Omar Bravo, Aurelien Collin, Soony Saad vs Galaxy

Recap: SKC splits points in 2-2 draw vs LA

MLS Game #27
Monday, September 5, 2011, 5:00 p.m. CT
English TV: FOX Soccer
Spanish TV: FOX Deportes
English Radio: KCTE 1510 AM
Spanish Radio: La Gran D 1340 AM 

LIVESTRONG Sporting Park | Kansas City, Kansas
Weather: Sunny and 72 degrees
Attendance: 20,512
Video: Match Highlights

Score                                                          1     2     F
Sporting Kansas City (9-8-10, 37 pts)    0     2     2
LA Galaxy (14-3-10, 51 pts)                    1      1    2      

Sporting Kansas City: Jimmy Nielsen; Aurelien Collin, Matt Besler, Julio Cesar, Seth Sinovic; Roger Espinoza (Davy Arnaud 64), Graham Zusi, Jeferson (Soony Saad 80); Chance Myers, C.J.Sapong, Omar Bravo© 

Subs not used: Eric Kronberg, Korede Aiyegbusi, Kevin Ellis, Michael Harrington, Milos Stojcev 

LA Galaxy: Josh Saunders; Todd Dunivant, Omar Gonzalez, A.J. DeLaGarza, Frankie Hejduk; Sean Franklin, Juninho, David Beckham (c), Mike Magee (Michael Stephens 78); Adam Cristman, (Jovan Kirovski 88) Chad Barrett (Landon Donovan 59) 

Subs not used: Brian Perk, Bryan Jordan, Miguel Lopez, Paolo Cardozo 

Stats:               KC     LA
Shots                 13       9
Shots on Goal   3        3         
Saves                  1        1         
Fouls                 11      13
Offside               3        2
Corner Kicks      5        3                  

Misconduct Summary:
KC – Roger Espinoza (Caution; Reckless Tackle) 2
LA – Frankie Hejduk (Caution; Reckless Tackle) 66
KC – Graham Zusi (Caution; Reckless Foul) 67
KC – Aurelien Collin (Caution; Reckless Foul) 73
LA – Landon Donovan (Caution; Reckless Tackle) 84
LA – David Beckham (Caution; Delaying a Restart) 91+

Scoring Summary:
LA – Sean Franklin 3 (Omar Gonzalez 1) 25
KC – Julio Cesar 2 (unassisted) 72
LA – Sean Franklin 4 (David Beckham 12) 74
KC – Omar Bravo 8 (penalty kick) 92+

A record-setting crowd of 20,512 saw Sporting Kansas City earn a 2-2 draw against the LA Galaxy on Monday at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park, courtesy of Designated Player Omar Bravo’s penalty kick in the second minute of second-half stoppage time.

LA Galaxy defender Sean Franklin twice gave the visitors one-goal leads, first in the 25th minute and again in the 74th minute, but Julio Cesar’s volley and Bravo’s late penalty pulled Sporting KC within a game of the Columbus Crew for first place in the Eastern Conference with seven games remaining in Major League Soccer’s regular season.

Franklin, who had scored only two goals in four seasons prior to his brace, opened the scoring in the first half as he slipped behind the Sporting KC defense as they pushed up-field following a clearing header from Cesar. Galaxy centerback Omar Gonzalez caught the backline in transition with a header of his own back into the penalty area and Franklin’s first-time volley from eight yards out slipped inside the near post to give the Galaxy an early 1-0 lead on the lone shot on goal in the first half between the two teams.

The action picked up considerably in the final 45 minutes, beginning with a pair of early chances for the Galaxy to extend their advantage. Mike Magee sent hisshot wide from the top of the penalty area moments into the half and Sporting KC goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen made his only save of the night in the 47th minute, stopping a shot from Chad Barrett after a prolonged battle for the loose ball around the penalty spot.

On the opposite end, Saunders made his single save three minutes later to smother a shot from Bravo, though the Galaxy goalkeeper would be called into actionagain in the 62nd minute to keep out a Seth Sinovic cross that was deflected toward goal mid-flight.

Sporting Kansas City leveled the score in the 72nd minute on an unlikely sequence. Graham Zusi’s corner kick was delivered beyond the far post where C.J. Sapong’s volley bounced off the back of Davy Arnaud and set-up Cesar’s volley from a tight angle through traffic and past Saunders into the net. Cesar now has two goals on the year.

Momentum swung back to the Galaxy, in first place in the West with the League’s best record, just two minutes later though as David Beckham found Franklin in space on the right side of the area. Nielsen came off his line to challenge Franklin, but the former MLS SuperDraft first round pick slotted his shot beneath Nielsen for the first multi-goal game of his career and Beckham’s team-best 12th assist of the season.

Nielsen again found himself in a one-on-one situation in the 77th minute but this time he made no mistake in closing down second-half substitute Landon Donovan before he could get a shot off along the endline.

Sporting Kansas City continued to press for the game’s tying goal with Arnaud putting himself in prime position until Galaxy defender Frankie Hejduk’s lunging tackle blocked the shot in the 82nd minute. Two minutes later, Aurelien Collin put a perfectly placed header inside the far post off a free kick from inside midfield but he was ruled offside and the goal was disallowed to thedispleasure of the home support.

The late-game dramatics at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park continued on Monday in the 90th minute as Hejduk was whistled for handling Cesar’s cross inside the penalty area. Bravo stepped up to the spot to send Saunders diving the wrong direction as the former Chivas Guadalajara star and Mexico National Team member placed his shot to the goalkeeper’s left in the second minute of stoppage time.

Bravo now has eight goals in his inaugural MLS season, tied for the team-lead and eighth most in Major League Soccer.

Sporting Kansas City weathered the remainder of seven minutes of added time, including Arnaud’s block of a Beckham free kick from 25-yards out on the game’s final play, as the club improved their playoff positioning, now five points clear of the last playoff berth held by the New York Red Bulls.

Sporting Kansas City will conclude their nine-game homestand on Saturday, September 10th when they host the Houston Dynamo at 3:00 p.m. CT at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park. Tickets are available at TicketMaster.com or at the LIVESTRONG Sporting Park box offices.

FAST FACTS

• Sporting Kansas City is now 9-8-10 and remains in second place in the Eastern Conference.

• Sporting Kansas City is 6-2-5 at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park since it’s opening on June 9th.

• Monday’s attendance at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park was a standing-room only crowd of 20,512, the largest ever for a match, surpassing the mark set at the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup doubleheader.

• The match was the first-ever Labor Day game in Major League Soccer’s 16-year history.

• LA leads the all-time series with Sporting KC with a 22-17-11 record, but Sporting holds the  advantage with a 12-8-5 record at home in meetings between the two clubs.

• Sporting KC has not lost at home to the LA Galaxy since the 2007 season.s

• Sporting Kansas City is 1-5-6 when conceding the first goal in 2011.

• Sporting Kansas City is 0-2-6 when trailing at halftime in 2011.

• Sporting Kansas City has not been shutout in 13 straight games dating back to a scoreless draw at the Philadelphia Union on June 22nd.

• Sporting Kansas City has lost only twice in their past 19 MLS matches.

• Monday's match was Sporting Kansas City’s eighth in a nine-game homestand, which is tied for the longest in MLS history along with the Chicago Fire in2006.

• Sporting Kansas City began the season with their first 10 MLS matches on the road, a new MLS record.

• Sporting Kansas City is 7-2-4 in matches that Seth Sinovic starts this season and 7-2-9 in matches Chance Myers has appeared in the starting lineup in 2011.

• Sporting Kansas City striker C.J. Sapong played 90 minutes on Monday and is the only Sporting Kansas City player to appear in all 27 MLS matches for the club this season.

• Sapong leads all MLS rookies in games played (27) and points (10) in 2011.

• Midfielder Davy Arnaud made his first appearance for Sporting KC since a 2-1 win over Vancouver Whitecaps FC on June 25th. He missed 11 matches while recovering from sports hernia surgery.

• Cesar recorded his second goal of the season, after also scoring in a 2-1 win over the Vancouver Whitecaps FC.

• Designated Player Omar Bravo converted a penalty kick in second-half stoppage time for his eighth goal of the year, tying Kei Kamara for the team-lead and moving him into eighth place on the MLS goal-scoring chart for 2011.

• The penalty kick was Bravo’s second successful spot kick of the season and Sporting Kansas City is now three for three on penalty attempts this season.

• Bravo becomes the eight Sporting KC player all-time to convert multiple penalty kicks in a KC uniform.

• Defender Aurelien Collin made his first start since suffering lower back fractures in Sporting Kansas City’s 4-2 win over Toronto FC on July 23rd.

• Collin will miss Sporting Kansas City’s next match due to yellow cardaccumulation after receiving a caution in the 73rd minute.

• Designated Player Jeferson returned to the starting lineup for Sporting Kansas City for the first time since suffering a quad strain in a 2-1 loss to Seattle Sounders FC on August 6th.

• Defender Matt Besler has started 20 straight MLS matches for Sporting Kansas City, the most of all current players.

• Sporting Kansas City striker Teal Bunbury served a mandatory one-match suspension on Monday after receiving two cautions in the club’s last match.

• Sporting Kansas City was also without forward Kei Kamara, who earned his ninth appearance for the Leone Stars on Saturday in their 2-1 win over Egypt.

• The LA Galaxy were without midfielder Chris Birchall (Trinidad and Tobago) and Robbie Keane (Ireland) due to international duty.