Sporting Kansas City opened their 2012 MLS Reserve League campaign with a 1-1 draw at Real Salt Lake on Tuesday. Sporting Kansas City striker Dom Dwyer, taken in the first round of this year's MLS SuperDraft, scored in the 88th minute to secure the road result and cancel out a goal from Real Salt Lake's Nico Muniz 30 minutes earlier.
Real Salt Lake fielded a starting XI featuring three regular first-team stalwarts – defender Nat Borchers, midfielder Will Johnson and forward Álvaro Saborío – coming off of various injuries, while Sporting Kansas City gave minutes to every field player who made the trip.
After the home side controlled the opening minutes of play, Sporting KC proved dangerous through a bevy of restarts in the middle portion of the half and created some work for RSL goalkeeper Kyle Reynish in the 35th minute, when he had to knock away a dangerous dead ball cross by forward Soony Saad before it reached Dwyer.
Real Salt Lake came within inches of scoring in the 40th minute when Saborío drove in a cross from the right flank for Yordany Alvarez. The Cuban midfielder’s re-direction on goal was stopped by Sporting KC's homegrown goalkeeper Jon Kempin, who was on the spot to tip the ball just over the crossbar. The first half action came to a close with a quick counter toward the RSL goal, where Dwyer dove fully but was unable to reach a dangerous cross tucked neatly to the back post.
The second half opened with the chances going RSL’s way, as Emiliano Bonfigli and Muñiz proved active upon their halftime insertion. Bonfigli had his chances, but Muñiz capitalized on a 58th minute opportunity when an Alvarez cross was punched out by Kempin, falling nicely at Muñiz’s foot. The RSL homegrown signing let loose from just outside the area and beat Kempin for his first goal in official competition, giving RSL the 1-0 advantage.
Sporting KC would begin to control the possession shortly thereafter, but couldn't break through until the game's final minutes. It was a quick counter-attack that would provide the visitors an equalizer two minutes from time, as midfielder Korede Aiyegbusi split the RSL defense with a lengthy through ball that Dwyer ran onto before slotting low past an onrushing Reynish to even the match at 1-1. Reynish batted away Saad’s lengthy effort in stoppage time to give each team a share of the spoils, with the RSL Reserves (0-1-1) claiming its first point in its first home match of the season and Sporting KC Reserves (0-0-1) doing the same in its 2012 Reserve League debut.
Sporting Kansas City will continue play in the MLS Reserve League next Tuesday when they host the Houston Dynamo at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park. Click here for the club's full schedule this season.
RSL – Nico Muñiz (unassisted) 58
SKC – Dom Dwyer (Korede Aiyegbusi) 88
SKC – Dom Dwyer (caution, reckless foul) 45
Real Salt Lake Reserves: Kyle Reynish; ^Chris Estridge, Nat Borchers (*Carlos Salcedo 67), Leone Cruz, Diogo de Almeida (Terukazu Tanaka 75); Jonny Steele, Yordany Alvarez, Enzo Martinez, Will Johnson (Nico Muñiz 45); Álvaro Saborío, Cody Arnoux (Emiliano Bonfigli 45)
Sporting Kansas City Reserves: Jon Kempin; Shawn Singh (^Kyle Miller 82), Lawrence Olum, Cyprian Hedrick (Konrad Warzycha 71), Michael Harrington; Korede Aiyegbusi, Paulo Nagamura (Michael Thomas 62), Luke Sassano; Jacob Peterson (Kevin Ellis 67), Soony Saad, Dom Dwyer
*RSL-Arizona Academy player