Sporting KC storms back to claim 3-3 draw with Charlotte FC in preseason

Felipe Hernandez vs. CLT

Sporting Kansas City continued the club’s 2024 preseason slate of matches with a pulsating 3-3 draw with fellow MLS side Charlotte FC at FIU Soccer Stadium in University Park, Fla. on Friday morning.

Sporting fell into an early hole as Premier League veteran Scott Arfield bagged a pair of goals within the opening 12 minutes, twice finding the corner from 12 yards out.

With halftime drawing near, Sporting got on the board with a well-worked goal as Jake Davis surged down the right wing before cutting the ball back to Erik Thommy inside the penalty area and the German fired a brilliant first-time finish into the top corner to make the halftime score 2-1.

Following wholesale changes at the break, Charlotte restored their two-goal advantage when Patrick Agyemang took advantage of a misplay in the Sporting backline and finished with composure once through one-on-one with John Pulskamp.

Sporting turned the game on its head in the final five minutes – first reducing the deficit through Felipe Hernandez’s penalty kick after Alenis Vargas had bravely earned a foul after being clattered by Charlotte goalkeeper Chituru Odunze – before snatching a dramatic late equalizer.

Zorhan Bassong did well to keep the ball alive on the left wing, blocking a clearance into the path of Marinos Tzionis who in-turn found Ethan Bryant on the edge of the area. The Sporting KC II midfielder saw his shot tipped away by Odunze but his fellow SKC II teammate and SKC Academy product Sebastian Cruz was on hand to rifle home the rebound and level the match with just seconds remaining.

Sporting will now complete the first leg of preseason with a trip to West Palm Beach, Fla. to take on Nashville SC on Tuesday, Jan. 30.

Sporting Kansas City vs. Charlotte FC
Jan. 26, 2024 – FIU Soccer Stadium (University Park, Fla.)
Sporting Kansas City 3, Charlotte FC 3

Scoring Summary:
CLT – Scott Arfield (Tyger Smalls) 2’
CLT – Scott Arfield (Andrew Privett) 12’
SKC – Erik Thommy (Jake Davis) 44’
CLT – Patrick Agyemang (Unassisted) 63’
SKC – Felipe Hernandez (Penalty Kick) 86’
SKC – Sebastian Cruz (Unassisted) 90’

Sporting Kansas City Lineup (First Half)
Tim Melia; Jake Davis, Robert Castellanos, Andreu Fontas, Tim Leibold; Nemanja Radoja, Remi Walter, Erik Thommy; Johnny Russell, Alan Pulido (Willy Agada 31’), Stephen Afrifa

Sporting Kansas City Lineup (Second Half)
John Pulskamp; Jacob Bartlett, Ian James, Robert Voloder, Zorhan Bassong; Danny Flores, Felipe Hernandez, Memo Rodriguez (Ethan Bryant 78’); Khiry Shelton (Sebastian Cruz 50’), Willy Agada (Alenis Vargas 61’), Marinos Tzionis