Sporting KC celebration vs. Toronto FC

Recap: Sporting KC takes out Toronto 4-2

MLS Game #20
Saturday, July 23, 2011, 7:30 p.m. CT

English TV: KSMO-TV
Spanish TV: Time Warner Cable Ch. 5
Spanish Radio: La Gran D 1340 AM
LIVESTRONG Sporting Park | Kansas City, Kansas
Weather: Clear, 100 degrees
Attendance: 16,382
Video: Match Highlights

Score                                                         1      2     F
Sporting Kansas City (6-6-8, 26 pts)    3      1     4
Toronto FC (3-11-9, 18 pts)                    0      2     2

Sporting Kansas City: Jimmy Nielsen; Seth Sinovic, Matt Besler, Aurelien Collin (Daneil Cyrus 62), Chance Myers; Julio Cesar (Graham Zusi 58), Roger Espinoza, Jeferson; Omar Bravo, C.J. Sapong (Teal Bunbury 53), Kei Kamara

Subs not used: Eric Kronberg, Birahim Diop, Michael Harrington, Milos Stojcev 

Toronto FC: Stefan Frei; Mikael Yourassowsky (Ashtone Morgan 58), Andy Iro, Richard Eckersley,Eddy Viator; Maicon Santos (Matt Stinson 44), Torsten Frings (Doneil Henry 80), Gianluca Zavarise; Ryan Johnson, Danny Koevermans, Nick Soolsma

Subs not used: Milos Kocic, Danleigh Borman, Ty Harden, Nathan Sturgis 

Stats:                           KC      TOR
Shots                            16        14
Shots on Goal             10          5         
Saves                             3           6         
Fouls                            11         12
Offside                           4          2
Corner Kicks                2          7         

Misconduct Summary:
TOR – Eddy Viator (Caution, Reckless Foul) 31
KC – Kei Kamara (Caution, Reckless Foul) 66
TOR – Matt Stinson (Caution, Tactical Foul) 68
KC – Graham Zusi (Caution, Reckless Foul) 76 

Scoring Summary:
KC – Kei Kamara 4 (unassisted) 28
KC – Kei Kamara 5 (Roger Espinoza 3, C.J. Sapong 4) 33
KC – Omar Bravo 5 (Jeferson 1) 37
TOR – Danny Koevermans 1 (Ryan Johnson 3) 50
KC – Omar Bravo 6 (Chance Myers 1, Graham Zusi 4) 64
TOR – Ryan Johnson 1 (unassisted) 72 

Sporting Kansas City matched the record for the longest unbeaten streak in team history on Saturday with a 4-2 victory over Toronto FC at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park, marking the team’s 12th straight MLS match without a loss.

Striker Kei Kamara scored two goals five minutes apart in the first half and Designated Player Omar Bravo bagged a brace of his own, including the match-winner, topower Sporting Kansas City to the their second four-goal game of the year and keep the team unblemished at the brand new stadium.

Kamara opened the scoring in the 28th minute on a spectacular scissor kick inside the penalty area. Toronto FC captain Maicon Santos re-directed a corner kick from Sporting Kansas City Designated Player Jeferson, who made his MLSdebut on Saturday, and Kamara pulled off the acrobatic attempt to perfection for his first MLS goal since April 23rd.

Five minutes later, Kamara was again well-positioned to place his header past Toronto goalkeeper Stefan Frei at the backpost on a flighted cross from midfielder Roger Espinoza, who has assists in two straight games and matched his single-season career high with three on the year.

Kamara’s two-goal performance, the fourth multi-goal game of his six-year MLS career, gives him five on the season and 30 in his career.

The scoring spree continued four minutes later as Sporting Kansas City’s two Designated Players connected in the 37th minute for the team’s third goal in a nine-minute stretch, the fastest span for three consecutive goals by an MLS team this season. Bravo was on the receiving end of a well-weighted through ball from Jeferson and took a touch around Frei before placing his shot into the empty net from a tight angle on the right side.

Jeferson earned his first MLS point with an assist on the goal as Sporting Kansas City entered halftime with a convincing 3-0 lead having scored three times in a half for just the second time this season.

Sporting Kansas City goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen made just one save in the first half, but it was one of his best of the season to deny Danny Koevermans in the third minute on a point blank shot after a cross on the right side from Mikael Yourassowsky.

On the opposite end, Frei made three of his seven saves in the match prior to halftime, including a pair of back-to-back stops in the 14th minute to thwart Julio Cesar’s shot from distance and then turn away the follow-up effort from Kamara on the rebound.

Toronto FC turned up the pressure from the start of the second half, as Nielsen wasimmediately called into action to stop Ryan Johnson on a one-on-one opportunity within the first 15 seconds of the second stanza.

Aron Winter’s squad got on the board in the 50th minute as Koevermans, signed late last month as a Designated Player, scored his first MLS goal on a header off a cross from Johnson.

But Bravo took out any suspense in the match with his second multi-goal game of the season, striking again in the 64th minute on a first-time finish off a cross from outside back Chance Myers, the second assist of his career.

A minute after scoring his team-best sixth goal of the season, Bravo nearly sealed a hat trick but Frei stoned his diving header from eight yards out on nearly an identical sequence that saw Myers supply the service again from the right sideline.

Toronto FC closed out the scoring in the 72nd minute as an errant backpass from Daneil Cyrus, making his Sporting Kansas City debut as a second-half substitute for Aurelien Collin, allowed Johnson to poke a shot past the outrushing Nielsen for his first goal of the 2011 season and 18th of his MLS career. 

The two goals allowed broke a streak of 12 straight matches in which the Sporting Kansas City defense had allowed a single goal or less, but that was the lone sour note on a night when Sporting Kansas City scored more goals against Toronto FC than any game in the series history with the Canadian club, including an offensive output in the opening 45 minutes that surpassed the two first-half goals KC had scored against Toronto FC in the previous 11 meetings.

Sporting Kansas City will continue the homestand on Saturday, July 30th when they host the New England Revolution at 7:30 p.m. CT at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park. Tickets are available at TicketMaster.com or at the LIVESTRONG Sporting Park box office.

Fast Facts:

   - Sporting Kansas City is now 6-6-8 in 2011 and moved into fourth place in the EasternConference.
   - Sporting Kansas City is unbeaten in 12 straight MLS matches.
   - With the win, Sporting Kansas City’s 12-game unbeaten streak in MLS play is the second-longest in MLS this season, behind only the LA Galaxy, and matches the longest in team history, equaling a 12-game stretch to begin the 2000 MLS Cup season.
   - Sporting Kansas City have not lost an MLS match at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park since it’s opening on June 9th and stand 3-0-3 at their state-of-the-art home stadium in MLS play.
   - Sporting Kansas City began a nine-game homestand on Saturday, which is tied for the longest in MLS history along with the Chicago Fire in 2006. Sporting Kansas City began the season with their first 10 MLS matches on the road, a new MLS record.
   - Toronto FC is winless on the road during the 2011 season with a 0-7-4 record in 11 matches.
   - Sporting Kansas City is 5-3-4 all-time against Toronto FC and 4-1-1 at home in the series.
   - Sporting Kansas City shutout Toronto FC in the first half for the 11th time in the two teams’ 12 meetings, as the KC defense has allowed only onefirst-half goal against the Canadian club in the series history.
   - Sporting Kansas City allowed more than one goal on Saturday for the first time in their last 13 MLS games.
   - Sporting Kansas City scored four goals in a game and three goals in a half for the second time this season, matching the offensive output in the team’s 4-1 win at FC Dallas.
   - Sporting Kansas City’s three goals in a nine-minute span during the first half marks the fastest a team has scored three consecutive goals in an MLS match this season.
   - Sporting Kansas City had two players record multi-goal games for only the third time in club history and for the first time since the 1996 season, when the feat was accomplished twice.
   - Sporting Kansas City improved to 6-3-7 in all-Sporting blue uniforms this season in MLS play and is 4-0-5 when the temperature is above 75 degrees at kickoff.
   - The temperature at kickoff was 100 degrees Fahrenheit on Saturday, marking the highest temperature for a Sporting Kansas City match this season.
   - Sporting Kansas City recorded 10 shots on goal on Saturday, a new season high.
   - Sporting Kansas City is 5-1-1 when scoring the first goal in 2011. Saturday marked the first time Sporting has struck first – and held a lead in a match – in the past six games, dating back to a 2-1 win at the Portland Timbers on July 2nd.
   - Sporting Kansas City is unbeaten at 5-0-1 when leading at halftime this season.
   - Toronto has not won when trailing at the break (0-8-1) or when conceding the game’s first goal (0-11-2).
   - Toronto FC have only won once in their last 14 MLS matches.
   - Sporting Kansas City have scored 28 goals, while conceding 27 in MLS play this season. The 4-2 win on Saturday pushes Sporting Kansas City to a positive goal differential for the first time since the second match of the 2011 season.
   - Striker Kei Kamara recorded the fourth multi-goal game of his MLS career, and second of the season, on Saturday. He now has five goals in 2011 and 30 regular season goals in his MLS career.
   - Kamara scored for the first-time since April 23rd, 2011, breaking a stretch of 12 games without a goal, the longest such goalless streak of his MLS career.
   - Striker Omar Bravo also recorded his second multi-goal game of the 2011 season on Saturday. Bravo leads Sporting Kansas City with six goals this season, tallying two game-winners and adding two assists.
   - Sporting Kansas City is 3-0-1 when Bravo scores in 2011.
   - Midfielder Roger Espinoza recorded his second assist in as many MLS matches and has matched his single-season career high with three assists in 2011.
   - Forward C.J. Sapong and midfielder Graham Zusi each recorded secondary assists on Saturday to stay tied for the team-lead with four assists this season.
   - Manager Peter Vermes made three changes on Saturday from the starting line-up used in last week’s 1-1 draw at the Houston Dynamo. Defender Seth Sinovic, midfielder Julio Cesar and Designated Player Jeferson replaced Michael Harrington, Birahim Diop and Graham Zusi, respectively.
   - Jeferson made his MLS debut on Saturday, after playing 45 minutes in Sporting KansasCity’s scoreless draw against Newcastle United FC on Wednesday at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park.
   - He earned the first point of his KC career with a through ball on Omar Bravo’s goal in the 37th minute for the assist.
   - Defender Daneil Cyrus also made his MLS debut on Saturday, entering the match in the 62nd minute after being acquired on loan from FC Santa Rosa in Trinidad and Tobago last week.
   - Sporting Kansas City midfielder Graham Zusi made his 50th MLS and KC appearance on Saturday, entering the match in the 58th minute. He becomes the seventh current Sporting Kansas City player to appear in 50 regular season matches.
   - Sinovic made his first appearance since June 25th, playing the full 90 minutes on Saturday. Sporting Kansas City is 4-0-2 in games the Leawood, Kansas nativestarts this season.
   - Sapong started and played 53 minutes on Saturday and is the only Sporting Kansas City player to appear in all 20 MLS matches for the club this season.
   - Sporting Kansas City has lost once in the 13 MLS matches defender Chance Myers has started this season and stand 5-1-7 in games with the former 1st rounddraft pick in the starting lineup.
   - Sporting Kansas City Designated Player Omar Bravo and defender Matt Besler will leave on Sunday for the 2011 AT&T MLS All-Star Game, to be held on Wednesday, July 27th at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, N.J. against defending Barclays Premier League champions Manchester United.
    - 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.