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Recap: Sporting KC road trip ends with 2-1 defeat at Houston Dynamo

BBVA Compass Stadium | Houston, Texas
Attendance: 19,761
Weather: Cloudy and 88 degrees
Video: Match Highlights





Sporting Kansas City (11-6-3, 36 pts)




Houston Dynamo (8-5-7, 31 pts)




Sporting Kansas City: Jimmy Nielsen©; Michael Harrington, Aurelien Collin, Matt Besler, Seth Sinovic (Chance Myers 79); Paulo Nagamura, Michael Thomas, Peterson Joseph; Jacob Peterson (Bobby Convey 82), Teal Bunbury (C.J. Sapong 46), Kei Kamara

Subs not used: Eric Kronberg, Julio Cesar, Bobby Convey, Neven Markovic, Soony Saad

Houston Dynamo: Tally Hall; Andre Hainault, Bobby Boswell, Jermaine Taylor, Corey Ashe; Boniek Garcia, Warren Creavalle (Luiz Camargo 68), Brad Davis©; Calen Carr, Will Bruin (Brian Ownby 78), Macoumba Kandji (Brian Ching 60)

Subs not used: Tyler Deric, Nathan Sturgis, Alex Dixon, Je-Vaughn Watson







Shots on Goal












Corner Kicks



Misconduct Summary:

HOU – Macoumba Kandji (caution; reckless foul) 8
KC – Peterson Joseph (ejection; serious foul play) 47+

Scoring Summary:

HOU – Calen Carr 1 (Will Bruin 2, Andre Hainault 3) 25
KC – Kei Kamara 7 (penalty kick) 42
HOU – Calen Carr 2 (Brad Davis 6) 79

Sporting Kansas City suffered a 2-1 loss at the Houston Dynamo on Wednesday at BBVA Compass Stadium. Level at halftime on Kei Kamara’s penalty kick and team-leading seventh goal of the season, Sporting Kansas City played the second half with 10 men following Peterson Joseph’s ejection and conceded the decisive goal in the 79th minute when Calen Carr struck for his second goal of the match.

After playing three games on the road in eight days, Sporting Kansas City remains in first place in the Eastern Conference and returns home in advance of Saturday’s match against the New England Revolution at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park.

The Eastern Conference’s top two teams a year ago, Sporting KC and Houston met on Wednesday just 11 days after playing to a scoreless draw in Kansas City. The defensive units continued to dominate in the early moments on Wednesday, with Sporting KC All-Star Aurelien Collin at his best in the 12th minute to make a vital tackle inside the penalty area on Brad Davis. The 2011 MLS MVP runner-up had gotten behind the Sporting KC defense on an entry ball from Boniek Garcia.

On the opposite end, Teal Bunbury recorded the first shot of the match four minutes later. After Peterson Joseph won the ball away from Garcia in the defensive third, Kamara sent the ball into space for Bunbury on the right wing but the third-year pro pushed his shot wide of the near postunder pressure from Jermaine Taylor.

The visitors continued to stay active in front of the Houston goal with Jacob Peterson winning a header from Matt Besler’s throw-in. His attempt from 15 yards out was on frame, but easily held by Tally Hall.

Houston opened the scoring in the 25th minute, capitalizing on a buildup that saw 23 consecutive passes and over a minute of uninterrupted possession. Will Bruin and Andre Hainault combined for a give-and-go along the right sideline, with Bruin eluding the pressure of three defenders as he dribbled into the penalty area and eventually played the ball square to Carr. His first-time finish from the corner of the six-yard was powered past Nielsen and inside the far post for his first of two goals on the night.

The 34th minute saw a chance for Sporting KC to respond, when a long ball from Seth Sinovic was sent to Bunbury, who sharply passed to Kamara at the top of the box. The Sierra Leone international shot low but was just wide of the goal.

Sporting Kansas City would draw level on a penalty kick in the 42nd minute, given when Andre Hainult dragged down Jacob Peterson in the box on a cross from Kamara. The team’s golden boot recipient each of the last two seasons, Kamara stepped to the spot and successfully converted the penalty against his former club for the 41st goal of his career.

The momentum would prove to be short-lived as Sporting Kansas City were reduced to 10 men in the second minute of first half stoppage time when Peterson Joseph was shown the red card for his tackle on Carr.

The second half saw no decline in the physicality of the game as both teams labored for thefull three points. Houston controlled possession for much of the half, making good use of the man advantage in front of their home crowd.

The Dynamo had apromising opportunity in the 54th minute when Bruin charged deep into the right side of the box and crossed to Carr. Despite being given space to get a shot off, it was quickly blocked by Sporting KC’s centerback duo of Collin and Matt Besler in front of the goal.

The chances continued to come for Houston, notably in the 66th minute when Davis whipped in a ball that was deflected goalward by Nagamura, forcing Nielsen to make a stretching save that pushed the ball into the crossbar and wide of the goal.

Houston clinchedthe victory in the 79th minute when Carr, receiving the ball at the top of the penalty area, flicked the ball to Davis on the left and proceeded to the mouth of the goal. Davis sent the ball into the mix and though Besler tretched todeflect the cross, it’s path found Carr, who re-directed it toward net and Nielsen’s desperate dive came a split-second too late to keep the ball from crossing the goalline.

Carr, who hadn’t scored this season prior to Wednesday, now has 12 regular season goals in his seven MLS seasons and his first multi-goal game of his MLS career.

Short-sided and road-weary, Sporting KC pushed forward late to salvage a point. Shots from Michael Thomas, Kamara and Paulo Nagamura all went missing in the final minutes on a night in which Sporting Kansas City outshot their opposition but were held to a season-low eight shots for the second straight game.

Sporting Kansas City will return home to host the New England Revolution at 7:30 p.m. CT onSaturday at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park. The match, sponsored by Kia, will be broadcast locally on KSMO-TV, with coverage beginning at 7 p.m. CT. Tickets to the match are available in limited supply online at or at LSP box offices.


  • With the loss, Sporting Kansas City’s record moves to 11-6-3 in 2012 and 5-4-2 on the road this season.
  • Sporting Kansas City remains in first place in the Eastern Conference with 36 points.
  • Sporting Kansas City is 68-131-59 on the road all-time in regular season.
  • Sporting Kansas City is 205-205-103 all-time in MLS regular season play.
  • Sporting Kansas City is now 3-6-5 all-time against Houston in the regular season and1-3-3 on the road in the match-up.
  • Sporting Kansas City is 5-5-1 against the Eastern Conference in 2012.
  • Wednesday’s match marked the second time Sporting Kansas City faced the Houston Dynamo in a 12-day span. After a scoreless draw at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park on July 7, Sporting Kansas City played their first ever match at BBVA Compass Stadium.
  • Wednesday’s temperature was 88 degrees and Sporting KC is 4-4-1 when the conditions areabove 75 degrees in 2012.
  • Sporting KC is 11-3-3 when leading or tied at halftime in 2012.
  •  Sporting Kansas City is 9-5-3 when wearing Sporting Blue uniforms this season.
  • Sporting Kansas City lost for only the second time when tied at the 75-minute mark in 2012. The club is now 3-2-3 when even with 15 minutes to play.
  • Sporting Kansas City is 4-2-1 when scoring just one goal in a match.
  • Sporting Kansas City is 10-5-2 on natural grass playing surfaces this season.
  • Sporting Kansas City is 6-4-1 in the Central Time zone this season.
  • Wednesday’s loss marked Sporting Kansas City’s first loss this month in all competition.
  • Sporting Kansas City is 3-1-1 in July in all competition and moves to 37-30-21 all-time in MLS action during the month of July.
  • Sporting KC is 2-5-0 when conceding the first goal in 2012.
  • Sporting Kansas City was held to a season low eight shots for the second straight game on Wednesday. Sporting Kansas City's 315 shots this season are most in MLS.
  • Sporting Kansas City leads MLS in all-time shots taken with 6,964.
  • Sporting Kansas City was held to only two corner kicks on Wednesday, a season low. Sporting KC leads MLS in corner kicks this season with 122.
  • Sporting Kansas City made three changes to their starting XI from their 2-0 win at Columbus on Saturday with Michael Harrington, Michael Thomas and Teal Bunbury on for Chance Myers, Roger Espinoza and Soony Saad.
  • Wednesday’s match marked the first minutes Myers has missed during the 2012 MLS regular season.
  • Sporting Kansas City was without midfielders Roger Espinoza (international duty) andGraham Zusi (quad strain) on Wednesday.
  • Sporting Kansas City midfielder Michael Thomas earned his second start of 2012, and first since June 20th. Wednesday’s appearance was Thomas’ fourth in MLS play since joining Sporting Kansas City in the offseason, all of which have come on the road.
  • Michael Harrington started in Wednesday’s match marking his 144th appearance for Kansas City, moving him into a tie for ninth place on the club’s all-time chart.
  • Peterson Joseph made the third start of his MLS career on Wednesday.
  • Forward Jacob Peterson made his fifth start of the season for Sporting KC.
  • Sporting KC lost for the first time in 2012 when Paulo Nagamura and/or Jacob Peterson started.
  • Wednesday’s start was the 150th of Paulo Nagamura’s career in MLS regular season play. Nagamura is just one of two players on Sporting Kansas City’s active roster to have reached this milestone. Bobby Convey is the other.
  • Seth Sinovic surpassed 5,000 minutes played in Wednesday’s match. Sinovic is one of 11 players on Sporting Kansas City’s active roster to have surpassed this milestone.
  • Houston made just two changes to their starting lineup from their last match, a 4-0 win at BBVA Compass Stadium. Warren Creavalle and Calen Carr were the new additions to the starting eleven.
  • The start was Creavalle’s second career MLS start.
  • Calen Carr's goal in the 25th minute snapped Sporting Kansas City’s shutout streak at 334 minutes, the team’s second longest shutout streak this season.
  • Kei Kamara converted the Sporting KC penalty kick in the 42nd minute, the 51st successful penalty kick in club history. With the conversion, Kamara is nowtied with Claudio Lopez for second most on Kansas City’s all-time chart with four made penalty kicks.
  • The penalty kick was the fourth PK goal Houston has allowed this season.
  • It was also the fourth penalty kick of the season for Sporting KC, the most for the team since attempting six in 2006.
  • The penalty kick marked Kamara’s third goal against Houston all-time, moving him into a tie with Teal Bunbury for most among the club’s active players.
  • Kamara is one of four players to have scored seven or more goals in each of the last three MLS regular seasons, along with Chris Wondolowski, Landon Donovan andAlvaro Saborio.
  • Sporting Kansas City lost for the first time in 2012 when Kamara scores. The team is now 6-1-0 in regular season matches when Kamara scores.
  • The Dynamo scored on their only shot of the first half on Wednesday, and scoredboth goals on their only two shots on goal of the game.
  • Wednesday’s match as Sporting Kansas City’s tenth game in 33 days in all competition & third on the road in last eight days.
  • With the win, Houston extended their home unbeaten streak to 18 games in MLS play.
  • Sporting Kansas City has not won in the team’s last seven trips to Houston.
  • Houston are one of only two teams in MLS this season without a loss at home, going 6-0-3 since the opening of BBVA Compass Stadium in May.
  • Peterson Joseph was issued a red-card for tackle on Calen Carr in first half stoppage time. The red card is Joseph’s first of his MLS career and the team’s second red card of the season.
  • Seth Sinovic came out of the match in the 79th minute with a sprained left ankle. Chance Myers replaced him.
  • Calen Carr scored the game winner in the 79th minute marking the first multi-goalgame his career. Brad Davis notched the assist on the goal marking his second game-winning assist in 2012.
  • Bobby Convey made his first appearance since May 19, returning from a calf strain.
  • Sporting Kansas City held Houston to a season low five shots. Sporting Kansas City leads Major League Soccer with the fewest shots against (207).
  • Wednesday’s match marked the fifth time in 2012 that Jimmy Nielsen has not recorded a save.
  • Sporting Kansas City has scored 15 goals on the road this season, tied for most in the Eastern Conference with the New York Red Bulls.
  • Sporting Kansas City’s +1 goal differential on the road makes them the only team in the Eastern Conference with a postive goal differential away from home.
  • Sporting Kansas City is yet to score a goal from outside the 18-yard box during the 2012 season after 20 games played.
  • Aurelien Collin and Nielsen are the only two Sporting KC players to appear in all 19 MLS regular season matches thus far in 2012.
  • Nielsen has played every MLS minute in net for Sporting Kansas City in 2012.
  • Sporting Kansas City are back home on Saturday against the New England Revolution, marking their first home match since July 7.
  • The team will play four straight home games: two in MLS play and two international friendlies.



Thoughts on the red card

“I don’t know. I never saw the replay so I can’t comment on it now because I don’t know. It was a big difference in the game obviously, being a man down for another 50 minutes from the start of the second half. We did a good job, we held on pretty long. One play and they found a way to score so we will see what it looks like.”

On his team’s second-half performance

“Our performance was good but unfortunately they got one goal and it was a lot of effort put out by the guys to walk away with nothing. It is a good experience to play a man down. It’s good to see what it’s like at this point in the season and to be able to do what we did because we did it for a pretty long time.”


Thoughts on the match

“I think we were extremely well organized, and didn’t give much away even when we were a man down. We didn’t give much away and held a lot of the possession. It didn’t really get dangerous. We created some small stuff but never got really dangerous. Unfortunately for us, ten minutes before the end, they got a pretty lucky goal. I think the ball just hit him somehow and it went in. Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. Unfortunately for us, it was not our day but I think we all did what we could with a man down. I think that everybody put in a great effort; can’t ask for more.”


Thoughts on the match

“It was a tough result for us. We had some things go against us that we can’t control but we are going to hold our heads up high because we fought until the last minute and we gave everything that we had on the field.”


Thoughts on the match

“It was a tough night. We benefitted by playing a man up for the last 45 minutes. It took us a while to break them down. On the other side, we didn’t give them too much in the way of chances, except in the last four or five minutes when they were lobbing balls forward. I’m happy for Calen [Carr] to get back into the team and get us a goal in each half to win us the game.”

“I think it’s a huge three points for us. We have been playing well of late and picking up points but it doesn’t stop here. We only enjoy it for about four hours or so and then it’s back to the grind on Saturday against a Montreal team that is going to be tough to break down. This homestand has been good to us so far. The guys have been playing well, giving all they can and it’s good to see us climbing the table a little bit.”

On earning another three points

“I think with the three-point rule, if you go on a winning streak, the three point rule is such a big boost. If you put wins together you can either create a gap on teams behind you or pick up points on teams in front of you. Yes, we have had red cards in both games but it’s against D.C. and Kansas City and if you don’t pick up the win they will jump farther ahead of you.

On Sporting KC’s defense

“They were sitting deep. and not giving a lot of space. [Aurelien] Collin and [Matt] Besler defend the box very well. They are a very good defensive team. It took a little deflection off Calen [Carr]’s shin to trickle over the line and maybe that’s the goal you need. They don’t give you much. They make you play it wide and keep it tight and when they cross the ball into the box they have good guys attacking the box.

On the win

“We wanted to get something out of the game. We said that at halftime that we have been given a chance to get three points. We started out the game great and got a good goal. We then fell asleep for a little bit. They are an explosive team and took advantage of that.”

“The red card swung the momentum a bit in our locker room. We went into the half thinking we had a chance, maybe a little more than we were asking for. With the way they were playing, their lines were so tight. You thought the goal would have to come from out wide and it did.”

On Calen Carr’s performance

“He is a good player. He makes good runs. I thought his finish on the first goal was real good. His finish on the second goal was him attacking the ball and getting the right bounce. You can play him out wide or out front. He is versatile and his pace causes problems. He is an intelligent player who makes good runs off the ball and I think you saw on both goals he saw the space he was given and attacked it pretty well.”


Thoughts on the match

“It was a huge win for us at home. Most importantly, it keeps the momentum going for the group.  At the beginning of the week, we set out to try and get max points, and now we have put ourselves in a good position to do that. I think we came out with a good attitude. We felt that if we kept the ball on the ground with a man advantage in the second half and the heat, that we would get our chance. Luckily, we were able to get it and we were rewarded for our hard work tonight.”

On Sporting Kansas City

“They are a good team. They are a rival for a good reason. We always play good games against them. Both teams get up for this match. It was tough to find gaps between their lines. They do a good job closing down passing lanes. Once we were able to get the ball wide in the second half, that made the difference for us, as supposed to trying to jam it down the middle, which is one of the strengths of their defense.”

On the second goal

“I saw the ball come across. I had a good view of it. Brad played a good ball across that was just square. I was a little bit in front of it so I just tried to reach back and get something on it and it just hit off my back leg. From there I had to turn my body to get something on it. I peaked over my shoulder and saw it slide past [Jimmy] Nielsen into the far corner.”


Thoughts on the match

“Obviously, the turning point in the last two games has been the red cards. Who knows what would have happened if it was 11 v. 11. When it’s 11 on 10, I fancy our chance to win every game we play here up a man. It’s great for Calen tonight to get the two goals. It was a long time coming on the second goal. They sat in and made it tough. You have to give them credit. They are a tough team to break down. It’s never easy to play against a team that is tactically good like that. It took us a while, but at the end of the day we got the three points.”

On Calen Carr

“He is a good player and makes great runs. He is a good guy, too. It couldn’t have happened to a better guy. He works hard and when he is out there he is dangerous. Tonight, we needed someone to step up. Dom said at halftime, ‘Who is going to be the guy that steps up?’ and tonight it was Calen. Last year, he scored some pretty big goals for us down the stretch and made important plays. Tonight, was an example of that and we are glad to have him back. It’s just another weapon in our arsenal.”