MLS Game #19
Saturday, July 16, 2011, 7:30 p.m. CT
English TV: KSMO-TV
Spanish TV: Time Warner Cable Ch. 5
Spanish Radio: La Gran D 1340 AM
Robertson Stadium | Houston, Texas
Weather: 90 degrees and clear
Video: Match Highlights
Score: 1 2 F
Sporting Kansas City (5-6-8, 23 pts) 0 1 1
Houston Dynamo (5-6-9, 234 pts) 1 0 1
Sporting Kansas City: Jimmy Nielsen; Michael Harrington (Teal Bunbury 80), Matt Besler, Aurelien Collin, Chance Myers; Birahim Diop, Roger Espinoza, Graham Zusi; Omar Bravo, C.J. Sapong, Kei Kamara
Subs not used: Eric Kronberg, Seth Sinovic, Shavar Thomas, Luke Sassano, Milos Stojcev, Soony Saad
Houston Dynamo: Tally Hall, Kofi Sarkodie, Jermaine Taylor (Bobby Boswell 46) Andre Hainault, Corey Ashe, Je-Vaughn Watson, Geoff Cameron, Brad Davis (Lovel Palmer 61), Danny Cruz (Hunter Freeman 79), Brian Ching, Colin Clark
Subs not used: Tyler Ceric, Cam Weaver, Will Bruin, Jason Garey
Stats: SKC HOU
Shots 24 6
Shots on Goal 8 2
Saves 1 7
Fouls 16 14
Offside 1 3
Corner Kicks 10 4
HOU – Danny Cruz (caution; Reckless Foul) 16
HOU – Colin Clark (ejection; Serious Foul Play) 51
HOU – Brian Ching (ejection; Serious Foul Play) 69
KC – Aurelien Collin (caution; Unsporting Behavior) 91
HOU – Brad Davis 3 (unassisted) 8
KC – Aurelien Collin 3 (Roger Espinoza 2) 90
For the second straight regular season match, Sporting Kansas City left it late to secure a 1-1 draw and extend their unbeaten run in MLS play.
Defender Aurelien Collin scored in the 90th minute on Saturday as Sporting Kansas City earned a road result at Houston and has now gone 11 straight matches without a loss in MLS action, the second-longest streak in MLS this season.
Houston midfielder Brad Davis opened the scoring in the eighth minute on a perfectly placed free kick from 30 yards out for the Dynamo’s first goal directly from a free kick this season and the club’s first goal from outside the penalty area. Striker Brian Ching drew the foul to create the chance, and Davis struck a curling shot with his left foot that dipped over the wall and tucked inside the near post for his third goal of the season.
Sporting Kansas City, who attempted a season-high 24 shots on Saturday, responded immediately with a free kick of their own from Chance Myers and apair of attempts by Graham Zusi.
Goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen was called into action to deny Colin Clark in the 24th minute and minutes later, Houston briefly appeared to have doubled their lead after capitalizing on a corner kick but the goal was disallowed due to a Dynamo player in an offside position.
The two sides, meeting for the first time in MLS play this season, continued to exchange scoring opportunities on each end as Houston forward Brian Ching directed a header wide of target in the 34th minute and Sporting Kansas City Designated Player Omar Bravo, named a 2011 MLS All-Star on Saturday, came close on a pair of half-chances.
Sporting Kansas City’s best chance of the opening 45 minutes came came on a free kick taken by Zusi and mishandled by Hall, but Collin’s off-balance attempt to hammer home the rebound couldn’t connect.
After outshooting the Dynamo 10-3 in the first half, Sporting Kansas City took full control in the second half as Houston was reduced to nine players upon seeing players sent off on two occasions by referee Kevin Stott. Clark was dismissed first in the 51st minute for a two-footed, sliding tackle on Collin and Ching too saw red for a challenge on the Frenchman in the 69th minute.
Goalkeeper Tally Hall came through time and time again for Houston, denying C.J. Sapong’s close-range effort in the 56th minute, holding onto a header from Roger Espinoza three minutes later and smothering a deflected shot from Bravo shortly thereafter.
Sporting striker Kei Kamara tried his luck in the 75th minute with a half-volley, but hit it straight at Hall, who recorded seven saves in the draw, second-most in his MLS career.
With the clock winding down, Sporting Kansas City Manager Peter Vermes inserted Teal Bunbury for Michael Harrington as his squad continued to attack from all angles. Espinoza’s long-range drive from 30 yards out went narrowly wide, before Birahim Diop forced Hall to spring to his left for a shot destined for the top-right corner.
The Dynamo defense, which had posted shutouts in each of their previous two matches, dodged another bullet in the closing stages as a goalmouth scramble ended with Sporting Kansas City defender Matt Besler in prime position to break through for the visitors. But the 2011 MLS-Star rushed his shot high to prolong the dramatic finale.
A throw-in from Bravo along the right sideline was settled by Espinoza at the top of the penalty area and laid back for Collin, who had moved forward into the attack when given the opportunity in the game’s later stages. The MLS newcomer took a controlling touch prior to unleashing a left-footed shot from 30 yards out that deflected mid-flight, leaving Hall helpless in net as Sporting finally found the equalizer the team had been searching to secure for more than 80 minutes.
The goal, Collin’s third of the season, comes exactly one week after Bravo scored in the 93rd minute of Sporting Kansas City’s 1-1 draw against Chivas USA at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park. Espinoza earned his second assist of the year on a night when he made his 75th career MLS appearance and surpassed 5,000 regular season minutes played in his KC and MLS career, becoming the fourth currentSporting KC player to break the barrier.
Sporting Kansas City will return home to host the English Premier League’s Newcastle United FC at 7:30 p.m. CT on Wednesday, July 20th at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park. Tickets are available at TicketMaster.com or at the LIVESTRONG Sporting Park box office.
• Sporting Kansas City is now 5-6-8 in 2011 and is tied for fifth position in the Eastern Conference.
• Sporting Kansas City is unbeaten in 11 straight MLS matches and have not lost in six straight MLS road games.
• Sporting Kansas City has three road games remaining in the 2011 season and will now enter a stretch of nine straight MLS matches at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park.
• With the draw, Sporting Kansas City’s 11-game unbeaten streak in MLS play is the second-longest in MLS this season, behind only the LA Galaxy, and is the second longest in team history behind a 12-game stretch to begin the 2000 MLS Cup season.
• Sporting Kansas City is 2-5-4 all-time against the Houston Dynamo and 1-2-3 away in the series.
• Sporting Kansas City’s only win at Robertson Stadium came in the first-ever meeting between the two teams during the 2006 season.
• Sporting Kansas City has allowed one goal or less in their last 12 MLS matches.
• Sporting Kansas City improved to 5-3-7 in all-Sporting blue uniforms this season in MLS play and is 3-0-5 when the temperature is above 75 degrees at kickoff.
• Sporting Kansas City has played to 1-1 draws in each of their last three MLS matches.
• Sporting Kansas City set a season high in shots on goal with eight attempts on target in the draw, and also matched season highs in shots (24) and corner kicks (10) as well on Saturday.
• Sporting Kansas City played with a two-man advantage in the second-half on Sunday after their Houston received the first – and second – red card by a Sporting Kansas City opponent this season.
• Sporting Kansas City is 1-5-4 when allowing the first goal in 2011 and has allowed the first goal in four of last five games in all competition.
• Sporting Kansas City is 0-2-4 when trailing at halftime this season. Sporting Kansas City has four consecutive draws when beginning the second half behind.
• Defender Aurelien Collin scored his third goal of the season in the 90th minute on Saturday, moving him into a tie for second-most on the team this year with C.J. Sapong, Graham Zusi, Kei Kamara and Teal Bunbury.
• Collin has three goals on his first three shots on goal of his MLS career this season, and Sporting Kansas City is 2-0-1 when Collin scores this season.
• Roger Espinoza recorded his second assist of the year, moving him into a tie for third-most on the team with Omar Bravo, Teal Bunbury, Kei Kamara and Milos Stojcev.
• Espinoza made his 75th regular season appearance on Saturday and surpassed 5,000 regular season minutes played, becoming the fourth current Sporting Kansas City player to have logged more than 5,000 minutes for the club.
• Houston midfielder Brad Davis has four goals against Sporting Kansas City in his career, tied for the most among all current Houston players.
• Manager Peter Vermes made two changes on Saturday from the starting line-up used from Saturday’s 1-1 draw against Chivas USA. Striker Kei Kamara and midfielder Birahim Diop replaced Milos Stojcev and Julio Cesar, respectively.
• Sapong started and played the full 90 minutes on Saturday and is the only Sporting Kansas City player to appear in all 19 MLS matches for the club this season.
• Sporting Kansas City has lost once in the 12 MLS matches defender Chance Myers has started and stand 4-1-7 in games with the former 1st round draft pick in the starting lineup.
• Rookie striker Soony Saad, acquired earlier this month in a weighted lottery, dressed for the first time in his professional career and was available on the bench for Sporting Kansas City.
• Sporting Kansas City Designated Player Omar Bravo was one of MLS Commissioner Don Garber’s two picks for the 2011 AT&T MLS All-Star Game on Saturday. He joins defender Matt Besler as Sporting Kasnas City’s two current representatives among the All-Stars already announced.
• Sporting Kansas City will make a major player announcement on Sunday at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park. Video of the press conference will be shown live in the Members Club prior to the watch party for the Women’s World Cup final. Doors open at 12:45 p.m. CT and all fans attending should park in Lot C.
• Sporting Kansas City are scheduled to play the Chicago Fire in the 2011 MLS Reserve League at 10:00 a.m. CT on Tuesday at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park.
• KSMO-TV will air highlights and reaction from Saturday'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.