Omar Bravo celebrates vs Vancouver Whitecaps FC

Recap: Sporting KC 2, Whitecaps FC 1

MLS Game #15
Saturday, June 25, 2011, 7:30 p.m. CT
English TV: KSMO
Spanish TV: Time Warner Cable Ch. 5
Spanish Radio: La Gran D 1340 AM

LIVESTRONG Sporting Park | Kansas City, Kansas
Weather: Partly cloudy, 81 degrees
Attendance: 18,467 (sell-out) 
Video: Match Highlights

Score: 1 2 F
Sporting Kansas City (4-6-5, 17 pts) 2 0 0
Vancouver Whitecaps FC (2-7-8, 14 pts) 1 0 0

Sporting Kansas City: Jimmy Nielsen; Chance Myers, Matt Besler, Aurelien Collin, Seth Sinovic; Julio Cesar, Roger Espinoza, Graham Zusi; Milos Stojcev (Davy Arnaud 69), C.J. Sapong (Kei Kamara 81), Omar Bravo (Michael Harrington 85)

Subs not used: Eric Kronberg, Teal Bunbury, Birahim Diop, Luke Sassano

Vancouver Whitecaps: Joe Cannon; Alain Rochat, Michael Boxall, Jay DeMerit (Bilal Duckett 46), Jonathan Leathers, Camilo, Jeb Brovsky, Terry Dunfield (Nizar Khalfan 77), Shea Salinas; Eric Hassli, Davide Chiumiento (Russell Teibert 46)

Subs not used: Jay Nolly, Greg Janicki, Gershon Koffie, Omar Salgado 

Stats:               SKC VAN
Shots 20 12
Shots on Goal 8 3
Saves 2 6
Fouls 10 14
Offside 4 1
Corner Kicks 3 2

Misconduct Summary:
VAN – Jay DeMerit (Caution, Reckless Foul) 32
VAN – Bilal Duckett (Caution, Reckless Foul) 84
KC – Kei Kamara (Caution, Reckless Foul) 89

Scoring Summary:
VAN – Camilo 5 (Davide Chiumiento 7) 15
KC – Omar Bravo 3 (penalty kick) 33
KC – Julio Cesar 1 (Omar Bravo 1, Graham Zusi 3) 40

Sporting Kansas City stayed unbeaten at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park with a 2-1 victory over Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Saturday, extending the club’s unbeaten run to seven straight MLS matches. Designated Player Omar Bravo converted a penalty kick in the 33rd minute and then provided the game-winning assist on Julio Cesar’s goal in the 40th minute as Sporting Kansas City jumped into sixth place in the Eastern Conference.

Sporting Kansas City, playing in front of a third straight sell-out, nearly opened the scoring in the 10th  minute as playmaker Milos Stojcev combined with defender Chance Myers on a crafty give-and-go. Myers crossed for striker C.J. Sapong inside the penalty area, and the rookie fired from six yards out but Vancouver Whitecaps FC goalkeeper Joe Cannon made a strong save from close range.

It was the visitors who struck first though, as the Whitecaps FC capitalized on a free kick from midfielder Davide Chiumiento in the 15th minute. The Swiss international sent the ball into the penalty area and Camilo was there to loft a header inside the far post for his fifth goal of the season.

Sporting Kansas City responded with a pair of shots from midfielder Graham Zusi leading up to the equalizer in the 33rd minute. Bravo was key in the breakthrough, earning Sporting Kasnas City’s second penalty kick of 2011 after being taken down by Vancouver Whitecaps FC defender Jay DeMerit, who was cautioned for the infraction. Bravo stepped to the spot to convert the penalty kick past Cannon for his third goal of the season and first since his two-goal performance on his debut in the season opener.

With the momentum, Sporting KC nearly struck again two minutes later but Cannon denied Stojcev from five yards out on a well-taken attempt.

Five minutes later, Sporting Kansas City took a 2-1 lead that they would not relinquish on a corner kick delivered by Zusi to Bravo at the backpost. The former Mexican international re-directed the service into the middle of the penalty area where Cesar slid for a first-time finish from 12 yards out for his MLS goal.

Bravo earned his first MLS assist on the play and Zusi now has assists in each of his last three appearances, the longest active streak in MLS, to go along with two goals.

Sporting Kansas City, who won for the first-time in 2011 when allowing the opening goal, continued to attack in the second half as defender Roger Espinoza, returning from Honduras’ semi-final run in the CONCACAF Gold Cup, sent a shot from 25-yards out on target that was pushed away by Cannon. In the aftermath of the ensuring corner, Sapong’s header went narrowly over the crossbar on a well-placed pass from Myers.

Sporting Kansas City goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen made two saves in the victory, including a kick-save on Eric Hassli’s shot in the 53rd minute, Vancouver Whitecaps FC’s best chance of the second half.

Sporting Kansas City will begin play in the 2011 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup third round at 7:30 p.m. CT on Tuesday, June 28th against the Chicago Fire PDL at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park.  Tickets are $10 for Season Ticket Members and $15 for the general public on TicketMaster.com.

Fast Facts:

Sporting Kansas City is now 4-6-5 in 2011 and moved up to sixth position in the Eastern Conference.

Sporting Kansas City clinched the season series against the expansion Vancouver Whitecaps FC and are now 1-0-1 all-time versus Vancouver after a 3-3 draw in the previous meeting.

Sporting Kansas City is unbeaten with a 2-0-1 record at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park since it’s opening on June 9th.

Camilo’s goal in the 15th minute for Vancouver Whitecaps FC was the first goal Sporting Kansas City had conceded at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park.

Sporting Kansas City goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen’s shutout streak ended at 339 minutes, the 4th longest streak in MLS this season.

Sporting Kansas City is unbeaten in seven straight MLS matches, and eight games in all competition.

With the victory, Sporting Kansas City’s seven-game unbeaten streak is the second-longest in MLS, behind only the LA Galaxy.

Sporting Kansas City has shutouts in four of their past six MLS matches and have allowed only two goals in their past six games.

Sporting Kansas City is unbeaten in June at 3-0-3 and unbeaten at 3-0-2 in games in which the temperature at kickoff is above 75 degrees. 

Sporting Kansas City remains unbeaten at 3-0-1 in 2011 when leading at halftime and unbeaten at 4-0-1 when leading in the 75th minute in 2011.

Sporting Kansas City won for the first time in 2011 when conceding the game’s first goal and are now 1-5-1 after falling behind 1-0.

Sporting Kansas City also won for the first time when scoring two goals in 2011 and now stand at 1-2-0 in games in which they score twice this season.

Sporting Kansas City is 4-2-2 against the Western Conference this season.

Sporting Kansas City improved to 4-3-4 in all-Sporting blue uniforms this season in MLS play.

Omar Bravo’s goal in the 33rd minute was his third of the season and first since scoring twice against Chivas USA in Sporting Kansas City’s season opener on March 19th. Sporting Kansas City is 2-0-0 when Bravo scores this season.

Bravo’s goal was the second goal scored on a penalty kick by Sporting Kansas City in 2011. Vancouver Whitecaps FC have conceded three goals on penalty kicks in 2011.

Bravo also recorded his first MLS assist in the 40th minute of Saturday’s 2-1 win.

Julio Cesar’s goal in the 40th minute was his first shot on goal and first goal scored in MLS.

Sporting Kansas City recorded a season-high 20 shots and eight shots on goal on Saturday.

Playing their second game four days, Sporting Kansas City made five changes to their lineup from a 0-0 draw on Wednesday at the Philadelphia Union. 

Sporting Kansas City captain Davy Arnaud was not in the starting lineup on Saturday, marking the first time since March 28th, 2009 (neck stiffness) that the midfielder was on the bench for a KC match when available. Arnaud, the longest-tenured player on KC’s roster, had started 65 of Sporting Kansas City’s last 72 MLS regular season matches, having missed four games due to suspension and three games while with the U.S. Men’s National Team during the 2009 Gold Cup.

Defender Seth Sinovic, signed May 10th, started his fourth consecutive match for Sporting Kansas City on Wednesday and fifth of the season. The team is 3-0-2 when Sinovic is in the starting lineup.

Sporting Kansas City goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen broke a tie with Garth Lagerway on Saturday for sole possession of 5th on the club’s all-time goalkeeper wins chart with 13.

Sporting Kansas City has recorded 700 assists in 16 seasons of action, becoming the 8th of Major League Soccer’s 10 original clubs to break the 700-assist barrier on Saturday. Omar Bravo and Graham Zusi combined to assist on Julio Cesar’s goal in the 40th minute.

Sporting Kansas City midfielder Graham Zusi has recorded two goals and three assists in his last three appearances. With assists in his last three appearances, Zusi currently holds the longest active streak in MLS for assists in consecutive matches.

MLSSoccer.com launched a new Chalkboard tool with a comprehensive statistical analysis of all MLS matches, powered by Opta. Visit the Sporting Kansas City – Vancouver Whitecaps FC MatchCenter on MLSSoccer.com to use the interactive feature.

LIVESTRONG Sporting Park hosted DKMS, the world’s largest bone marrow donor center, on Saturday in conjunction with “Extreme Home Makeover: Home Edition” in an effort to find a matching bone marrow donor for Jonah Gomez, a seven-year-old soccer fan in South Jordan, Utah.

“Sons of Great Dane” performed in the Sprint Plaza prior to Saturday’s match as part of the season-long Live at LSP, presented by INK, concert series featuring local up-and-coming musicians and bands.

Cancer survivor Ryenne Hicks from Brookfield, Missouri was an honorary guest in the Victory Suite at Saturday’s match, sitting in the signature yellow seat that symbolizes the stadium’s innovative partnership with Lance Armstrong’s LIVESTRONG Foundation.

Twenty-two local high school students were presented at Saturday’s match as the inaugural “Sporting 22” class. Sporting Kansas City launched the Sporting 22 community initiative this season to provide $500 grants and $2,000 scholarships for area youth who enacted soccer-related projects in their communities.

Four Sporting Kansas City players – Graham Zusi, Luke Sassano, Seth Sinovic and Kevin Ellis – participated in a soccer clinic with the National Sports Center for the Disabled on Friday night at the Sporting Club Training Center in Swope Park. In addition to working the NSCD staff to teach basic soccer skills, the players took pictures and signed autographs for clinic participants. 

KSMO-TV will air highlights and reaction from Wednesday’s match on the station’s weekly 30-minute soccer show “Off the Pitch with Sporting Kansas City” on Sunday at 9:30 p.m. CT.

The Sporting Kansas City U16 Juniors began the 2010-11 US Soccer Development Academy playoffs in Frisco, Texas on Saturday with a 2-1 loss to the LA Galaxy.  The Juniors will face the Houston Dynamo on Sunday and IMG Soccer Academy on Tuesday, with the group winner advancing to Finals Week in Milwaukee, Wisconsin from July 9-16.

The Sporting Kansas City U18 Juniors are also in Frisco, Texas for the Spring Showcase and defeated the Irvine Strikers 3-0 on Friday and will play again on Sunday at 9:00 a.m. CT against the Virginia Rush.

The Sporting Kansas City U13 and U15 Juniors are in Fox Cities, Wisconsin for the 2011 US Youth Soccer Region II Championships from June 25th-29th. The U13’s tied 1-1 against FC Milwaukee and the U15’s lost 1-0 against CUP (Cincinnati United Premier) Crew Jr Gold on Saturday.