HOU – Adam Moffat (Professional Foul) 81
Sporting Kansas City – Jimmy Nielsen: Chance Myers, Matt Besler, Aurelien Collin, Seth Sinovic; Luke Sassano (Paulo Nagamura 64), Roger Espinoza, Graham Zusi; Kei Kamara, C.J. Sapong (Soony Saad 77), Bobby Convey (Jacob Peterson 75)
Houston Dynamo – Tally Hall; Warren Creavalle, Bobby Boswell, Geoff Cameron, Corey Ashe; Alex Dixon (Emerson Sato 67), Luiz Camargo (Brad Davis 77), Adam Moffat, Colin Clark (Brian Ownby 77); Will Bruin (Cam Weaver 71), Brian Ching (Macoumba Kandji 61)
Sporting Kansas City earned the first shutout of their 2012 preseason campaign in a 0-0 draw with the Houston Dynamo in the team’s opening match of the Disney Pro Soccer Classic in Orlando. Jimmy Nielsen made acrobatic saves in each half to secure the clean sheet in a match that pitted the two sides against each other for the first time since Houston defeated Sporting Kansas City in the 2011 Eastern Conference Championship match.
Both Sporting Kansas City manager Peter Vermes and Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear fielded primarily first-choice lineups but the first true match didn’t arrive until the 26th minute. Kei Kamara latched onto a long ball out of the back, running in behind Dynamo right back Warren Creavalle before unleashing a left-footed shot from close range that Tally Hall saved with his chest. Six minutes later, Sporting Kansas City defender Matt Besler got on the end of a corner kick from Graham Zusi, but his flick header was just wide of the far post.
The Dynamo would earn their first chance of the match in the game’s 33rd minute, when second-year forward Will Bruin found himself with a bit of space to release a shot at the edge of the Sporting Kansas City penalty area. Bruin struck a powerful drive towards the upper corner with his right foot, but it was parried away cleanly by Nielsen as the two sides headed into the half scoreless.
Neither side made changes to their lineups at halftime, and it was Sporting Kansas City who created the first chance of the second half from a set piece in the 62nd minute. From a Zusi corner, Kamara won a header that forced a reaction save from Hall. The rebound struck C.J. Sapong but the forward was unable to get another crack before Houston cleared their lines.
With four minutes remaining, Houston nearly grabbed a winner on a corner of their own. Brad Davis, seeing his first preseason action after suffering a quad injury that kept him out of MLS Cup, served in an ins-winger that was met by a rising Geoff Cameron just outside the six-yard box. Cameron got sufficient power on his header, but Nielsen was able to dive to his right and hold the effort as the match ended 0-0.
Sporting Kansas City now has one day of rest before facing expansion side Montreal Impact in their second match of the tournament on Sunday at 2:00 p.m. CT.
Fans can follow the team at the tournament as every group stage match will be streamed live on MLSSoccer.com and ESPN3.com broadcasting the consolation and championship matches.