Match Recap

Recap: Sporting KC suffers 4-0 defeat in Columbus

Sporting Kansas City suffered a 4-0 loss at reigning MLS Cup champions Columbus Crew on Saturday.

Playing the club's third match in eight days and missing seven players, Sporting Kansas City switched to a 3-4-3 formation with John Pulskamp in net.

The 23-year-old goalkeeper would make four saves on the night with his first key intervention coming in the 19th minute to palm away a dangerous cross into the penalty area with two Columbus attackers lurking on the back post.

The hosts would open the scoring in the 32nd minute as Cucho Hernandez scored his first of three goals on the night. Diego Rossi, under pressure from three players, sprung Max Arfsten down the left flank and Arfsten picked out Hernandez with a cutback cross. The MLS Cup 2023 MVP cut inside and finished neatly inside the post for his third goal in as many matches.

Approaching the halftime intermission, Pulskamp produced two strong saves - first diving at full extension to his right to keep out a long-range strike from Aidan Morris before batting away a curling effort from Hernandez moments later. Columbus would double their advantage on the ensuing corner kick as Hernandez ran onto a cross from Morris and benefitted from a fortuitous deflection as his first-time effort found the back of the net.

The second half would mirror the first as Columbus struck twice more to snap a four-game winless streak at home. Christian Ramirez, who nearly scored in the 51st minute only to see his shot deflect inches wide, added the third in the 66th minute. Pulskamp initially denied the striker with a superb stop in the one-on-one situation however Ramirez hammered home the rebound from close range.

Hernandez would complete his hat trick - his third MLS regular season hat trick in the past 10 months -- less than five minutes later in sublime fashion with a free kick from 25 yards out. An MLS Best XI selection in 2023, Hernandez now has 11 goal contributions (nine goals, two assists) in 12 regular season matches in 2024.

Columbus, who has conceded the fewest shots and fewest goals in MLS this season, held Sporting to just three shots - the team's second fewest in an MLS regular season match in club history -- as Sporting recorded zero shots on goal for only the fifth time in an MLS regular season match all-time. The best scoring chance of the night for Sporting came in the seventh minute as Willy Agada threatened to grab an early 1-0 lead for the visitors but sent his attempt just wide of the target.

Sporting Kansas City has now gone 17 straight regular season matches without a shutout - the longest such streak in a single season in the club history -- and SKC becomes the fifth team in MLS to concede four or more goals in three consecutive regular season matches. The team's losing streak away from home stands at seven regular season matches, tying the worst run on the road in regulation for the team all-time.

Sporting Kansas City will next host Austin FC at 7:30 p.m. CT on Saturday, June 29 at Children's Mercy Park. Tickets are available online at and all ticket holders can enjoy a post-match fireworks show ahead of the Fourth of July holiday.

2024 MLS Regular Season | Match 20 Field | Columbus, Ohio
Attendance: 20,818
Weather: 92 degrees and partly cloudy

Sporting Kansas City 0-4 Columbus Crew
Sporting Kansas City (3-12-5, 14 points)
Columbus Crew (8-3-6, 30 points)

Sporting Kansas City: John Pulskamp; Robert Castellanos (Andreu Fontas 46'), Dany Rosero, Robert Voloder; Kayden Pierre (Khiry Shelton 31'), Memo Rodriguez, Nemanja Radoja (Jake Davis 73'), Zorhan Bassong; Erik Thommy, Willy Agada (Johnny Russell 46'), Stephen Afrifa (Alenis Vargas 46')

Subs Not Used: Tim Melia, Chris Rindov, Marinos Tzionis

Columbus Crew: Patrick Schulte; Steven Moreira, Rudy Camacho, Yevhen Cheberko; Mohamed Farsi, Darlington Nagbe (Derrick Jones 72'), Aidan Morris (Sean Zawadzki 60'), Max Arfsten; Christian Ramirez (Taha Habroune 86'), Cucho Hernandez (Marino Hinestroza 72'), Diego Rossi (Alexandru Matan 73')

Subs Not Used: Nicholas Hagen, Will Sands, Yaw Yeboah, Malte Amundsen

Scoring Summary:
CLB - Cucho Hernandez 7 (Max Arfsten 3, Diego Rossi 6) 32'
CLB - Cucho Hernandez 8 (Aidan Morris 6, Darlington Nagbe 1) 45+2'
CLB - Christian Ramirez 3 (unassisted) 66'
CLB - Cucho Hernandez 9 (free kick) 71'

Misconduct Summary:
SKC - Memo Rodriguez (yellow card; unsporting behavior) 57'
SKC - Dany Rosero (yellow card; unsporting behavior) 75'

Match Statistics
Shots on Goal
Corner Kicks

Referee: Marcos DeOliveira
Assistant Referee: Ian McKay
Assistant Referee: Chantal Boudreau
Fourth Official: Nabil Bensalah
VAR: Kevin Stott
AVAR: Joshua Patlak