Recap: Miller gives SKC wild 1-1 tie with Stoke in friendly

Kyle Miller's first pro goal equalizes Stoke City in stoppage time

Miller team celebrate vs Stoke

Photo Credit: 
Brian Davidson

LIVESTRONG Sporting Park | Kansas City, Kan.
Attendance: 16,197
Weather: Sunny and 99 degrees
Quotes

Score                                   

1     

2    

F

Sporting Kansas City

0

1

1

Stoke City FC

0

1

1

Sporting Kansas City: Eric Kronberg©; Korede Aiyegbusi, Neven Markovic, Konrad Warzycha, Kevin Ellis; Peterson Joseph, Michael Thomas, Soony Saad, Kyle Miller; Dom Dwyer, Teal Bunbury

Subs not used: Scott Angevine, Matt Besler, Michael Harrington, Lawrence Olum, Seth Sinovic, Julio Cesar, Bobby Convey, Kei Kamara

Stoke City FC: Asmir Begovic; Robert Huth (Ryan Shotton 18), Ryan Shawcross© (Robert Huth 46), Matthew Upson, Marc Wilson; Jon Walters (Michael Tonge 77), Matthew Etherington (Rory Delap 70), Dean Whitehead (Diego Arismendi 73); Wilson Palacios (Jamie Ness 55), Kenwyne Jones (Cameron Jerome 50), Peter Crouch (Mamady Sidibe 65)

Subs not used: Thomas Sorensen, Danny Higginbotham

 

Stats:              

KC

SCFC

Shots                

13      

10

Shots on Goal   

2

4

Saves                

3         

1

Fouls                

12   

8

Offside            

1      

4

Corner Kicks    

3  

3

Misconduct Summary:

KC – Michael Thomas (caution; unsporting behavior) 88

Scoring Summary:

SCFC – Michael Tonge (penalty kick) 84
SKC – Kyle Miller (unassisted) 92+

 

Sporting Kansas City drew 1-1 with English Premier League side Stoke City FC on Wednesday in an international friendly at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park. Michael Tonge’s penalty kick put the visitors ahead in the 84th minute but Overland Park, Kan. native Kyle Miller scored the game-tying goal in second-half stoppage time to leave both teams level.

The late goal, Miller’s first as professional since signing his hometown club on May 30, keeps Sporting Kansas City unbeaten in three straight matches against English Premier League clubs over the past three seasons, following a 2-1 win against Manchester United in 2010 and a 0-0 draw against Newcastle United FC a yearago.

The first chance of the match came in the fourth minute from the home side when Teal Bunbury’s attempt from 20 yards out was deflected out for a corner. Five minutes later, Soony Saad took a similar shot from the other side of the box and was just inches from the left post.

Stoke City FC had their first notable chance of the match in the 15th minute when KenwyneJones took a shot from 35 yards out that was struck just above the goalpost.

Stoke again threatened Sporting KC in the 21st minute when Jones thundered down the right flank and shot into the right side netting. Just four minutes later, Jonathan Walters whipped in a great ball from the left to Peter Crouch, who headed the ball high from close range.

Sporting Kansas City responded in the 27th minute when Saad took a low shot from 20 yards out that was denied by the woodwork. The game’s first shot on goal then came from Kevin Ellis in the 33rd minute when he was on the receiving end of a corner kick, heading it into the arms of Stoke City FC goalkeerp Asmir Begovic.

The 41st minute saw a chance for the visiting side when Ryan Shotton curled in a cross but Eric Kronberg valiantly came off his line and punched the ball out of danger. The first half ended scoreless, with possession evenly split between the two sides.

Kronberg opened the second half with a huge save in the 52nd minute. Walters slippedpast the backline and into the penalty area, but Kronberg did well to cut off the angle and saved the shot from the Irish international. 

The visiting side continued to pressure Sporting Kansas City’s defense in the 63rd minute when Crouch took a low, direct shot from the top of the box that was again saved by Kronberg again. One minute later, second-half substitute Cameron Jerome put another shot on frame but Kronberg threw his body in front of the shot to deflect it for his third and final save of the night.

Sporting Kansas City came back with a chance of their own in the 69th minute, when Saad took a set piece on the left flank that just skipped outside the far post.

Stoke City would open the scoring from the penalty spot when Konrad Warzycha was called for a foul in the box on Tonge along the endline. The 29-year-old Manchester native calmly converted the penalty, sending Kronberg to his left and placing the ball into the opposite corner.

The stage was then set for the stoppage-time equalizer as Miller, making his first professional start and second professional appearance, struck in the second of three minutes of added time. Begovic’s clearance from just outside the penalty area came straight to Miller, 40 yards from goal, and his first-time headerlooped over the stranded goalkeeper and into the empty net.

The 92nd minute goal, the latest goal scored at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park this season and one minute shy of Sporting Kansas City’s latest in all competition this season, keeps Sporting Kansas City unbeaten (1-0-3) in international friendlies under Manager Peter Vermes, with results against Manchester United (England), Newcastle United (England) and CD Guadalajara (Mexico) prior to Wednesday.

Sporting Kansas City will return to the road to face the New England Revolution at 6:30 p.m. CT on Saturday at Gillette Stadium, live on KSMO, WIBW and KMTW. The Members’ Club at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park willhost a Watch Party open to fans of all ages. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. CT andfans are asked to park in Lot D. The Pick Special ($3 for choice of chips and hamburger, hot dog or bratwurst) will be available to purchase and all Sporting Kansas City home jerseys will be on sale for 25% off. 

FAST FACTS:

  • Sporting Kansas City started nine of the 11 starters from their friendly versus Montpellier Herault SC last Tuesday. Teal Bunbury and Kyle Miller replaced Lawrence Olum and Julio Cesar.
  • Sporting Kansas City defender Kevin Ellis appeared in his second match of 2012 with the first team, starting and playing 90 minutes against Montpellier Herault SC on July 24th and starting and playing 90 minutes against Stoke City FC on Wednesday. Ellis dressed in the team’s 3-1 win at Montreal on July 4.
  • Amongst the eleven players in Sporting Kansas City’s starting lineup on Wednesday, the group had a combined 17 MLS Regular Season matches started in 2012 with 10 of those coming from forward Teal Bunbury.
  • Seven of the eleven starters from Wednesday's friendly have not started an MLS match in the regular season during 2012.  
  • Sporting Kansas City forward Korede Aiyegbusi appeared in his third straight match of 2012 with the first team. Aiyegbusi started and played 67 minutes against Montpellier Herault SC, followed by 19 minutes against Columbus as a second half substitute in MLS competition and most recently starting and playing all 90 minutes in Wednesday's friendly against Stoke City FC. 
  • Aiyegbusi is from London, England, which is roughly 150 miles from Stoke-on-Trent.
  • After signing on July 6, 2012, Neven Markovic has appeared in three straight matches against Montpellier Herault SC, the Columbus Crew and Stoke City FC.
  • Sporting Kansas City goalkeeper Eric Kronberg appeared in his second match of 2012 in all competition, starting and playing 90 minutes in both international friendlies this season. Kronberg recorded three saves in the friendly and has now faced Manchester United, Newcastle United, CD Guadalajara, Montpellier Herault SC and Stoke City FC since 2010.
  • Sporting Kansas City forward Dom Dwyer appeared in his third match of 2012 with the first team. Dwyer started in both international friendlies this season, clocking 55 minutes against Montpellier and 90 minutes against Stoke City FC. Dwyer also started in Sporting Kansas City’s 3-2 win over Orlando City SC on May 29 in the U.S. Open Cup.
  • Dwyer is from Cuckfield, England, which is roughly 200 miles from Stoke-on-Trent.
  • Sporting Kansas City defender Konrad Warzycha appeared in his fifth match of 2012 for the first team, starting and playing 90 minutes against Montpellier Herault FC and he also started and played 90 minutes against Stoke City FC. He played in one MLS match and two U.S. Open Cup games prior to Wednesday.
  • Sporting Kansas City midfielder Kyle Miller made his second appearance of 2012 for the first team on Wednesday. Miller appeared as a second half substitute against Montpellier Herault SC and started and played the full 90 minutes versus Stoke City FC. 
  • Miller was born and raised in Overland Park, Kansas and notched the equalizer in the 92nd minute of Wednesday night’s friendly. Miller’s goal was his first since joining the club on May 30, 2012. 
  • Miller becomes the second Sporting Kansas City player in as many seasons to score their first professional goal in an international friendly. Kevin Ellis scored for the first time in a KC uniform in the 86th minute against Club Deportivo Guadalajara last October in his third appearance for the club.
  • Miller’s goal came in the second minute of second-half stoppage time, making it the third latest goal scored by a Sporting Kansas City player in all competition in 2012. C.J. Sapong (at D.C. United) and Graham Zusi (at Philadelphia Union) both scored in the third minute of second-half stoppage time this year.
  • The goal is also one minute shy of the latest goal ever scored at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park, trailing only Omar Bravo’s goal in the third minute of second-half stoppage time on July 9, 2011 against Chivas USA. Miller’s goal becomes the fourth goal scored in the second minute of second-half stoppage time at LSP, joining Lamar Neagle (8/6/11), Bobby Warshaw (8/27/11) and Omar Bravo (9/5/11).
  • Stoke City FC’s goal in the 84th minute was scored on a penalty kick taken by Michael Tonge.
  • In three matches versus English Premier League opponents, Sporting Kansas City has allowed two goals and both came on penalty kicks. 
  • Sporting Kansas City is unbeaten (1-0-3) in international friendlies under Manager Peter Vermes, with results against Manchester United (England), Newcastle United (England) and CD Guadalajara (Mexico) prior to Wednesday.
  • In conjunction with the friendly, Stoke City FC held a coaches clinic at the Sporting Club Training Center in Swope Park on Monday. The team also held an open training and autograph session at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park on Tuesday.
  • Wednesday’s friendly against Montpellier marks Sporting Kansas City’s fourth international friendly to be played at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park, following last year’s matches against Newcastle United FC (EPL) and CD Guadalajara (Mexico), and this years match against Montpellier Herault SC.
  • Wednesday marks Kansas City’s third international friendly against an English Premier League opponent. Sporting Kansas City has yet to be defeated by a Premier League opponent, earning a 2-1 victory over Manchester United in 2010 and drawing Newcastle United FC 0-0 in 2011.
  • Wednesday marks the first time in 2012 that Sporting Kansas City went an entire match without making a substitution.Wednesday’s friendly was played with unlimited substitutions per an agreement between the two clubs.
  • Sporting Kansas City midfielder Roger Espinoza is with the Honduras Olympic team and missed Wednesday’s friendly.
  • Wednesday’s LIVESTRONG guest was Joseph Charles, who sat in the Victory Suite’s yellow chair.
  • The Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup trophies from 2004 and 2012 were on display at tonight’s match. The U.S. Open Cup trophy from when Kansas City won the tournament in 2004 was on display in the Field Club, while this year's trophy spent the first portion of the evening in the Members' Club before shifting to the Shield Club for the second half of the night.
  • Sporting Kansas City will resume MLS competition on Saturday when they travel to Foxboro, Mass. to face the New England Revolution at Gillette Stadium. 

QUOTES:

Sporting Kansas City Manager Peter Vermes

General thoughts on the match…

I actually thought we were very good the first half. Our build-up and pressure between the midfield and the forwards was great. We were a little impatient in the attacking half, but we deserved to get a result, no doubt.  The guys played well enough to get the result. It was good experience for those guys. They all got 90 minutes. It was a good day- no injuries.

On goalkeeper Eric Kronberg’s performance…

Eric has come into his own. He was injured for a while but he is an up and coming keeper. He has a lot of qualities; he’s capable of being a solid goalkeeper in the league.

On benefitting from international friendlies…

We try to use these games as best we can to give these guys experience and a full 90 minutes, but since we have the Open Cup final next week it was most important that we made it out with no injuries.Hopefully we will go in with a stronger group this Saturday and most important Wednesday.

On preparing for Saturday’s match with the U.S. Open Cup final in consideration… It’s a league match and we are right at the top of the table so we have to continue to pressure everyone and get points. Our group as matured and theyknow what they have to do; take one half at a time as opposed to one game at a time.  It’s understood that we have to get into a good rhythm and play well in New England. We take it game by gameYou can’t negate the fact that it’s a league game. We gotta take care of that first. We have enough time to get back together by Wednesday.

Sporting Kansas City forward Kyle Miller

On his goal…

We were down and we had to press the game and Teal did a great job pressing the goalkeeper. Fortunately, the clearance came right to me and I saw it at thelast second and I got a head on  it and it just went into the goal. On his first start and first career goal… I watched Stoke play growing up and it was unbelievable to play against guys like Peter Crouch and score in my hometown. I had 25-30 family members here tonight. It’s great to have them here to support me. It was an amazing night.

Sporting Kansas City defender Korede Aiyegbusi

On Sporting KC’s 1-1 draw against Stoke City…

It was a good game for us, especially because this group hasn’t played together too much. Stoke City wasn’t like Montpellier in the sense that they didn’t keep the ball as well. That allowed us to keep the ball more ourselves and we were able to open up some spaces. I feel like we did a better job keeping the ball and staying patient. We were relaxed, not scared.

On Stoke City’s playing style…

Stoke are very direct. They tried a lot of long balls, and even though they have a lot of tall players, we won most of the challenges. So when that happened, they didn’t have the ball and they had to chase us. That was good to see from us—we opened some gaps and passed very well at times, and I think Stoke was a little impatient.

On playing against an English club as a native Englishman…

Besides Manchester United, I’ve never really played any other English clubs. It was good to see where I match up. In these games, it’s good to see where I’m at compared to them. It tells me how much I can grow in the future. If I can get  more games behind me, I will only get better. If I can get more games and continue to improve as a player, days will get brighter.

On what the reserves can gain from playing in the match…

Since we don’t play that much, it was good for us to get on the field and enjoy it. Sure, we wanted to win, but we also wanted to play well tonight and feel good about ourselves while doing it. I just wanted us to play relaxed and have fun. If you have fun, you forget about the pressure and the fans. Once you start enjoying the game, the best will come out of you. That’s one thing I kept telling my boys, and I think we did well tonight enjoying the game.

Sporting Kansas City midfielder Michael Thomas

On Sporting KC’s 1-1 draw with Stoke City…

We came out with a little more confidence. We felt like we had something to prove after the Montpellier game, and we came out tonight with nothing to lose. We wanted to show LIVESTRONG Park how well we could play as a team. We stayed compact and didn’t let them play through us. Our defensive shape was a lot better and we were more patient going forward.

On Stoke City’s playing style…

Stoke is obviously a more direct team in terms of how they play the game. They tried to get the ball up in the air to (Peter) Crouch and (Kenwyne) Jones, but I think Neven (Markovic) and Konrad (Warzycha) handledthem well. Defensively we were organized and compact, so that was good to see.

On treserves getting playing time tonight…

I think it’s great for everyone’s confidence. It’s a very long season, and Peter keeps all the players on their toes. We’ve got to be ready for our opportunity whenever we’re given it. In both of these friendlies, I think we played well as a team, even if the results don’t necessarily show that. So tonight was a good confidence builder for the guys. And obviously playing against European competition is always a good experience.

On Kyle Miller’s equalizer in stoppage time…

I’ve never really seen anything like that before. I’m so happy for him. He’s been working hard all year, and he played well tonight. Me and him are good friends—we grew up together and went to the same high school, so I was totally stoked for him.

Stoke City FC Manager Tony Pulis

On Stoke’s American tour…

It’s been a terrific trip for us. We’ve really enjoyed our first trip to America. The players enjoyed it and everyone we’ve worked with- Orlando, Columbus and Kansas City- have all been absolutely magnificent. They’ve embraced the football club and the players. It was a great experience. It’s not just the facilities. It’s the people. They people have been wonderful. The whole experience has been first-class. The weather is extreme and unusual for us. To get used to it ask our players to perform has been good to us.

General thoughts on the match…

The players have worked very hard. They’ve been away for three weeks from home for three weeks and they had a day to prepare for this game.  They’ve done well and they’re all keen to get back to their families.

Stoke City FC forward Peter Crouch

General thoughts on the match…

It was a good game, we came here to test ourselves. Our boys put us through it tonight. We came here to improve and get tested. I think it was a good workout for us. We’re not used to the heat. It will nice to go back to England and feel the benefits of playing in the heat here.

On Stoke’s American tour…

I’m happy with our preseason. It’s about getting your fitness. Of course we want to do well and hit the ground running. I think we have had three good tests out here. We’ve all enjoyed ourselves. It’s a great place to play football.

Thoughts on MLS…

English players are at the top of their game coming to America to play. It’s fantastic stuff here. The stadium and the people are magnificent.

On his ambitions for Stoke City this upcoming season…

I think without the distraction of the UEFA league a top 10 finish is believable for us and we’d like to have a good cup run. They’re both possible for us.