Kei Kamara v Houston Dynamo
Getty Images

Recap: SKC season ends in Eastern Conference final

2011 MLS Cup Playoffs
Eastern Conference Championship

Sunday, November 6, 2011, 4:30 p.m. CT
English TV: FOX Soccer
Spanish TV: FOX Deportes
English Radio: Sports Radio 810 WHB
Spanish Radio: La Gran D 1340 AM

LIVESTRONG Sporting Park | Kansas City, Kan.
Weather: Sunny, 66 degrees
Attendance: 20,839
Video: Match Highlights

Score                                                      1     2    F
Sporting Kansas City (13-9-12, 51 pts)       0     0     0
Houston Dynamo (12-9-13, 49 pts)            0     2     2      

Sporting Kansas City: Jimmy Nielsen©; Chance Myers, Matt Besler, Aurelien Collin, Seth Sinovic (Omar Bravo 85); Julio Cesar (Jeferson 82), Roger Espinoza (Davy Arnaud 75), Graham Zusi; Kei Kamara, Teal Bunbury, C.J. Sapong

Subs not used: Eric Kronberg, Birahim Diop, Michael Harrington, Soony Saad

Houston Dynamo: Tally Hall; Andre Hainault, Bobby Boswell, Geoff Cameron, Corey Ashe; Danny Cruz,Adam Moffat, Luiz Camargo, Brad Davis (Jermaine Taylor 39); Brian Ching© (Carlo Costly 78), Calen Carr (Will Bruin 68)

Subs not used: Tyler Deric, Alex Dixon, Hunter Freeman, Je-Vaughn Watson

Stats:              KC     HOU
Shots                13         6
Shots on Goal    4          4
Saves                2          2
Fouls                11       13
Offside              2          5
Corner Kicks     4          1

Misconduct Summary:
HOU – Calen Carr (Caution; Reckless Tackle) 17
KC – Julio Cesar (Caution; Reckless Foul) 30
HOU – Luiz Camargo (Caution; Reckless Tackle) 55
KC – Roger Espinoza (Caution; Dissent) 74
HOU – Carlo Costly (Caution; Unsporting Behavior) 88

Scoring Summary:
HOU – Andre Hainault 2 (unassisted) 53
HOU – Carlo Costly 1 (Luiz Camargo 1) 87

Sporting Kansas City were eliminated from the 2011 MLS Cup playoffs on Sunday following a 2-0 loss to the Houston Dynamo in the Eastern Conference Finals in front of a record crowd of 20,839 at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park.

The loss ends a 2011 season for Sporting Kansas City that saw the club ascend from worst to first in the Eastern Conference, earning the conference’s top seed courtesy of a run that included just three losses in a total of 27 matches to end the regularseason.

Sporting Kansas City then went on to dethrone the defending MLS Cup champion Colorado Rapids in the Eastern Conference Semifinals, earning the right to host a conference final for the first time since 2004.

But it was the Houston Dynamo who advanced to their third MLS Cup in six seasons with the victory on Sunday as Andre Hainault finished a rebound chance early in the second half and Honduran international striker Carlo Costly added a breakaway tally late for the Dynamo.

The Dynamo created the game’s first chance in the eighth minute of play on a neat combination between Brazilian midfielder Luiz Camargo and veteran striker Brian Ching. Receiving the ball on the right, Ching quickly backheeled a pass to Camargo and set off on a run into the penalty area. Camargo, who made his competitive Dynamo debut in Sporting ‘s 3-0 win over Houston on September 10th, chipped a pass behind the Sporting Kansas City backline for Ching, who put his effort over the bar for a goal kick.

The next chance or the Dynamo would come courtesy of League MVP candidate Brad Davis. After collecting a loose ball in midfield, Davis released forward Calen Carr in on goal. Under pressure from Matt Besler, Carr fired a shot on target but Sporting Kansas City goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen did well to turn away.

Sporting Kansas City earned their first true chance in the 44th minute. From a corner, midfielder Graham Zusi drove a cross to the back post that was headed down and back across goal by Besler. Besler’s pass found C.J. Sapong, but the rookie forward hit his half-volley straight at Dynamo goalkeeper Tally Hall, who did well to hold the shot and keep the game scoreless into the halftimebreak.

After halftime, the Dynamo went in front on a goal from Hainault in the 53rd minute. From a free kick on the right side, Adam Moffat teased a cross to the far post for substitute Jermaine Taylor, who had come on in the first half for an injured Davis. Taylor directed his header down towards goal only to have it blockedoff the body of Nielsen and into Hainault’s path to give Houston the 1-0 advantage.

Just a minute later, Houston nearly doubled their lead if not for a tremendous save from Nielsen. On the counter, Ching played midfielder Corey Ashe into space down the left as Houston released numbers forward. In on goal with the option to shoot, Ashe chose to deliver a pass across goal for Camargo but the Brazilian was denied on the doorstep by a sprawling Nielsen.

In the 64th minute, Kei Kamara flashed a header wide of the far post from a lofted Besler cross. Seven minutes later the two would hook up again, this time from a throw-in, with the same end result. Kamara rose first to meet the throw, but his header sailed over the bar.

The 84th minute saw another half-chance go begging for Sporting. Working his way towards the penalty area on the left, Seth Sinovic whipped in a cross that flashed across the face of goal untouched and out for a goal kick.

Three minutes later, Carlo Costly gave the Dynamo their second goal of the match. Running through midfield with time on the ball, Camargo slipped a through ball in for Costly, who had gotten in behind Aurelien Collin. Costly took two touches before slamming a left-footed shot off the post and into the back of the net to seal the victory.

Refusing to go quietly in the game’s final moments, Sporting Kansas City created two more chances as five extra minutes were added on by referee Mark Geiger. Both came from Kamara, who first wriggled free from two challenges before setting himself and firing over from outside the area with his left foot. Then, from a Sapong cross, Kamara leaped to win a header in the penalty area, but it was straight at Hall.

Sporting Kansas City will conclude the club’s competitive calendar on Wednesday with their MLS Reserve League finale against FC Dallas at 11:00 a.m. CT at the Sporting Club Training Center in Swope Park. The match is free to attend and open to the general public.


• Sporting Kansas City’s season came to a close on Sunday with the 2-0 loss to the Houston Dynamo in the Eastern Conference Championship.

• The loss was Sporting Kansas City’s first in nine matches in all competition.

• Sporting Kansas City lost by more than one goal for only the second time this season in an MLS match. Sporting’s only other multi-goal defeat came in a 4-1 loss at the LA Galaxy on May 28th.

• The Dynamo continued their recent run of form with the win on Sunday and are now unbeaten in their last nine MLS matches. Their last loss came in a 3-0 defeat by Sporting Kansas City on September 10th at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park.

• Sporting Kansas City lost to the Dynamo for the first time in four meetingsthis season. Sporting won 3-0 at home and drew 1-1 on the road in the regular season, to go along with a 1-0 win in a Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup qualifier in April.

• Sunday’s match marked Sporting Kansas City’s sixth all-time appearance in a conference championship in the club’s 16-year history. Their most recent appearance prior to Sunday came in 2007 in a 2-0 loss against the Houston Dynamo.

• Sporting Kansas City is 3-7-4 all-time against the Dynamo when including postseason and are 0-2-0 in the playoffs against Houston.

• Sporting Kansas City hosted a conference championship for the fourth time in club history on Sunday and for the first time since 2004.

• Sporting Kansas City finishes 10-3-6 in MLS matches at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park in its inaugural season, with 31 goals for and 18 goals against.

• Sunday’s standing-room only crowd of 20,839 was the largest home crowd for a Sporting KC postseason match in club history and sets the record for the largest crowd at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park.

• The Houston Dynamo advance to the 2011 MLS Cup, to be held on Sunday, November 20th at the Home Depot Center in Carson, CA.

• Houston will face the winner of tonight’s Western Conference Championship between the LA Galaxy and Real Salt Lake.

• Sunday’s loss snapped a streak of four consecutive clean sheets in MLS matches for Sporting Kansas City, the most in a row since the 2000 season.

• Sporting KC goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen had not allowed a goal in 416 minutes prior to Andre Hainault’s goal in the 53rd minute on Sunday.

• Prior to Sunday, Sporting Kansas City had scored in 21 of their last 22 MLSmatches, with the lone scoreless match coming in a 1-0 defeat at Real Salt Lake on September 17th.

• Sunday’s shutout was the ninth time Sporting KC has been held scoreless all-time in the postseason.

• Sporting Kansas City are 14-16-5 all-time in 35 all-time postseason appearances with 48 goals for and 48 goals against.

• Sporting Kansas City are 12-4-2 all-time in 18 all-time postseason matches at home with 31 goals for and 15 goals against.

• Sporting Kansas City are 1-10-0 when allowing the first goal in the postseason.

• Sporting Kansas City Designated Player Omar Bravo made his MLS postseason debut on Sunday, entering in the 85th minute.

• Sporting Kansas City defender Matt Besler started each of the team’s final 30 MLS matches.

• Sapong was the only Sporting KC player to appear in all 34 regular season matches and started all three matches in the team’s 2011 MLS Cup playoffs run.

• Sporting Kansas City Home Grown goalkeeper Jon Kempin was named to the United States Under-23 Men’s National Team last week and will be in Duisburg, Germany this week for the training camp.

• Houston Dynamo midfielder Brad Davis exited the match in the 39th minute on Sunday with a right quad injury. Sunday’s match marked the 200th game played of his Houston career when including postseason.

• Sunday’s match was nationally broadcast on FOX Soccer and FOX Deportes. It also aired on the radio in Kansas City on Sports Radio 810 WHB and La Gran D 1340AM.