Montpellier Herault SC earns 3-0 victory in international friendly at LSP

French champions get goals from signings Charbonnier and Herrera

Dwyer vs MHSC - DL

Photo Credit: 
Brian Davidson

LIVESTRONG Sporting Park | Kansas City, Kan.
Attendance: 14,769
Weather: Sunny and 102 degrees
Quotes

 

Score                                      1          2          F

Sporting Kansas City             0          0          0

Montpellier Herault SC          1          2          3    

Sporting Kansas City: Eric Kronberg; Kevin Ellis, Konrad Warzycha, Lawrence Olum © (Michael Harrington 59), Neven Markovic; Julio Cesar (Paulo Nagamura 76), Peterson Joseph, Michael Thomas; Dom Dwyer (Bobby Convey 55, Kyle Miller 81), Soony Saad, Korede Aiyegbusi (C.J. Sapong 67)

Subs not used: Scott Angevine

Montpellier Herault SC: Geoffrey Jourdren (Laurent Pionnier 46); Henri Bedimo (Teddy Mezague 46), Benjamin Stambouli (Cyril Jeunechamp 46), Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa (Mathieu Deplagne 46), Daniel Congre (Vitorino Hilton 46); Marco Estrada (Romain Pitau 46), Younes Belhanda (Remy Cabella 58), Jamel Saihi (Joris Marveaux 46); John Utaka (Souleymane Camara 48), Gaetan Charbonnier (Emanuel Herrera 46), Karim Ait Fana (Anthony Mounier 58)

Subs not used: Jonathan Ligali, Bryan Dabo, Jonathan Tinhan, Fode Koita

Stats:                                      KC     MHSC

Shots                           6          21
Shots on Goal             0          10
Saves                           7          0
Fouls                           9          5
Offside                        0          1
Corner Kicks               0          2

Misconduct Summary:

MHSC – Benjamin Stambouli (caution; tactical foul) 44

Scoring Summary:

MHSC – Gaetan Charbonnier (Marco Estrada) 39
MHSC – Emanuel Herrera (Anthony Mounier) 72
MHSC – Emanuel Herrera (unassisted) 92+

Sporting Kansas City fell 3-0 to reigning French Ligue 1 champions Montpellier Herault SC on Tuesday in an international friendly at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park. Recent MHSC signings Gaetan Charbonnier and Emanuel Herrera powered the visitors in the victory, while goalkeepers Geoffrey Jourdren and Laurent Pionnier combined for the clean sheet.

Possession was split evenly between the two sides for the first 25 minutes, with action on both sides of the field.

Sporting Kansas City goalkeeper Eric Kronberg, making his first appearance of 2012, made two excellent saves from the rapid-firing French side beginning in the 28th minute when Marco Estrada dribbled through midfield and shot from 25 yards out. Just three minutes later, Estrada was active again and played a ball over the top to Charbonnier. He did well to settle it off his chest, but was denied by Kronberg from close range.

Monpellier Herault SC nabbed their first goal of the night in the 39th minute when Estrada curled in a cross from the left to Charbonnier, who made no mistake this time in pushing his header past Kronberg.



Making nine changes to start the second half, MHSC would continue to show the skill that propelled them to the top of Ligue 1 and into the 2012-13 UEFA Champions League.

The team notched their second goal of the night in the 72nd minute when Anthony Mounier made a low pass to Herrera, stationed deep inside the penalty area. With Kronberg off his line, Herrera took an angled shot and slotted the ball in.

Ten minutes later, Peterson Joseph came close for Sporting KC with a bending shot from the corner of the 18-yard box that went wide of the right post. One of six players with shots on the night, Joseph was also one of six Sporting KC players to go the full 90 minutes in the friendly. 

Defenders Neven Markovic and Kyle Miller, the team's newest two signings, each made their Sporting KC debuts on Tuesday, while Kevin Ellis, Korede Aiyegbusi and Eric Kronberg each appeared in their first games of 2012 with the Sporting KC first team.

MHSC struck for their final goal on what would be the final play of the match in the second minute of second-half stoppage time. Kronberg did well to make his seventh save of the match to turn away an attempt from Mounier, but Herrera was there to collect the rebound and calmly convert the opportunity from a difficult angle near the endline.

Sporting Kansas City will resume play in the 2012 MLS regular season at 7:30 p.m. CT on Saturday with a match against Eastern Conference foe Columbus Crew at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park. The match, sponsored by Roma Bakery and Johnsonville, will be broadcast live on KSMO-TV and tickets are available at Ticketmaster.com or at the LSP Box Offices.

FAST FACTS:

  • Sporting Kansas City defender Neven Markovic was in the gameday roster for the first time since signing with the club earlier this month. He started and played 90 minutes in the friendly.
  • Sporting Kansas City defender Kevin Ellis appeared in his first match of 2012 with the first team, starting and playing 90 minutes on Tuesday. He dressed in the team’s 3-1 win at Montreal on July 4.
  • Sporting Kansas City forward Korede Aiyegbusi appeared in his first match of 2012 with the first team, starting and playing 67 minutes. He dressed in four previous MLS matches.
  • Sporting Kansas City goalkeeper Eric Kronberg appeared in his first match of 2012 in all competition, starting and playing 90 minutes. He recorded seven saves in the friendly and has now faced Manchester United, Newcastle United, CD Guadalajara and Montpellier Herault SC in the last two years.
  • Sporting Kansas City midfielder Kyle Miller made his first appearance of 2012 for the first team on Tuesday, replacing Bobby Convey in the 81st minute. He dressed in the team’s 2-0 win over the Colorado Rapids in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.
  • Sporting Kansas City forward Dom Dwyer appeared in his second match of 2012 with the first team, starting and playing 55 minutes on Tuesday. He also started in Sporting Kansas City’s 3-2 win over Orlando City SC on May 29 in the U.S. Open Cup.
  • Sporting Kansas City defender Konrad Warzycha appeared in his fourth match of 2012 for the first team, starting and playing 90 minutes. He played in one MLS match and two U.S. Open Cup games prior to Tuesday.
  • Tuesday’s friendly was played with unlimited substitutions per an agreement between the two clubs.
  • Sporting Kansas City assistant coach Kerry Zavagnin managed the game on Tuesday, while Manager Peter Vermes was in Philadelphia for the 2012 AT&T MLS All-Star Game.
  • Sporting Kansas City suffered their first loss in an international exhibition since 2007, when the team fell 2-0 to CA Boca Juniors in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
  • Sporting Kansas City lost at home for the first time against an international opponent since 2009, when the team fell 3-1 to Club Santos Laguna (Mexico) in SuperLiga.
  • In conjunction with the friendly, Montpellier Herault SC held a coaches clinic at the Sporting Club Training Center in Swope Park on Sunday. The team also held an open training and autograph session at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park on Monday.
  • Gaetan Charbonnier scored the game-winner in Tuesday’s match in the 39th minute. Charbonnier flicked in a header on a service from Marco Estrada.
  • Emanuel Herrera scored the final two goals in Tuesday’s match, scoring in the 72nd and 91st minutes.
  • Both Herrera and Charbonnier were recently signed by Montpellier during the team’s offseason.
  • Tuesday’s friendly against Montpellier marks Sporting Kansas City’s third international friendly to be played at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park, following last year’s matches against Newcastle United FC (EPL) and CD Guadalajara (Mexico).
  • Sporting Kansas City midfielder Roger Espinoza is with the Honduras Olympic team and missed Tuesday’s friendly.
  • Teal Bunbury missed Tuesday’s match after having oral surgery on Monday.
  • Sporting Kansas City was also without their three 2012 MLS All-Stars. Graham Zusi, Aurelien Collin and Jimmy Nielsen are in Chester, Penn. preparing to take on Chelsea FC on Wednesday at PPL Park, live on ESPN2 at 7:30 p.m. CT.
  • Major League Soccer will announce the inactive MLS All-Stars on Wednesday.
  • Montpellier Herault SC will next travel to Red Bull Arena to take on Lyon on Saturday in the Trophee des Champions.
  • Sporting Kansas City will host their second international friendly of 2012 on Wednesday, August 1 when they face Stoke City of the English Premier League.
  • The Columbus Crew defeated Stoke City 2-1 in a come-from-behind victory at Columbus Crew Stadium on Tuesday.
  • Sporting Kansas City will resume MLS competition on Saturday when they play host to the Columbus Crew at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park.
  • Tuesday’s LIVESTRONG guest was Nancy Kincaid, who sat in the Victory Suite’s yellow chair.

QUOTES:

Sporting Kansas City assistant coach Kerry Zavagnin

On Sporting KC’s friendly match against Montpellier…

The match was an absolute success from the standpoint that neither team had injuries. This is a key moment in our season, two weeks from a U.S. Open Cup Final and a few days away from a key conference game against Columbus. So we wanted to make sure all of our players came out unscathed. And from Montpellier’s perspective, I’m sure they would agree that no injury in the game bodes well for them as they enter their new season.

On Sporting KC’s performance in a 3-0 loss…

On the field, our first half product was decent in the way we defended. In the attacking moments of the game, and certainly when we won possession of the ball in transition, we were a little irresponsible and struggled to keep the ball and sustain the attack in their end of the field. So from a defensive end, it was solid. The offense certainly needs a bit of improvement. As the game wore on and changes were continually made, I think the continuity of our group became a little fragmented, both through fatigue and because of all the substitutions. That also caused for a wide-open game in the second half. Overall, it was a great opportunity for some of our guys who haven’t played major minutes. They played a great opponent in a great atmosphere.

On Montpellier’s strengths as a team…

They didn’t rush the game. While they played at speed, especially in moments of transition when they won the ball, I don’t think they were ever in a rush to develop the game. They took what came to them, and defensively they were very organized. I don’t think they allowed a shot on goal tonight, and they had meaningful possession in our end of the field. What you get in a lot of MLS games is a lot of up-and-down with frenetic pace. But their savviness really came out tonight, and their goals were well taken.

Sporting Kansas City goalkeeper Eric Kronberg

On Sporting KC’s performance in a 3-0 loss…

We fared well against a really good team. That was a really big test for us, probably the best team the reserves will play against all year for sure. Obviously we had some moments where we broke down a little bit, but on the whole I think we played decently.

On gaining experience against a good European club…

Anytime you can get a game against a team of that quality, it’s going to be a fantastic experience. I think everyone learned a lot and can use that in the games to come.

On Montpellier’s strengths as a team…

They know how to build an attack. I think that was very key. We defended as best we could and tried to be hard to break down, but it was hard to do that effectively. They got a lot of shots off. One thing I really noticed was their solid finishing -- they were clinical.

On his impressive kick-save in the first half…

That’s just a moment where you can see the shot is coming, and you’ve got to get set to be able to react. If you’re moving, you have no chance. So I was just trying to get my feet set so I could react to something, and luckily the shot was close enough to my leg so that I could get there in time.

Sporting Kansas City forward Dom Dwyer

On gaining experience against a good European club…

It was nice to play against a really talented opposition. Obviously it was really hot out there, so it was lots of hard work. But it was a good experience and I enjoyed it. We had a few good bits and bad bits, but they’re a really good team. So I think the result was fair. We were unfortunate to concede a third goal at the end, but overall it was a good experience.

On Montpellier’s strengths as a team…

They play a lot quicker. They take fewer moments off in the game -- they’re switched on the whole time. Playing against those high-level players, you learn a lot. You have to be sharp against your opposition, and I watched a video of them before the game. You get better from playing against better players. They’ve got some real quality players on their team. Younes Belhanda has class. He was great tonight -- had great skill and in my eyes was their best player on the field. He kind of set the tone for them.

Sporting Kansas City defender Kevin Ellis

On Sporting KC’s performance in a 3-0 loss…

It was a good game overall. They were a really good team, and we fought hard. I think we had some bright spots in the game, and we’ve also got some things to work on.

On making his first career start for Sporting Kansas City…

It’s a dream to play for my hometown team and to play 90 minutes against these guys. They were a great team. They’re in their preseason right now, but like all other professional teams around the world, they’ll just get better with every game they play.

On gaining experience against a good European club…

You always take every game as a learning experience, and if there’s someone to learn from, it’s definitely from a European powerhouse team. They moved the ball quickly, got it out wide and made good runs. They had quick ball movement and their players were fast and big. They had experience and a lot of confidence on the ball. As a player, you just want to get as technically good as they are.

Montpellier Herault head coach René Girard

Opening comments…

Tonight was a good test. It was the best for our current position (in the season).

Did this game prepare Montpellier for Saturday’s match…

Yes. It was very important to have good position and Sporting KC is in the middle of the MLS season and U.S. Open Cup final and for us we are only on our preseason games. Next Saturday is an important game against Lyon FC and this was the best way to prepare for it.

Facilities at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park…

It is night and day. When we are here, we want to stay here.

Montpellier Herault SC forward John Utaka

Opening comments…

Both teams were very competitive, it was a beautiful game. Both teams played well, I really enjoyed it. Physically it was very good; tactically as well. We were lucky we had the chance to score first. In general, it was a very good game.

Did this game prepare Montpellier for Saturday’s match…

I think we could say it was tough game. I think it will help us to prepare for Saturday.

Level of play and skill level…

The level was high. The players have good qualities. The goalkeeper for me was outstanding today despite the goals scored. There are good players on the team, quality players.

Montpellier Herault SC forward Emanuel Herrera

On scoring two goals in the victory…

It was good preparation for the game against Lyon. This is the final step before the Trophee des Champions. It was a good experience and we are content with our form.

Montpellier Henault SC defender Daniel Congre:

General comments on the match

 Yes, it was magic. The exhibition was very good. The Sporting Kansas City fans were very supportive. The atmosphere was very intense. The stadium was magic.

On preparing for Ligue 1

It was a really good pre-season game because the atmosphere of Major League Soccer and U.S. soccer is the same. We had a nice time here against a good opposition and Lyon did the same with Montreal Impact today. It was perfect conditions to prepare us for Trophee des Champions on Saturday.

On MLS

 I know Thierry Henry and all the French players that play here. I know Aurelien Collin plays for Sporting Kansas City, but he wasn’t here for the match because of the MLS All-Star game. A lot of good players are in Major League Soccer.

Favorite thing in America

Kansas City!