Sporting KC remains in first place with 1-1 draw against New York

Kei Kamara scores team-leading 10th goal of season

Teal Bunbury vs Red Bulls

Photo Credit: 
Kory Brinton

LIVESTRONG Sporting Park | Kansas City, Kan.
Attendance: 18,491 (sell out)
Weather: 84 degrees and partly cloudy
Video: Match Highlights
Quotes

 

Score

1

2

F

Sporting Kansas City (14-7-5, 47 pts)

1

0

1

New York Red Bulls (13-7-6, 45 pts)

1

0

1

Sporting Kansas City: Jimmy Nielsen ©; Seth Sinovic, Matt Besler, Aurelien Collin, Chance Myers; Julio Cesar, Paulo Nagamura, Roger Espinoza; Kei Kamara, Teal Bunbury (C.J. Sapong 14), Graham Zusi

Subs not used: Eric Kronberg, Michael Harrington, Lawrence Olum, Oriol Rosell, Soony Saad, Michael Thomas

New York Red Bulls: Bill Gaudette; Connor Lade, Markus Holgersson ©, Heath Pearce, Wilman Conde; Jan Gunnar Solli (Roy Miller 91+), Teemu Tainio, Tim Cahill, Dax McCarty; Sebastien Le Toux, Kenny Cooper (Joel Lindpere 70)

Subs not used: Luis Robles, Brandon Barklage, Stephen Keel, Jonathan Borrajo, Jose Angulo

 

Stats:              

KC

NY

Shots                

14      

3

Shots on Goal   

3

0

Saves                

0         

2

Fouls                

14 

18

Offside            

1      

1

Corner Kicks    

5  

0

 

Misconduct Summary:

KC – Aurelien Collin (caution; persistent infringement) 35
NY – Tim Cahill (caution; reckless tackle) 45
KC – RogerEspinoza (caution; unsporting behavior) 68
KC – C.J. Sapong (caution; reckless foul) 76
NY – Wilman Conde (caution; reckless foul) 77

Scoring Summary:

KC – Kei Kamara 10 (Teal Bunbury 1, Graham Zusi 12) 4
NY – Own Goal (Kei Kamara) 28

Sporting Kansas City drew 1-1 with the New York Red Bulls on Sunday at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park.  Kei Kamara scored his team-leading 10th goal of the year to keep Sporting KC in first place in the Eastern Conference, two points ahead of New York with eight games to play.

Sporting Kansas City burst out of the gates with the top spot in the conference on the line and went up a goal in the first four minutes. With Graham Zusi’s service from midfield drawing goalkeeper Bill Gaudette out of the box, Teal Bunbury was first to the ball and chipped the ball to Kamara, who sent in a perfectly-aimed header that put the home side ahead.

The two teams remained relatively quiet until the 20th minute when Aurelien Collin looped in a header that was just wide and high of the far post. Collin again took another attempt seven minutes later, receiving a corner kick from Graham Zusi and aiming another header on goal, this time better-placed but into the arms of Guadette. 

The Red Bulls equalized off of an own goal in the 28th minute after Sebastien Le Toux curled in a free kick from the left sideline that was directed toward Tim Cahill. In a rush to deflect the dangerous ball, Kamara’s header ended in the back of the net to draw the rivals level.

Neither side could create scoring opportunities in a half that saw Sporting KC hold the Red Bulls without a single shot.  Sporting Kansas City’s last effort of the first half came five minutes into stoppage time when Paulo Nagamura barged down the right flank and sent in an arching shot, just wide of the crossbar.

The second half commenced with Sporting KC continuing to control possession. Ten minutes in, Nagamura took a well-struck volley from the top of the box that was saved by Gaudette. Sporting Kansas City continued to push for the go-ahead goal two minutes later when Sapong received a cross from Chance Myers and made a diving header, denied again by Gaudette.

New York responded in the 65th minutes when Dax McCarty led a counter attack, slipping the ball to Le Toux at the penalty spot but the striker sent his first-timeshot well over the crossbar.

Kamara sought his second goal of the night in the 80th minute when he took a driving free kick that cleared the wall and was just a glance wide of the left post. Sapong took a long-range effort of his own two minutes later when he evaded New York’s defense and sent in a swinging ball that went wide.

Both sides kept up the tempo for the final 10 minutes of the match, with action in both ends but no shots on goal. New York had a golden opportunity in the fourth minute of second-half stoppage time when Le Toux and McCarty broke away, catching Sporting Kansas City on the counter. Myers made the recovery run back on defense and denied McCarty just outside of the goal.

Sporting Kansas City, unbeaten now in their last four MLS matches, will host Toronto FC at 7:30 p.m. CT on Saturday, Sept. 1 at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park. Tickets are available online at Ticketmaster.com and at LSP Box Offices.

FAST FACTS:

  • Sporting Kansas City are now 14-7-5 on the season and remain in first place in the Eastern Conference with 47 points, two points ahead of New York.
  • Sporting KC’s 47 points are second most in MLS this season and the team’s 1.81 points per game are also second-best behind San Jose.
  •  
  • Sporting KC are 7-3-3 at home this season in MLS play and 137-75-46 all-time at home.
  • Sporting Kansas City are 208-206-105 all-time. The team has more draws than any other team in MLS history.
  • Sporting KC have the most wins (14) and best goal differential (+9) of all teams in the Eastern Conference this season.
  • New York set season lows in shots (3), shots on goal (0) and corner kicks (0) on Sunday.
  • Sunday’s match marked the third MLS match in 2012 that Sporting KC has not allowed ashot on goal.
  • Prior to 2012, Sporting Kansas City had held an opponent without a shot on goal only three times in team history.
  • Sunday was the sixth MLS match in 2012 that Sporting KC goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen did not make a save.
  • The Red Bulls have gone seven straight MLS matches without a win on the road, dating back to May.
  • The all-time regular season series between Sporting KC and New York Red Bulls remains even at 17-17-10. Sporting Kansas City are 14-7-3 at home in the regular season series.
  • Sunday’s match was the first of three meetings between Sporting KC and the New York Red Bulls this season. The two teams will meet twice more at Red Bull Arena in the final two months of the season.
  • Sunday’s match was the first of three consecutive MLS home matches for Sporting KC. The team has eight games remaining in the regular season with four at home and four on the road.
  • Sporting Kansas City are unbeaten in their last four MLS matches and went 3-0-1 in MLS play in the month of August.
  • Kamara leads all Sporting KC players with 10 goals this season, matching his single-season career high.
  • Kamara is now tied with Chris Pontius for tenth in the League for goals scored this season with 10.
  •  
  • He now has 30 goals in his KC career and 44 in his seven MLS seasons.
  • He is now tied with Ariel Graziani and Stern John for the No. 40 spot on MajorLeague Soccer’s all-time goal scoring chart.
  • Kamara’s goal was the 10th goal scored on a header for Sporting KC this season.
  • Kamara leads MLS with 100 shots this season and 40 shots on goal.
  • Kamara's 100 shots this season are the most by a KC player since Preki in 1996 (140).
  • He has 422 shots in his MLS career, surpassing Brad Davis for the No. 23 spot among all-time MLS leaders.
  • Sporting Kansas City is 7-2-1 when Kamara scores this season.
  • Kamara scored for the second straight match and now has goals in four of his last seven matches.
  • The fourth minute goal was the eighth scored by Sporting Kansas City in the first 15 minutes of an MLS match this season, tying the club for the most in MLS.
  • New York has allowed nine goals in the opening 15 minutes this season, most in MLS.
  • Graham Zusi earned his 12th assist on Sunday, extending his single-season career high and moving into second place on the MLS chart behind Mauro Rosales.
  • Zusi now has 20 career assists in MLS regular season play, moving into a tie with Jack Jewsbury for eighth most in team history.
  • Zusi has assists in three straight matches, the longest active streak in MLS, and also has assists in four of his last five games.
  • Bunbury earned his first assist of the season. His last assist came almost one year to the day, on August 27, 2011.
  • Teal Bunbury exited the match with a sprained left knee in the 14th minute.
  •  
  • New York’s only goal came on an own goal in the 28th minute. It was the second own goal conceded by Sporting Kansas City this season and 16th in MLS this season.
  • Sporting Kansas City has allowed 23 goals in 26 MLS matches for a 0.88 goals againstaverage, the best in MLS this season.
  • Sporting Kansas City have allowed only nine goals at home this season in 13 matches, the fewest home goals allowed in the Eastern Conference.
  • Sporting Kansas City is 22-2-6 in all competition when Matt Besler, Aurelien Collin,Seth Sinovic and Chance Myers start on the backline together.
  • Nielsen is the only Sporting KC to have played every minute for the club this season.
  • Nielsen’s 1.07 career goals against average in the regular season is the second best mark in MLS history among goalkeepers with 4,000 minutes played.
  • Nielsen’s 0.88 goals against average this season is on pace to be the best mark in club history, surpassing Tony Meola’s 0.92 goals against average in 2000.
  • Nielsen leads MLS with 14 victories and 11 shutouts this season.
  • Sporting KC is 7-2-4 when tied at halftime in 2012.
  • Sporting KC is 12-2-3 when scoring first in 2012.
  • Sporting KC is 6-3-2 when scoring one goal in 2012 and 5-2-2 when allowing one goal this season.
  • Sporting KC is 12-6-5 when wearing Sporting Blue this season.
  • Sporting Kansas City is 12-5-3 when outshooting an opponent in 2012.
  • Sporting Kansas City is 7-5-3 when the temperature is above 75 degrees at kickoff in2012.
  • Sporting Kansas City is 7-5-3 in the central time zone this season.
  • Sporting Kansas City is 8-5-3 against the Eastern Conference this season.
  • Sporting Kansas City is 11-6-4 on grass surfaces this season.
  • Sporting Kansas City leads MLS with 418 shots this season and has allowed the fewestshots against (254).
  • The club has led MLS in shots in five of the past seven seasons, finishing first in shots in 2006 (408), 2007 (420), 2010 (393) and 2011 (488).
  • Sporting Kansas City leads MLS in all-time shots taken with 7,067.
  • Sporting Kansas City outshot New York 14-3 on Sunday. Sporting KC has outshot their opponent by 10 or more shots 13 times in 2012.
  • Sporting Kansas City has outshot their opponent in 20 out of 26 matches in 2012.
  • Zusi leads MLS with 107 corner kicks this season.
  • Teal Bunbury started his 50th match in MLS competition (including playoffs) on Sunday and Aurelien Collin made his 50th appearance in MLS competition (including playoffs).
  • Kamara made his 175th appearance in MLS competition (including playoffs) on Sunday.
  • Kamara surpassed 7,000 regular season minutes played in a KC uniform on Sunday, becoming the fifth active player to do so.
  • Aurelien Collin received a caution on Sunday and will miss Sporting Kansas City’s next match due to caution accumulation.
  • New York was without Designated Players Thierry Henry (personal) and Rafa Marquez (calf injury) on Sunday.
  • The attendance at Sunday’s match was 18,491, which marks the 12th sell-out of the season for Sporting KC.
  • Sunday’s match was sponsored by The Home Depot and the first 5,000 fans inside the gates received a mystery gift card worth up to $1,000.
  • LIVESTRONG Sporting Park hosted Military Appreciation Night on Sunday, featuring an oath of enlistment of ceremony at halftime.

 

QUOTES:

Sporting Kansas City Manager Peter Vermes

Opening comments…

I think that it was a great effort on our part. I think that we gave everything we had from the opening whistle to the end of the game in order to get the three points. I thought that we started off with great pressure. We were swarming them, and they couldn’t get it out of their half of the field. They couldn’t come up with a solution for building out. They just keep sending it to their last guy who would then whack it up the field. I think that this caused a lot of problems for them. As I said, our pressure was strong throughout the course of the game. Obviously, we get a good goal just because of that pressure. The goal that we give up is soft. We shouldn’t give up that goal by any means. We did a good job of staying in the game, and I think that, at the end, we created some chances, and we were at places where we put them under pressure. It was a great effort, but now we are moving on to the next game.

How did losing Teal Bunbury change the game?

He was putting them under pressure. That is what Teal has been doing very well lately. I think when you look at the way that he was putting pressure on them, he was forcing them to simply boot the ball out, which makes the game predictable for our back line. He can really stretch the defense, and I think that they were afraid of him getting behind them. CJ came in and did a good job considering he just had to come in with little warning or preparation. It hurts to lose Bunbury, but it is what it is.

He’ll be getting looked at in the next two days, probably an MRI on his knee because we aren’t sure what it is, so we’ll just have to take the necessary steps. We will let you know over the course of the week.

What percentage is C.J. Sapong at currently?

At the moment, he’s probably at 85% at best. But his fitness is going to pump up now that he played tonight; so hopefully, that is going to be good for the next game.

On only getting one point… 

Every game is important, right? So situations are going to happen throughout the course of, not only this game, but the next games that we have ahead of us. At the end, we just have to go on to the next game. Yeah, it’d be great to have the three points, but at the same time, I feel that the dominating performance that we had in regards to being all over them - never really letting them have any of the run of the play - it says a lot about our game.  And, these are what the games are going to be like when we hopefully get into the playoffs.  It’s going to be the same way - we’re going to play with the same kind of performances. 

At some point, teams have to come in and go after you, they can’t just sit back, and these guys bunkered in tonight. They’re very happy leaving here with one point. I mean, we don’t go to places and go “we’re really happy with getting one point.” We want to go in there and get three, so it’s a little different in mentality for sure. 

Sporting Kansas City defender Matt Besler

Opening Comments…

I think that we started the game exactly how we wanted to – with high pressure. We were all over them for the first 20-30 minutes of the game, and that’s when we got the goal. Overall, we are happy with the effort that we have put in. The goals didn’t go in tonight, but we are still in the position we want to be in. We’re just going to take the next seven to eight games a game at a time.

What to expect when Sporting KC plays New York next…

Same type of game. Both teams are physical teams, and both teams want to win the game. Every time we play these guys, it is a battle.

Sporting Kansas City defender Aurelien Collin

On Sporting KC’s 1-1 draw against New York Red Bulls…

It was a very competitive match. I think we dominated all game—we were solid in defense and scored a good goal. We are unlucky because they didn’t have any chances on goal. Jimmy (Nielsen) didn’t have to make any saves, and in the end, we tie. That happens in football; it’s just part of the game. Now we just have to focus on the next game. We still have confidence, and I think we played a good game tonight. We had a good mentality, and sometimes the other team is lucky, and you only tie. Now we will try to win the next game against Toronto.

On the physicality of the match…

MLS is a physical league. Tonight it was maybe a little more physical because both teams had big strikers and big defenders who can jump very high. But tonight we were better than them and dominated everything in the game. We deserved three points. They didn’t have hardly any shots, and Jimmy (Nielsen) didn’t have to do anything. Tonight, we expected to win, and we were very positive. We are unlucky, but we can try to perfect a couple things to win the next one.

On playing New York twice on the road in the final eight matches of the season…

Of course, we feel more comfortable at home. We have the best stadium and the best fans. Tonight was an amazing party—the fans were great again and very loud. But we are also very good on the road. We have seven wins away from home, so we will have plenty of motivation when we play them at their place. We have shown that we can win away from our stadium. And tonight we were better than them, so I think we will do well when we play them next.

On missing the next match due to yellow card accumulation…

I’m not worried about missing next game. Neven (Markovic) and (Lawrence) Olum are good players. It hurts that I must miss the next game, and I’m very upset. Sometimes I say too much to the referee and I get too sensitive, but the calls the referee makes are not always right. I have been here one-and-a-half years, and it has been the same problem. I just have to keep my mouth closed.

Sporting Kansas City defender Chance Myers

On Sporting KC’s 1-1 draw against New York Red Bulls…

As the game went on, it kind of turned into a defensive battle. There weren’t too many shots until the last 15 minutes when we started putting a lot of pressure on them. I felt like we created enough chances to win, but at the end of the day, a point is a point. We made one mistake, and we paid for it.

On the physicality of the match…

This game was a little more physical than most this season. New York dropped a lot of guys behind the ball. We took our chances and they tried to counter. We had the ball a lot, but it was tough to break them down. We probably deserved the three points, but like I said, the one mistake we made all game really cost us.

On how the result will impact the Eastern Conference race…

If anything, it’s an indication that it’s going to be a battle to the very end. The winner of the Eastern Conference and the winner of the Supporters Shield won’t be decided probably until the final game or two of the season. New York is a good team, but so are we. So it’s definitely going to be a tough battle to the very end.

Sporting Kansas City midfielder Roger Espinoza

On Sporting KC’s 1-1 draw against New York Red Bulls…

I thought we played better than they did, but we should have finished some of the opportunities we had, and we should have defended the goal they scored much better. We had a little miscommunication right there. But we got a point at home and can’t really complain. Now we have to get ready for next week against Toronto and just keep going. We’re still on top of the East, and we’ve got to keep working to maintain that. Overall, I thought we played pretty well—we kept the ball a lot, but they defended really well.

On the physicality of the match…

It was pretty physical, but I thought the referee did a pretty good job. He didn’t hand out too many cards. There were a lot of strong tackles from both teams, but nothing very malicious. We tried to play high-pressure and they played more long balls, but they defended well enough.

On playing New York twice on the road in the final eight matches of the season…

I’m excited to play at their place. Tonight, they set back a little bit. When we go over there it’s going to be a great game. With the way we play and the way they play at home, it’s going to be exciting. They haven’t lost at home, and they score a lot of goals there. They really go at teams, and we like that. If we lose over there, it will be because they played better than us. We aren’t going to go over there and sit back like they did tonight. Everybody on our team wants to win, and you do that by trying to go forward, whether it’s home or away.

New York Red Bulls Manager Hans Backe

On not having a shot on goal and yet still getting a point from the match…

We could have won it. We had two of the best goal scoring chances in the game. Most important, we stopped our losing streak on the road. We lost 4 in a row. I think that we came back great after being down after 4 minutes of play, especially against a good team like Sporting KC. They forced us to defend, but I think that we did very well. I do not think that they had one 100% scoring chance during 90 minutes.

How did the injury to Bunbury affect the game?

Of course, he is a very strong target. He controls the ball well, and KC has two very good midfielders that give support to him quickly. He is definitely a threat, but Sapong is also a decent player.

On the aggressive play and how it may be during these two teams next match up…

We said at halftime “this will be ugly.” It was a lot of 50/50s and headers in the box. Both teams definitely wanted to win the game. We play them two more times, and I’m glad that we play them at home. Still, Kansas City is a strong away team as well. They are hard to break down. Bunbury will be back, and Holgersson will be back as well. We also have a new guy from Leeds, Lloyd Sam, so we have a few quality players coming in.

There were some guys who picked up yellow cards that were a bit in the danger zone to get a second yellow. It wasn’t easy for the referee because of all of the set plays and the battle when you have 16 players in the 18-yard box. It makes it difficult to see elbows and things like that.

New York Red Bulls midfielder Dax McCarty

General comments on the match…

It was a tough game, it was a battle, a real playoff atmosphere to it. I am very impressed with what Kansas City is doing here, fantastic fan support. It is a tough team to play and they are very good at home. They’re very direct with Kei Kamara, C.J. Sapong and Teal Bunbury. They have some serious athletes out wide and up front. It’s a battle every time you come here. After we gave up a tough goal, we responded well, we battled back. We didn’t create too many chances from the run of play but we hit them on the counter a few times. We probably could have snuck one or two goals in there at the end of the game. I thought we defended fantastically as a team. We snuck out of here with a point and now we get them twice at home. 

On playing a team three times in a short period of time…

It is definitely tough when you play a team three times in a short span. But, it’s good, it really starts to test your character as a team, because they are one of the best teams in the League. They have proven that, in the past two years they have been very good. I think we have been a little bit inconsistent, so defensively it’s a step forward for us. It is a step in the right direction. When we played Portland we gave them way too many chances. Tonight is a good step for us, it’s a point on the road which is better than our last road performance in Houston so it’s a step forward and we have to build off this. 

On the quick turnaround…

It’s tough, we have to recover well as a team. For whatever reason I think we started off the season pretty well on the road. We were defending well on the road and getting results. It’s got to be a mentality that we are getting down to the wire now, it’s crunch time, it’s playoff time. I think a starting point for us is to defend well, keep clean sheets. I think we’re always going to get a few chances and score goals. Tonight we’re missing probably our best player especially in Henry’s ability to create chances. Hopefully, we’ll have him back for the D.C. game. In that game, we need to play for a little bit of pride. They beat us 4-1 down there earlier in the season. It’s a punch in the gut. We have to go down there and make sure we don’t give up an early goal. I think that’s been our Achilles heel all season. I think we are undefeated in forty games when we score first. 

New York Red Bulls goalkeeper Bill Gaudette

On the result…

Anytime you get a point on the road, especially here in Kansas City, it’s a good result. We gave them an early goal, so we had to battle back, but the boys did great and fought through it. It’s a good point on the road after a really tough start. We are satisfied with that point tonight. 

On facing Sporting Kansas City three times in a short span…

Kansas City is a dangerous team, obviously they are at the top for a reason. The next two games are going to be tough. They come to our house and we are excited to play them again. They have a strong team and we will have to bring our top game to compete and get a good result. We get them at home now, so we’ll see how that game goes.

On their next match…

It is a quick week, but we get used to these. Obviously we’ll go home and get some recovery in tonight and tomorrow, and we’ll be ready to go Wednesday night.  It will be a tough match. D.C.’s coming off a positive result two games ago, but they had a tough one the other week when they rested some players. No doubt they’ll be ready to go. Ben always gets that team ready to go. It will be a good game. 

New York Red Bulls striker Sebastian Le Toux

On the match…

It was a tough game. We know a match in Kansas City is never easy. After a bad start and giving up an early goal, we responded well. I think all in all, it was a good effort from the team. 

On the absence of Thierry Henry…

He is a big part of our team, one of the best players on this team. He brings a lot of charisma and leadership, so it was good for us to be without him one time to see how we could do if Thierry is not going to be here. I think everybody responded well and we are hoping for him to come back on Wednesday against D.C. 

On game plan moving forward…

It was important for us to come back after our games in Montreal and Houston. We didn’t play very well over there and I think tonight playing in Kansas City with them being in first of the East and to come get the result here was good for everybody.  I hope in D.C. we will try to use the momentum from this game to help us get a win at D.C.

On season low in shots (3) and shots on goal (0)…

It was hard for us to keep the ball on target because we were defending a lot. When we got the ball we tried to get into position, but they were pressing a lot. We continued to work together and even though we didn’t have a lot of shots, we got a result. Maybe we can shoot more against D.C. on Wednesday.