HIGHLIGHTS: Sporting KC 2-2 FC Dallas | April 30, 2022

Forwards Johnny Russell and Daniel Salloi scored on both sides of halftime as Sporting Kansas City (2-6-2, 8 points) fought back to earn a 2-2 draw with FC Dallas (4-1-4, 16 points) in an entertaining battle at Children’s Mercy Park on Saturday night.

Sporting struck first on a Russell penalty kick, but an upstart Dallas side responded with first-half goals from Alan Velasco and Jesus Ferreira to take a 2-1 lead into the break. The visitors were reduced to 10 men when Brandon Servania was sent off in the 67th minute, and Sporting capitalized by restoring parity through Salloi 10 minutes later.

Russell and Salloi have scored nine of Sporting’s last 10 goals against Dallas, who were nevertheless able to extend their unbeaten run to eight matches in all competitions and move to 4-0-2 in their last six regular season visits to Children’s Mercy Park.

Manager Peter Vermes made one change to Sporting’s lineup as German center back Robert Voloder was summoned to replace Nicolas Isimat-Mirin, who suffered a facial injury in the early moments of a 0-0 home draw against the Columbus Crew last weekend. Among the defenders joining Voloder on the back line was veteran Graham Zusi, whose 286th regular season start vaulted him atop the club’s all-time chart ahead of Matt Besler. In attack, meanwhile, Russell hit a major milestone with his 100th regular season start in a Sporting uniform.

Sporting’s captain fired his side ahead in the 22nd minute after barreling down the right flank, beating Dallas defender Marco Farfan and cutting the ball back to Salloi, who was chopped down near the penalty spot by Jose Antonio Martinez. Russell buried the ensuing spot kick into the top right corner for his 42nd career regular season goal and his 45th in all competitions—both one shy of third-most in Sporting history. It was also Sporting’s 700th regular season home goal and the team’s earliest goal of the 2022 campaign.

Brimming with newfound momentum, Sporting almost doubled their advantage on 29 minutes when Russell clipped a clever ball over the top to Salloi. The homegrown winger did well to time his run past the defender, but his lunging strike from a tight angle narrowly missed the mark.

Dallas spurned a chance of their own less than 60 seconds later when a pair of U.S. internationals linked up to breach the Sporting defense. Ferreira ran onto a Paul Arriola through ball and rounded goalkeeper Tim Melia, but he was unable to conjure an acute finish much to the relief of the Children’s Mercy Park faithful.

The hosts suffered an injury setback shortly after taking the lead as Zusi was forced to exit with an injury. Replacing him was Sporting KC Academy product Cam Duke, who logged his first minutes in defense this season after featuring exclusively as a midfielder in the early stages of 2022.

Dallas drew level in the 36th minute on a superbly taken free kick by Alan Velasco. Teeing up a strike beyond the left edge of the penalty area, the 19-year-old Argentine sent a right-footed curler into the far corner for his second goal of the campaign and dashed Sporting’s hopes of a league-best fourth home shutout this year.

Having gained a foothold in the back-and-forth battle, the visitors surged in front on an excellent hit from Ferreira. Arriola was once again the danger man pulling strings, picking out Ferreira with a through ball into space. Ferreira did the rest by cutting past a defender onto his right foot and bending a shot past the outstretched Melia for his sixth goal in 2022, one behind the MLS lead.

Eleven minutes into the second half, Sporting were desperately unlucky not to equalize. Russell leapt high to cushion a header into the path of Salloi, whose right-footed effort was smothered by Dallas keeper Maarten Paes. The ball was recycled shortly thereafter and Salloi was once again denied, this time chipping a shot over Paes only to see Martinez rescue Dallas with a clearing header off the goal line.

Sporting threatened again on 63 minutes, orchestrating an intricate attack with Russell and Remi Walter combining to tee up Uri Rosell at the top of the box, but the Spaniard’s booming attempt lifted over the crossbar.

A short-lived and miserable night for Servania was punctuated midway through the second half. Seven minutes after entering the game as a substitute, the 23-year-old picked up his second yellow card and was given his marching orders by referee Nima Saghafi. The ejection would give Sporting a man advantage for the remainder of the night.

Melia’s best moment of the match came in the 72nd minute. Velasco swung in a teasing free kick from the left channel and Facundo Quignon prodded a first-time shot goalward, but Melia dropped low to his right for a terrific save to keep his team within a goal.

Sporting cashed in on their numerical superiority in the 77th minute with a well-deserved equalizer off the foot of Salloi. Seconds after Khiry Shelton received an impudent pass from Duke and saw his low drive saved by Paes, Duke found Salloi in a pocket of space near the penalty spot. The winger pirouetted and shrug off pressure before sliding a tidy finish low into the right corner. The goal was his second of the year and marked the first time that Sporting had scored twice in a regular season fixture since Oct. 27, 2021.

The remainder of the game saw Sporting dominate possession and territory, but Dallas defended deep and held on to ensure a sharing of the spoils.

Vermes' men will return to the pitch next Saturday with a visit to reigning MLS Cup champion New York City FC. The inter-conference clash will kick off at 6 p.m. CT at Citi Field, broadcasting live on 38 The Spot, the Sporting KC app and SportingKC.com.

2022 MLS Regular Season | Match 10
Children's Mercy Park | Kansas City, Kansas
Attendance: 17,334
Weather: 57 degrees and cloudy

Sporting KC 2-2 FC Dallas
Sporting KC 2-2 FC Dallas
Sporting Kansas City (2-6-2, 8 points)
FC Dallas (4-1-4, 16 points)

Sporting Kansas City: Tim Melia; Graham Zusi (Cam Duke 23'), Kortne Ford, Robert Voloder, Logan Ndenbe; Uri Rosell (Felipe Hernandez 63'), Remi Walter, Roger Espinoza (Marinos Tzionis 80'); Johnny Russell (C), Khiry Shelton, Daniel Salloi

Subs Not Used: John Pulskamp, Andreu Fontas, Kaveh Rad, Ben Sweat, Jake Davis, Nikola Vujnovic

FC Dallas: Maarten Paes; Ema Twumasi, Nkosi Tafari, Jose Antonio Martinez, Marco Farfan (Nanu 85'); Tsiki Ntsabeleng (Brandon Servania 60'), Facundo Quignon, Paxton Pomykal; Paul Arriola (Edwin Cerrillo 81'), Jesus Ferreira (Franco Jara 85'), Alan Velasco (Joshue Quinonez 81')

Subs Not Used: Jimmy Maurer, Lucas Bartlett, Jader Obrian, Szabolcs Schon

Scoring Summary:
SKC -- Johnny Russell 2 (penalty kick) 22'
DAL -- Alan Velasco 2 (unassisted) 36'
DAL -- Jesus Ferreira 6 (Paul Arriola 2) 42'
SKC -- Daniel Salloi 2 (Cam Duke 2) 77'

Misconduct Summary:
DAL -- Tsiki Ntsabeleng (yellow card; unsporting behavior) 25'
SKC -- Remi Walter (yellow card; unsporting behavior) 27'
SKC -- Kortne Ford (yellow card; unsporting behavior) 34'
DAL -- Ema Twumasi (yellow card; unsporting behavior) 44'
SKC -- Johnny Russell (yellow card; dissent) 50'
DAL -- Alan Velasco (yellow card; unsporting behavior) 53'
DAL -- Jesus Ferreira (yellow card; delaying a restart) 62'
DAL -- Brandon Servania (yellow card; unsporting behavior) 63'
DAL -- Brandon Servania (red card/second yellow; unsporting behavior) 67'
DAL -- Maarten Paes (yellow card; time wasting) 90+4'

Match Statistics
Match Statistics
Shots on Goal
Corner Kicks

Referee: Nima Saghafi
Assistant Referee: Adam Wienckowski
Assistant Referee: Diego Blas
Fourth Official: Lukasz Szpala
VAR: Jose Carlos Rivero
AVAR: Jonathan Johnson