Major League Soccer Pre-Season
Sporting Kansas City vs. New England Revolution
Friday, January 25, 2013
Grande Sports World (Casa Grande, Ariz.)
68 degrees and partly cloudy
NE -- Kalife Cisse (caution; reckless foul) 4
KC -- Soony Saad (caution; delaying a restart) 12
Sporting Kansas City: Jimmy Nielsen (Eric Kronberg 31, Jon Kempin 61); Seth Sinovic (Brian Fekete*** 48, David Leichty** 76), Yann Songo'o (Lawrence Olum 48), Aurelien Collin (Ike Opara 48), Chance Myers (Jerome Mechack* 31); Oriol Rosell (Michael Thomas 48), Peterson Joseph (Mitchell Cardenas*** 48), Paulo Nagamura (Mikey Lopez 31); Bobby Convey (Christian Duke*** 48), Soony Saad (Kyle Miller 48), C.J. Sapong (Mike Reidy*** 48)
New England Revolution: Matt Reis (Bobby Shuttleworth 31), Kevin Alston (Tyler Polak 31), Jose Goncalves (Stephen McCarthy 31, Alex DeJohn 61), A.J. Soares (Darrius Barnes 31, Donnie Smith 61), Bilal Duckett (Andrew Farrell 31), Chris Tierney (Quentin Griffith 31), Andy Dorman (Ryan Guy 31, Chris Thomas 61), Kalifa Cisse (Scott Caldwell 31), Kelyn Rowe (Gabe Latigue 31), Dimitry Imbongo (Diego Fagundez 31), Matt Horth (Luke Spencer 31, Sainey Nyassi 61)
**Sporting KC Academy player
***Supplemental Draft pick
Sporting Kansas City played their first pre-season match of 2013 on Friday, earning a 0-0 draw against the New England Revolution at Grande Sports World in Casa Grande, Ariz. Homegrown goalkeeper Jon Kempin, who recently returned from the United States Under-20 Men's National Team, helped secure the shutout with multiple saves in the final 30 minutes of action including two superb stops on Revolution midfielder Sainey Nyassi.
The scrimmage, split into three 30-minute periods, provided minutes for 24 out of the 32 players currently in camp with Sporting Kansas City. All five of the team's recent draft selections garnered playing time, along with trialist Mechack Jerome, Academy product David Leichty and off-season signings Ike Opara and Yann Songo'o.
Sporting Kansas City's best scoring opportunity came in the 42nd minute courtesy of C.J. Sapong and Soony Saad. Sapong cut in from the right flank and slipped a pass behind the New England backline to meet Saad's well-timed run. Saad held off his defender and took a touch around Revolution goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth, but ran out of room near the endline to direct an attempt toward the empty net.
In the 55th minute, goalkeeper Eric Kronberg did well to deny Diego Fagundez in a 1-on-1 situation inside the penalty area. Kronberg dove low and made the most of his 6-5 frame to push the attempt wide of the far post.
Kempin replaced Kronberg after a break at the 60-minute mark and was immediately called into action for a pair of important saves. The first came in the 64th minute, extending to his right to block Nyassi's drive from outside the penalty area.
Two minutes later, Nyassi was again threatening to break the deadlock with only Kempin to beat inside the box. Kempin came off his line quickly and the shot caromed off his shoulder for a Revolution corner.
Both sides continued to find their rhythm as they exchanged long periods of possession, but neither team was able to break down the defense for a game-winner in the final 30 minutes.
Sporting Kansas City returned to Tucson on Friday afternoon and will next play local PDL club FC Tucson on Tuesday at the Kino Sports Complex in The Dessert Friendlies.