Recap: Sporting KC powers past Toronto FC in 2-0 victory

C.J. Sapong and Julio Cesar score in front of largest crowd of season at LSP

Jacob Peterson - DL

Photo Credit: 
Getty Images

LIVESTRONG Sporting Park | Kansas City, Kan.
Attendance: 20,488
Weather: Sunny and 88 degrees
Video: Match Highlights

Score 1 2 F
Sporting Kansas City (9-3-1, 28 pts) 2 0 2
Toronto FC (1-10-0, 3 pts)  0 0 0

Sporting Kansas City: Jimmy Nielsen©; Chance Myers, Lawrence Olum, Aurelien Collin, Seth Sinovic; Julio Cesar, Roger Espinoza (Peterson Joseph 89), Graham Zusi (Konrad Warzycha 92+); Jacob Peterson (Soony Saad 73), Teal Bunbury, C.J. Sapong

Subs not used: Jon Kempin, Dom Dwyer, Michael Harrington, Michael Thomas

Toronto FC: Milos Kocic; Jeremy Hall, Doneil Henry, Adrian Cann (Ashtone Morgan 46), Richard Eckersley; Torsten Frings ©, Terry Dunfield, Eric Avila (Luis Silva 62); Reggie Lambe (Julian de Guzman 62), Ryan Johnson, Danny Koevermans

Subs not used: Quillan Roberts, Miguel Aceval, Joao Plata, Nick Soolsma

Stats KC TOR
Shots 17 12
Shots on Goal 5 3
Saves 3 3
Fouls 12 14
Offside 3 8
Corner Kicks 3 4

Misconduct Summary:

TOR – Reggie Lambe (caution; reckless tackle) 55
TOR – Ryan Johnson (caution; reckless foul) 77
KC – Teal Bunbury (caution; reckless foul) 82

Scoring Summary:

KC – C.J. Sapong 5 (Jacob Peterson 1, Chance Myers 4) 18
KC – Julio Cesar 1 (Graham Zusi 8) 35

Sporting Kansas City claimed their ninth victory of the season and moved into second place in the Eastern Conference by defeating Toronto FC 2-0 on Saturday in front of 20,488 fans, the largest crowd of the season at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park. C.J. Sapong scored his team-leading fifth goal of the year and Julio Cesar struck in superb fashion on Graham Zusi’s eighth assist of the season, tying him for most in MLS.

Sporting Kansas City established their dominance and displayed their high-pressure style early on in the match with a counterattack led by Seth Sinovic in the 3rd minute. Sinovic won the ball just outside of the 18-yard box and made a run down the left flank, passed to Teal Bunbury, who slipped in behind Toronto’s backline and crossed back to Sinovic at the mouth of the goal. Sinovic couldn’t capitalize, but established the tempo of the game nonetheless.

Just a minute later, a free kick from Graham Zusi from 35 yards was struck well but curled wide of the far, right post.The chances continued to come for Sporting KC, notably in the 11th minute when a long throw-in from Jacob Peterson was headed by Sapong to the foot of Julio Cesar, who took a low shot that went just wide of the right post.

Sporting Kansas City found the back of the net in the 18th minute when Chance Myers, sprinting down the right flank, slipped the ball to Jacob Peterson who made a perfectly-timed cross to Sapong. The 2011 MLS Rookie of the Year was stationed in front of Toronto’s goal and scored with a right-footed volley. The goal marked Peterson’s first assist for Sporting Kansas City and Sapong has now matched Kei Kamara, absent on international duty on Saturday, for the team lead with five goals this season.

Toronto had an excellent chance of their own in the 30th minute when Eric Avila slipped behind Sporting Kansas City’s backline and settled the ball off of a chip from Torsten Frings and shot low. The ball proceeded to hit the left post, carom across the goalmouth and bounce into the right post before Aurelien Collin intervened and cleared the ball from danger.

Sporting Kansas City scored again in the 35th minute when Julio Cesar capitalized off of a corner kick from Zusi. Cesar, just outside of the far right post, arrived at Zusi’s cross and struck the ball beneath the crossbar with a powerful, right-footed volley on his first touch. The goal marked Cesar’s first goal of the season and Zusi’s eight assist, tying 2011 MLS MVP Dwayne De Rosario for the League lead.

Toronto answered just two minutes later with a chance of their own when Ryan Johnson shot for the far post and missed. Danny Koevermans rebounded with a low header but was stopped by Jimmy Nielsen.

Depite being up by two goals going in to the second half, Sporting KC showed no signs of sitting back. In the 47th minute, Teal Bunbury thundered down the right flank, faked out Doneil Henry, crossed to Zusi in the box but his header went over the crossbar.

Toronto did not back down and showed their ambition in the 61st minute when Jeremy Hall made a piercing, low cross across Sporting KC’s goal to Avila on the left. The Toronto FC midfielder shrugged off Myers and curled the ball just past the far right post.

Toronto kept Nielsen busy in the 70th minute with a dangerous strike from second-half substitute Luis Silva that forced the Sporting KC captain to make a diving save. Toronto continued to pose a threat in the 72nd minute when Julian de Guzman nearly scored off of a corner kick from Frings.

Cesar looked to score his second goal of the night in the 80th minute when he took a hopeful strike from 30 yards out that sailed over the crossbar.

Toronto then continued to push back with a free kick from Frings in the 84th minute that bounced around the box and was settled by Johnson, who shot over the crossbar. In the first minute of second-half stoppage time, Toronto had their final chance at getting on the board with dangerous ball whipped across the box by Silva that didn’t find its target.

Sporting Kansas City will now return to the road for their next two MLS matches, traveling to Seattle to take on Sounders FC at 9 p.m. CT on Wed., June 20 and then on to Philadelphia to face the Union at 6 p.m. CT on Sat., June 23.  Both matches will be broadcast live on KSMO-TV at 8 p.m. CT.

FAST FACTS:

  • With the win, Sporting Kansas City’s record moves to 9-3-1 in 2012 and 6-1-0 at home this season.
  • With the win, Sporting Kansas City now leads MLS in points per game with 2.15 on 28 points in 13 matches.
  • C.J. Sapong scored the first goal of the game for the second consecutive match. The goal is Sapong’s fifth of the season and 11th of his career in MLS competition.
  • In Sapong’s two seasons with the club, Sporting Kansas City is 11-0-0 when he scores, including postseason competition.
  • Jacob Peterson earned the assist on Sapong’s goal, marking his first point since joining the club in the offseason.
  • Chance Myers also earned an assist on Sapong’s goal, marking his fourth in 2012 and sixth all-time.
  • With the goal, Sapong moves into a tie for fourth in MLS for game-winning goals with three.
  • Julio Cesar scored the second goal of the match marking his first goal of the 2012 season and third in his MLS career.
  • Zusi’s assist was his eighth of the season, which is tied with Dwayne De Rosario for the most in MLS this season.
  • Sporting Kansas City maintained 60.5% of the possession in tonight’s match.
  • Zusi leads the league is game-winning assists with four.
  • Zusi leads MLS with 0.67 assists per game this season.
  • Sporting Kansas City leads the league with eleven game-winning assists this year.
  • Sporting Kansas City’s all-time record moves to 203-202-101 and 137-73-43 at home in the team’s 17-year history.
  • Sporting Kansas City leads MLS in corner kicks this season with 84. 
  • Jimmy Nielsen leads the League in wins on the year with nine. 
  • Sporting Kansas City is 33-25-19 all-time in the month of June.
  • Kei Kamara missed the match due to international duty with Sierra Leone. He scored two goals in Sierre Leone’s 4-2 victory over Sao Tome e Principe on Saturday.
  • Sporting Kansas City has now scored first in 10 of 13 games this season. Sporting KC is 8-1-1 when scoring first.
  • Tonight marks the fourth time Sporting Kansas City scored two first half goals this season. The other three times were: the home opener at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park when they beat the New England Revolution 3-0 on March 17th, in a 2-2 draw at the Colorado Rapids on May 19th and at LSP on May 27th versus the San Jose Earthquakes.
  • Tonight’s match marked the first game Toronto FC played under their new head coach Paul Mariner, who succeeded Aron Winters.
  • Sporting Kansas City is 3-0-1 all-time against a coach making his MLS managerial debut.
  • Conversely, Toronto FC is 1-5-1 all-time in the opening match under a new manager.
  • Konrad Warzycha made his first appearance in MLS competition in tonight’s match as a second half substitute for Graham Zusi.
  • Soony Saad made his first appearance of 2012 in MLS competition in tonight’s match as a second half substitute for Jacob Peterson.
  • Jacob Peterson started his first match on Saturday since joining Sporting Kansas City.
  • Sporting Kansas City defender Chance Myers is the only field player to have played every MLS minute this season for Sporting Kansas City.
  • Sporting Kansas City captain and goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen has also played every MLS minute in net for Sporting Kansas City in 2012.
  • Sporting Kansas City winger Bobby Convey missed his second straight MLS match with a left calf strain. 
  • Toronto FC’s eight offside calls was the most of any team in a Sporting Kansas City match this season.
  • Toronto FC completed 244 passes, the fewest of any Sporting KC opponent in an MLS match this season.
  • Sporting Kansas City is now 5-1-1 when leading at halftime.
  • Sporting Kansas City is 8-2-1 when wearing Sporting Blue.
  • Sporting Kansas City is 3-2-0 against Eastern Conference opponents.
  • Tonight’s attendance was 20,488 – the largest crowd of the season.
  • All attendees received a coupon for a free Pepsi Max 2-liter from their local Price Chopper courtesy of Sporting Kansas City’s two goals in the match.
  • The first 5,000 fans at Saturday’s match received free Sporting KC t-shirts courtesy of match sponsor Time Warner Cable.
  • The LIVESTRONG Sporting Park Members’ Club hosted a launch party for Boulevard ZON following the match.
  • The 2012 Kevin Gray Awards were presented to Adrianna Franch, Derek Schrick and Allie Stephenson on Saturday in a special awards ceremony prior to the match. The three individuals were recognized on field at halftime of the match.

QUOTES:

Post-game quotes are available here.