LIVESTRONG Sporting Park | Kansas City, Kan.
Attendance: 18,481 (sell out)
Weather: Cloudy, 76 degrees
|Sporting KC (15-7-5, 50 pts)||0||2||2|
|Toronto FC (5-16-6, 21 pts)||1||0||1|
Sporting Kansas City: Jimmy Nielsen ©; Seth Sinovic, Matt Besler, Lawrence Olum, Chance Myers; Julio Cesar (Oriol Rosell 78), Paulo Nagamura, Roger Espinoza; Kei Kamara, C.J. Sapong (Dom Dwyer 86), Graham Zusi
Subs not used: Eric Kronberg, Michael Harrington, Peterson Joseph, Neven Markovic, Michael Thomas
Toronto FC: Freddy Hall; Logan Emory, Darren O’Dea, Richard Eckersley, Jeremy Hall; Ryan Johnson, Terry Dunfield, Aaron Maund, Andrew Wiedeman; Luis Silva, Quincy Amarikwa
Subs not used: Milos Kocic, Eric Avila, Matt Stinson, Dicoy Williams, Adrian Cann
|Shots on Goal||6||2|
KC – Kei Kamara (caution; reckless tackle) 10
TOR – Terry Dunfield (caution; reckless tackle) 59
TOR – Ryan Johnson 6 (Richard Eckersley 2) 44
KC – Paulo Nagamura 1 (unassisted) 60
KC – Oriol Rosell 1 (Chance Myers 5, Paulo Nagamura 1) 87
Sporting Kansas City came from behind for a 2-1 victory over Toronto FC on Saturday at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park in front of a sold-out crowd and drew level with the San Jose Earthquakes in the Supporters Shield race for the most points in MLS this season.
It was a night of firsts for Sporting Kansas City as Paulo Nagamura scored his first goal as a Sporting KC player in the 60th minute off of a bouncing shot from the top of the box and Oriol Rosell scored his first MLS goal in the 87th minute on a first-time volley.
Sporting Kansas City extends their lead atop the Eastern Conference, now four points ahead of the idle New York Red Bulls, and the team’s 15 wins are the most in club history since the historic 2000 season in which KC won 16 regular season games, Supporters Shield and MLS Cup.
Sporting Kansas City put the pressure on Toronto FC early, with a chance materializing in the 9th minute when Chance Myers curled in a ball from the right flank to Kamara. His header went just high of the crossbar after colliding with goalkeeper Freddy Hall.
Kamara came back in the 18th minute with another header, this time following a corner kick from Graham Zusi. Kamara stretched to reach the ball and directed the delivery just wide of the far left post.
Five minutes later, the home side put Hall to the test when Zusi’s corner from the left landed at the feet of C.J. Sapong. The reigning MLS Rookie of the Year scrambled to shake off his mark and took a shot from close-range, but was denied by the Bermuda international in net for Toronto FC.
Roger Espinoza attempted a dipping volley in the 31st minute from the top of the penalty area that went inches wide of the post. Just a minute later, deep from the corner of the box, Sapong floated the ball to Espinoza at the top of the box, who on his first touch volleyed the ball just wide of the right post.
Toronto FC, relatively quiet while on the defensive, began to find their footing in the 35th minute when Quincy Amarikwa played a through ball to Andrew Wiedeman inside the box, but goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen came off his line and made a sliding save.
Kamara, an established thorn in Toronto’s side with nine shots on the night, had another chance in the 40th minute when he received a cross from Myers and headed the ball high of the goal.
Despite Sporting Kansas City’s dominance in possession from the opening whistle, it was Toronto with the first goal of the match when Richard Eckersley played a long ball to Ryan Johnson. The Jamaican international went one-on-one with Nielsen and calmly slotted the ball past the veteran keeper, sending Sporting Kansas City into halftime down a goal for only the fifth time this season.
The second half began with a bang, in the form of a Toronto shot off the woodwork. In the 50th minute, Johnson nearly netted a second goal when he took a left-footed shot from distance that was delicately curled over Nielsen, but rattled theright post.
Sporting Kansas City responded in the 56th minute when Espinoza played a through ball to Nagamura at the right edge of the box, who shot low and wide of the goal. Nagamura’s next attempt, one of a single-game career-high five shots in the match, turned the match and the momentum in favor of the home side.
The coveted equalizer came in the 60th minute when Zusi’s free kick was headed away by Jeremy Hall and came to Nagamura. The Brazilian’s first-time effort banged off the surface at the top of the penalty area and came down just under the crossbar for his first goal in nearly two years dating back to September 10, 2010.
Ten minutes later, Zusi charged down the left flank and took a well-aimed shot that Hall deflected with his fingertips, making a noteworthy save. Hall was forced to make another clutch save, one of four on the night, in the 77th minute whenZusi curled in a pass to Kamara at the far left post. Kamara got a head on the cross but Hall was well-positioned to collect it.
Nielsen, too, was under pressure on the opposite end of the field. In the 79th minute, Luis Silva’s hard-struck volley was punched away for his lone save of the night.
Sporting Kansas City found the game-winning goal in the 87th minute when Myers, deep in the right corner of the box, played the ball to Rosell inside the area. Theformer FC Barcelona academy alum struck his shot beneath Hall and into the right corner of the goal.
Toronto came close to a dramatic equalizer in the 90th minute when Silva fired a shot just inches wide of the goal for the visitors’ sixth shot on a night that Sporting Kansas City sent 24 attempts toward net.
Sporting Kansas city will enjoy a weekend off for FIFA international match dates before hosting the Houston Dynamo at 7:30 p.m. CT on Sept. 14. Tickets for the match, nationally broadcast on the NBC Sports Network, are available online at Ticketmaster.com and at LSP Box Offices.
- Sporting Kansas City are now 15-7-5 on the season and remain in first place in the Eastern Conference with 50 points.
- Sporting Kansas City’s 50 points this season are tied for the most in MLS with the San Jose Earthquakes.
- Sporting KC’s 1.85 points per game are also second-best behind San Jose, who take on Chivas USA on Sunday.
- Sporting KC are 8-3-3 at home this season in MLS play and 138-75-46 all-time at home.
- Sporting Kansas City has the third most home wins in MLS history with 139, trailing only the LA Galaxy (152) and D.C. United (141). Since moving into LIVESTRONG Sporting Park last year, Sporting Kansas City is 17-5-9 at home in the regular season.
- Sporting Kansas City are 209-206-105 all-time.
- Sporting KC have the most wins (15) and best goal differential (+10) of all teams in the Eastern Conference this season.
- Sporting Kansas City won for the first time since September 22, 2010 when trailing at halftime in a regular season MLS match.
- With tonight’s victory, Sporting Kansas City is now 1-4-0 when trailing at the half in 2012.
- The all-time regular season series between Sporting KC and Toronto FC moves to 7-3-4. Sporting Kansas City are 5-1-1 at home in the regular season series and unbeaten in their last seven matches against Toronto FC.
- Sunday’s match was the third and final meeting between Sporting KC and Toronto FC this season. Sporting Kansas City earned a 2-0 victory in their first meeting atLIVESTRONG Sporting Park and a 1-0 result at BMO Field.
- Entering Saturday’s game, Sporting Kansas City averaged 16.8 crosses from open play per MLS match in 2012. On Saturday Sporting Kansas City recorded 31 crosses, which ties for the second most in 2012.
- Paulo Nagamura scored the first goal for Sporting Kansas City in Saturday’s match for his first point since joining Sporting Kansas City prior to the 2012 season.
- The goal marks Nagamura’s 10th goal in Major League Soccer and first since September 10, 2010.
- Nagamura’s goal was finished from just outside the 18-yard box marking only the secondtime Sporting Kansas City has scored from outside the box in 2012.
- Nagamura tied his single-game career high in shots with five on Saturday.
- Toronto FC led at the half for only the fifth time in 2012, while Sporting KC trailed at halftime on Saturday for the fifth time all year in MLS play.
- Toronto’s record is now 1-2-2 when leading at half time in 2012.
- Saturday’s match was the second of three consecutive MLS home matches for Sporting KC. The team has seven games remaining in the regular season with three at home andfour on the road.
- Sporting Kansas City committed five fouls in tonight’s match which is the fifth fewest by a single team in 2012 and a season low for Sporting KC. The club entered the match committing an average of 13 fouls per game.
- Jimmy Nielsen is 5-0-1 against Toronto FC all-time.
- Sporting Kansas City are unbeaten in their last five MLS matches with a record of 4-0-1. The five-game unbeaten streak is the second-longest active unbeaten streak in MLS, one behind the Columbus Crew.
- Toronto FC are winless in their last seven MLS matches.
- Oriol Rosell entered the match for Julio Cesar in the 78th minute, marking his second MLS appearance since joining Kansas City on August 2. He played one minute against D.C. United last month.
- Rosell scored the game-winner in the 87th minute of the match on an assist from Chance Myers and secondary assist from Paulo Nagamura.
- Rosell becomes the youngest goal scorer in for Sporting KC this season at 20 years, 1 month and 26 days.
- The goal was Sporting Kansas City’s fifth game-winning goal after the 75th minute in 2012.
- Myers now has four game-winning assists in 2012, tied for third most in MLS this season.
- Nagamura’s assist was his first for Sporting Kansas City.
- Dom Dwyer made his MLS debut, entering the match in the 86th minute for C.J. Sapong.
- Sporting Kansas City has allowed 24 goals in 27 MLS matches for a 0.88 goals againstaverage, the best in MLS this season.
- Sporting Kansas City have allowed only ten goals at home this season in 14 matches, the fewest home goals allowed in the Eastern Conference.
- Nielsen is the only Sporting KC to have played every minute for the club this season.
- Nielsen recorded his 15th win this season, tying Tony Meola (2000) for the second most wins by a goalkeeper in club history in a single 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 15 victories and 11 shutouts this season.
- Sporting KC is 6-0-1 when scoring two goals in 2012 and 6-2-2 when allowing one goalthis season.
- Sporting KC is 13-6-5 when wearing Sporting Blue this season.
- Sporting Kansas City is 13-5-3 when outshooting an opponent in 2012.
- Sporting Kansas City is 8-5-3 when the temperature is above 75 degrees at kickoff in2012.
- Sporting Kansas City is 8-5-3 in the central time zone this season.
- Sporting Kansas City is 9-5-3 against the Eastern Conference this season.
- Sporting Kansas City is 12-6-4 on grass surfaces this season.
- Sporting Kansas City leads MLS with 442 shots this season and has allowed the fewestshots against (260).
- 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 7,091.
- Sporting Kansas City Toronto FC 24-6 on Saturday. Sporting KC has outshot their opponent by 10 or more shots 14 times in 2012.
- Sporting Kansas City has outshot their opponent in 21 out of 27 matches in 2012.
- Zusi leads MLS with 114 corner kicks this season.
- Teal Bunbury missed the match after suffering a torn ACL and damaged LCL in lastweekend’s match against the New York Red Bulls.
- Aurelien Collin missed Saturday’s match due to caution accumulation.
- The attendance at Saturday’s match was 18,481, which marks the 13th sell-out of the season for Sporting KC.
- Saturday’s match was sponsored by Capitol Federal and the first 10,000 fans inside thegates received a commemorative poster of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Championship courtesy of Capitol Federal.
- Collin and Kevin Ellis participated in a pre-game autograph signing session with fans, hosted by Capitol Federal.
- Sporting KC forward Kei Kamara recorded nine shots on Saturday, a new KC player high in the all-time regular season series against Toronto FC. He now leads MLS with 109 this season. Kamara has the second most shots in a single-season by a KC player, behind only Preki (140).
- He also leads MLS in shots on goal with 41 this season.
- Kamara attended a special screening of KEI, a documentary produced by Copper Pot Pictures, in the Shield Club at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park following Saturday’s match. Donations were accepted to support Schools for Salone.
- Toronto FC was without regular starters Eric Hassli and Torsten Frings due to a ribcontusion and left hip respectively.
- Aaron Maund played in the midfield for Toronto FC in Saturday’s match. Matt Besler was teammates with Maund at the University of Notre Dame in 2008. The duo was the only two players to play every possible minute (1,936) on the pitch during that season. Both Maund and Besler played the full 90 in Satuday’s match.