Sporting KC suffers 2-1 loss to Columbus Crew

Kei Kamara scores team-leading eighth goal of the season

Teal Bunbury vs Crew - DL

Photo Credit: 
Kory Brinton

LIVESTRONG Sporting Park | Kansas City, Kan.
Attendance: 18,938 (sell out)
Weather: Sunny and 96 degrees
Video: Match Highlights

 

Score                                                              1          2          F
Sporting Kansas City (11-7-4, 37 pts)           1          0          1
Columbus Crew (8-7-4, 28 pts)                     2          0          2

Sporting Kansas City: Jimmy Nielsen©; Michael Harrington, Lawrence Olum (Neven Markovic 84), Matt Besler, Seth Sinovic; Paulo Nagamura, Graham Zusi, Jacob Peterson (Korede Aiyegbusi 71); Kei Kamara, Teal Bunbury, Bobby Convey (Julio Cesar 64)

Subs not used: Eric Kronberg, Peterson Joseph, C.J. Sapong, Michael Thomas

Columbus Crew: Andy Gruenebaum; Josh Williams, Carlos Mendes, Chad Marshall, Sebastian Miranda; Chris Birchall, Eddie Gaven, Cole Grossman; Justin Meram (Ethan Finlay 72), Jairo Arrieta (Julius James 98+), Dilly Duka (Tony Tchani 84)

Subs not used: Matt Lampson, Eric Gehrig, Olman Vargas, Emilio Renteria

Stats:                                      KC     CLB

Shots                           25        12
Shots on Goal             6          3
Saves                           1          5
Fouls                           9          11
Offside                        4          3
Corner Kicks               10        4

Misconduct Summary:

CLB – Chris Birchall (caution; tactical foul) 71
CLB – Cole Grossman (caution; delaying a restart) 94+
CLB – Cole Grossman (ejection; serious foul play) 95+

Scoring Summary:

KC – Kei Kamara 8 (Graham Zusi 9) 8
CLB – Jairo Arrieta 1 (Josh Williams 2) 17
CLB – Jairo Arrieta 2 (unassisted) 34

 

Sporting Kansas City fell 2-1 to the Columbus Crew in front of a sold out crowd at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park on Saturday. Sporting KC claimed the first goal of the night off of a header from Kei Kamara for his team-leading eighth goal of the season, but Columbus fought back with a brace from Jairo Arrieta.

Sporting Kansas City remains in second place in the Eastern Conference, one point shy of the New York Red Bulls.

Columbus opened the half strong, with captain Chad Marshall forcing Nielsen to tip his header over the crossbar in the second minute. Josh Williams connected with a Chris Birchall corner kick at the far post a minute later but sent the header narrowly high of goal.

The home side pushed right back, notching the first goal of the night in the game’s eighth minute. Graham Zusi swung in an arching free kick from 45 yards out to Kamara, who made a perfectly-timed leap and headed the ball past Kansas City native Andy Gruenebaum. The goal marked Kamara’s eighth goal of the season and Zusi’s ninth assist, moving him into a tie for third most in MLS this season.

Seth Sinovic looked to score his first ever MLS goal in the 15th minute when he was on the receiving end of a long ball and made a run on goal, slipping through Columbus’ backline and shooting only to hit the side netting.

Columbus equalized two minutes later when Williams played a through ball to Arrieta, who ditched his mark and shot from close-range, nabbing his first MLS goal.

The Costa Rican international scored his second of the match in the 34th minute after he collected the ball inside midfield and stormed towards goal, unleashing a well-struck shot from 30 yards out past Nielsen.

Sporting Kansas City responded with a chance of their own within a minute when Zusi won the ball on the right flank and crossed to Jacob Peterson. He connected with the volley but it sailed just over the crossbar.

Looking to draw level with five minutes left in the first half, Bobby Convey served in a corner to Matt Besler. He was left all alone at the back post, however his header was held by Gruenebaum from close range.

Trailing at the half for only the second time at home all season, Sporting Kansas City would respond in the second-half with an all-time club high 19 shots in the second half while holding the Crew to a single attempt.

The 51st minute saw an impressive chance for Sporting Kansas City when Zusi smacked a right-footed volley from outside the box that Gruenebaum did just enough to tip into the crossbar. Teal Bunbury was there for the rebound but his shot went just wide with little time to react.

Bunbury continued to threaten five minutes later when he received a ball from Peterson and broke free for a one-on-one with Gruenebaum. The Columbus goalkeeper was up to the task, denying two shots from Bunbury from a tight angle.

Sporting KC nearly bagged a second goal in the 64th minute when Michael Harrington served in a cross to Besler on the far right post. Besler slid inside the six-yard box to redirect the cross on frame but he was narrowly wide of the goal.

Another close call came two minutes later when Kamara got his head on a long throw-in from Besler only to see it carom off the crossbar.

The scoring opportunities continued to pour in for Sporting Kansas City in a game in which they controlled more than 68 percent of the possession. Second-half substitute Julio Cesar took a dipping shot from 40 yards out in the 79th minute but was just high of the net. 

Columbus was reduced to 10 men in the fifth minute of stoppage time when Cole Grossman was shown a straight red card for a cleats-up tackle on Zusi near midfield.

With little time remaining to capitalize on the man-advantage, Sporting KC’s final chance of the match came in the 97th minute when Korede Aiyegbusi, making his season debut, tapped the ball to Kamara through a crowded penalty area. The Sierra Leone international was in prime position to earn a dramatic last-gasp equalizer but under pressure from Gruenebaum pushed the attempt just past the post.

Sporting Kansas City will host English Premier League side Stoke City FC at 7:30 p.m. CT on Wednesday at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park. Tickets for the international friendly are available online at Ticketmaster.com or at LSP box offices. 
 

FAST FACTS:

  • With the loss, Sporting Kansas City’s record moves to 11-7-4 in 2012 and 6-3-2 at home this season.
  • Sporting Kansas City remains in second place in the Eastern Conference with 37 points, one point back of the New York Red Bulls.
  • Sporting Kansas City is 136-75-45 at home all-time in regular season and 15-5-8 at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park in the regular season.
  • Sporting Kansas City is 205-206-104 all-time in MLS regular season play. 
  • Sporting Kansas City is now 19-21-5 all-time against the Columbus Crew in the regular season and 10-9-2 at home in the match-up.
  • Sporting Kansas City is 5-6-2 against the Eastern Conference in 2012.
  • Kei Kamara is one of three MLS players to score eight or more goals in three consecutive seasons along with Chris Wondolowski and Alvaro Saborio.
  • With the goal, Kamara now has 28 goals in his KC career. That total ties Scott Sealy and Vitalis Takawira for sixth most in club history.
  • Prior to Kamara’s goal in tonight’s match, Sporting Kansas City hadn’t scored a goal at home in 332 minutes dating back to a 2-0 win against Toronto on June 16, 2012.
  • Graham Zusi earned the assist on Kamara’s goal on a free kick from 45 yards out. The assist is Zusi’s ninth in 2012 and seventeenth all-time during the regular season. Zusi is now tied for third in MLS for assists in 2012.
  • Kamara’s goal was the second goal allowed by Columbus off a free kick during the 2012 MLS season.
  • Sporting Kansas City has scored six times in the first fifteen minutes of an MLS match this season.
  • Kamara leads all MLS players with 87 shots in 2012 and 36 shots on goal.
  • Kei Kamara scored for the second time against Columbus, his former club. His two goals against the Crew are tied for the most among Sporting KC active players, along with Teal Bunbury and Jacob Peterson.
  • Prior to Jairo Arrieta’s goal in the 17th minute, Sporting Kansas City had not allowed a goal at home in 228 straight minutes.
  • Arrieta, who made his MLS debut against Sporting Kansas City earlier this month, scored the first two goals of his MLS career on Saturday.
  • Jairo Arrieta’s second goal came from 40 yards out, marking the Crew’s sixth goal of the season from outside the penalty area.
  • Sporting KC is yet to score from beyond the 18-yard box through 22 MLS matches in 2012.
  • Saturday’s match marks the second time in 2012 that Sporting Kansas City has allowed two goals in the first half. The only other occasion came at Philadelphia.
  • Saturday was also second time in 2012 that Sporting Kansas City has allowed two goals at home. The only other occasion came in a 2-0 loss to Montreal. 
  • The match also marked just the second time in 2012 that Sporting Kansas City trailed at halftime at home. 
  • Sporting Kansas City is now 0-4-0 when trailing at halftime in 2012.
  • Sporting Kansas City has allowed only seven goals in 11 regular season home matches this season, the fewest goals conceded at home by an MLS team in 2012.
  • Saturday’s match marked the second of three meetings between Sporting Kansas City and the Columbus Crew in 2012. Sporting Kansas City is 1-1-0 in the series, winning the first match-up 2-0. The final regular season meeting will come on October 7 at Columbus Crew Stadium.
  • Saturday’s temperature was 96 degrees and Sporting KC is 4-5-2 when the conditions are above 75 degrees in 2012.
  • Sporting Kansas City is 9-6-4 when wearing Sporting Blue uniforms this season.
  • Sporting Kansas City is 10-6-3 on natural grass playing surfaces this season.
  • Sporting Kansas City is 6-5-2 in the Central Time zone this season.
  • Sporting Kansas City is 3-2-2 in July in all competition and moves to 37-31-22 all-time in MLS action during the month of July.
  • Sporting Kansas City is 6-5-0 in games decided by one goal in 2012.
  • Sporting Kansas City is 9-5-2 when outshooting an opponent in 2012.
  • Sporting Kansas City set an all-time record for most shots in a half on Saturday with 19 attempts in the second half.
  • Sporting Kansas City goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen now has a 1.10 career goals against average in MLS regular season action, second best in MLS history among goalkeepers with 4,000 minutes played.
  • Nielsen is now the only Sporting KC player to appear in all 22 MLS regular season matches thus far in 2012. Nielsen has played every MLS minute in net for Sporting Kansas City in 2012.
  • Jacob Peterson was replaced in the 67th minute by Korede Aiyegbusi due to a sprained right shoulder. The appearance marks Aiyegbusi’s first of 2012 and ninth of his MLS career. 
  • Sporting Kansas City's 356 shots this season are most in MLS.
  • Sporting Kansas City leads MLS in all-time shots taken with 7,005.
  • Sporting KC leads MLS in corner kicks this season with 138.
  • Sporting Kansas City midfielder Graham Zusi leads MLS with 91 corner kicks this season.
  • Sporting Kansas City made two changes to their starting lineup from their 0-0 draw with New England last Saturday. Lawrence Olum and Teal Bunbury replaced Aurelien Collin and C.J. Sapong.
  • The Crew made no changes to their starting lineup from their last match, a 1-0 victory at Columbus Crew Stadium versus D.C. United. 
  • Aurelien Collin missed his first MLS match this season due to facial fractures suffered in the MLS All-Star Game on Wednesday. 
  • Sporting Kansas City defender Michael Harrington started the 125th regular season game of his MLS and KC career. Harrington is the only player on the club’s active roster to have started 125 regular season games in a KC uniform and one of four players to do so in their MLS career. 
  • Sporting Kansas City forward Kei Kamara started the 125th regular season game of his MLS career on Saturday. Kamara is one of four players on Sporting Kansas City’s active roster to have started 125 regular season games. 
  • Defender Chance Myers missed tonight’s match due to a groin strain.
  • Sporting Kansas City midfielder Roger Espinoza is with the Honduras Olympic team and missed Saturday’s match. Honduras tied 2-2 against Morocco in their first match on Thursday and will face Spain on Sunday.
  • Peter Vermes managed the 101st match in his KC coaching career on Saturday, tying Curt Onalfo for third most in club history.
  • Sporting Kansas City held the Crew to one shot in the last 55 minutes of the match on Saturday.
  • Sporting Kansas City leads Major League Soccer with the fewest shots against (228).
  • Attendance at Saturday’s match was 18,938, marking the team’s ninth straight sell out. Sporting Kansas City has sold out ten of their eleven MLS home games this year.
  • Saturday’s match marked the third of four straight home games for Sporting Kansas City, with two in MLS play and two international friendlies.
  • Sporting Kansas City surpassed three million fans all-time for regular season home matches on Saturday.
  • Anheuser-Busch held a special poolball activity in the Sprint Plaza prior to Saturday’s match. 
  • Sporting Kansas City launched their 2013 season ticket renewal campaign on Saturday. For more information, visit loveandsporting.com. 
  • Johnsonville and Roma Bakery were the match sponsors on Saturday and co-sponsored Buck-a-Brat night.
  • Sporting Kansas City recognized Katy Gray Saturday at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park. Katy is the late wife of Kevin Gray, the former president of the KC Sports Commission. 
  • Sporting Kansas City was caught offside four times on Saturday, matching the club’s single-game high this season.
  • Sporting Kansas City’s nine fouls committed on Saturday matches the club’s single-game low this season.
  • Teal Bunbury matched his all-time career high with seven shots on Saturday.
  • Sporting Kansas City outshot the Columbus Crew 25-12 on Saturday, including a 19-1 advantage in the second half. 
  • Sporting Kansas City defender Never Markovic made his MLS debut on Saturday, entering the match in the 84th minute.
  • Sporting Kansas City has not scored at home in the second half since April 14th, a span of seven straight home matches.
  • Columbus Crew midfielder Cole Grossman received a red card in second half stoppage time and will be suspended for the team’s next match at D.C. United.
  • The ejection was the third given to a Sporting KC opponent in 2012. Two of the red cards have come in second-half stoppage time.
  • Referee David Gantar issued his seventh red card in 12 career MLS matches.
  • Sporting Kansas City lost for only the second time in 2012 when scoring the game’s opening goal. The team is now 9-2-2 when scoring first in 2012. 
  • Sporting Kansas City’s winless streak at home reached four games on Saturday. The team’s last home victory came on June 16th against Toronto FC.

Quotes

Postgame quotes are available on SportingKC.com