attacking is always part of the game plan for me. In our 4-3-3 formation, Seth (Sinovic) and I get forward a lot. It’s hard to defend because the opponent is man-marking the midfielders and forwards, which gives us the opportunity to cause trouble going forward. 

On Orlando City’s performance…

They’re a good team, and tonight they played really well. Kudos to them. They won their league last year. It’s always tough playing a team from a lower division because they’re going to fight extremely hard for the whole game. Orlando definitely did that.

On playing two full matches in three days…

To be honest, I think my body just went numb after 20 or 30 minutes and I got a second wind.

Sporting Kansas City Goalkeeper Jon Kempin

On his first professional appearance for Sporting Kansas City…

It was definitely good to get a couple saves under my belt in the first half to get my confidence up for the second half. Orlando City was a good team—a very good attacking side. They made a lot of dangerous runs and it was tough to track them.

On his thoughts before the game…

My music was extra loud on the drive to the stadium. I had a very good warm-up, and I think that was key to getting ready for the game. If I would have had a weak warm-up, I might have gone into the game a little shaky. It feels great to get the first game out of the way. I’ve been ready, though. This whole year I’ve been ready. Now I know if something were to happen and I had to come in and play, I’d feel confident.

On his diving save at the end of the first half…

It was a really good shot. I anticipated that he would try to bend it, got a good read on it, and just dove. I stretched out as far as I could and made the save.

Sporting Kansas City Forward Soony Saad

Opening comments…

I thought it was a good game overall. The heat was a little bit of a factor but we played through it and we stayed compact and disciplined. We got the goal in the first half, we came into halftime with a one-goal lead, and we built on it. They tied it up but we just kept pushing. I was in the right spot and the coaches always tell me to take some off my shot and place it, and I just put it in the corner. Then the second one came and it gave us a little bit of a cushion. They were fighting back and we had a little bit of a scare at the end but we stayed true to our defense and we played really well.

On his two-goal performance…

It was tied 1-1 and I was running as fast as I could so that we would have more time to eventually get the lead and win the game. I gave it 150 percent and I stayed tactically aware and ready for anything. As the game wore on I was hearing directions from everybody, where to step and when to step, and I felt like I was doing a little bit better closing the game off which helped us a lot.

On his second goal of the match …

My job was to wait at the top of the box. And that’s what it’s for—to get anything from the corner kick, clean it up, and put it on goal. I like to shoot from distance so it was my bread and butter.

Orlando City Manager Adrian Heath

On Orlando City’s performance in a 3-2 loss to Sporting Kansas City…

We’ve come here and given a reasonable account of ourselves. I wasn’t surprised with that. We try to play open, attractive football and at times we played really well. I think we’ve had the best chances tonight. We had two or three one-on-ones in the first half. Overall, I was pleased with our performance despite the loss. Maybe if we had scored first or taken more of our chances, then we might have made more of it.

On Sporting Kansas City’s strengths…

They are a really good organization. For me, the best thing is how well they’ve treated our club and players. The training facility was first class and they’ve done everything they could to make our trip go well. We knew it was going to be difficult playing here. I was glad they didn’t play their front three from Sunday because they looked a bit lively! They’ve got a lot of good things going on here. Come the end of the season, I don’t see any reason why they won’t be challenging for the MLS title.

On Orlando City’s attacking approach to the game…

That’s what I expect from my team. When you get the chances that we have had against a quality team, you can’t waste them. We’ve created really good opportunities tonight, but we had to do better with them. I was pleased we scored the second goal at the end to make it 3-2. Anything less than 3-2 would not have been an accurate reflection of the game.

On LIVESTRONG Sporting Park…

It’s a lovely stadium. This venue is going to be a very hard place to win for visitors. If they continue to get home ties, I fancy them to go very far in this competition.

Orlando City Forward Dennis Chin

On Orlando City’s performance in a 3-2 loss to Sporting Kansas City…

We’re very disappointed with the loss because we had a lot of chances in the game. It’s tough to go back home without a win. They are a very good team, but we had every chance to win. I think we showed tonight that we can pretty much compete with anyone. We just have to make sure we continue to take care of business in our own league.

On Orlando City’s attacking approach to the game…

We play a very attacking style of soccer. We will always do that, no matter the opponent we play. Tonight we created plenty of chances, but I missed a few, which is really disappointing.

On his goal in the 84th minute, which made the score 3-2…

I still had plenty of energy by the end, so I moved toward goal, had a look at the keeper, and decided to shoot.