For just over 40 minutes, Aurelien Collin held a share of Sporting Kansas City’s scoring lead. Not bad for a guy whose main job description is intimidating opposing scorers and keeping the ball out of his own net.
Collin’s 24th-minute goal in Wednesday’s 3-1 road victory over Vancouver was his third of the year, matching his regular-season total from 2011 and temporarily tying him with forwards C.J. Sapong and Kei Kamara for team-high honors this season.
That lasted until the 65th minute, when Kamara drove home right back Chance Myers’ cross for Sporting’s final goal and moved into sole possession of first place.
Regardless of who heads the scoring column for his 7-0-0 squad, manager Peter Vermes was glad to see another solid effort – at both ends of the pitch – for the big, physical French center back, who is enjoying a breakout second season with Sporting.
“He’s been very good defensively, and he’s also committed to getting in the box and getting goals,” Vermes told MLSsoccer.com by phone after the match. “It was huge for us to get the lead like we did, and not have to chase the game.”
Collin’s first two goals this season came on set-piece headers, both off assists from midfielder Graham Zusi. The score against Vancouver, on the other hand, came off Collin’s right foot – and it was a pure hustle effort on a loose-ball scramble in the box.
After a corner kick, the ball caromed around Vancouver’s defensive third before landing at the feet of Roger Espinoza. His deflected blast bounced toward the right side of the goal mouth, and Collin slid in ahead of defender Jay DeMerit to knock the ball in.
It was Collin’s second goal in five days, after his game-winning header in Saturday’s 1-0 home win over Real Salt Lake.
“I was at the right spot at the right moment and I took my chance and I scored,” Collin said Wednesday night. “Thank God I scored. I can help the team and I'm a happy man.”