C.J. Sapong - Sporting KC at FC Tucson - January 29, 2014
Courtesy of FC Tucson

Recap: Sporting KC opens 2014 preseason with a 1-0 win over FC Tucson

2014 MLS Preseason
Kino Sports Complex | Tucson, Ariz.
Weather: 56 degrees and sunny





Sporting Kansas City




FC Tucson




Misconduct Summary:
TUC - Anthony Salciccia (caution; persistent infringement) 44

Scoring Summary:
SKC -- C.J. Sapong (Claudio Bieler, Sal Zizzo) 20

Sporting Kansas City: Kronberg (Gruenebaum 46); Ellis (Jerome 46), Collin (Palmer-Brown 46), Opara (Schmetz 46), Gardner (Trialist 1 46, Anding 72); Nagamura (Christian Duke 30, Martinez 72), Olum (Marini 46, Punyed 72), Bieler (Lopez 46); Zizzo (Brenes 46, Gabeljic 65), Dwyer (Bunbury 46), Sapong (Saad 46)

Sporting Kansas City opened the team's 2014 pre-season with a 1-0 victory over FC Tucson in a scrimmage played at North Stadium at the Kino Sports Complex in Tucson, Ariz. on Tuesday. C.J. Sapong scored the game's only goal in the first half as goalkeepers Eric Kronberg and Andy Gruenebaum combined for the shutout.

Dom Dwyer nearly put Sporting Kansas City ahead in the 10th minute but was denied by FC Tucson goalkeeper Michael D'arrigo. The home side responded seven minutes later with two scoring opportunities of their own, forcing Kronberg into a diving stop on the initial attempt and sending a shot narrowly wide on the follow-up effort.

Sapong broke through in the 20th minute with a right-footed finish. The buildup began with Kronberg and culminated with assists to Sal Zizzo and Claudio Bieler as Sapong sent his shot past D'arrigo inside the near post.

Zizzo came close to doubling Sporting Kansas City's lead on an individual effort in the 26th minute only to see his shot turned away by a kick save. On the opposite end, Ike Opara snuffed out a 2v1 counter attack to keep FC Tucson from threatening in the 39th minute.

The second half started with all 11 starters replaced in the lineup, sparking an early attack in which Soony Saad and Christian Duke were denied by FC Tucson goalkeeper Victor Rodriguez. The duo proved to be dangerous throughout the second half as Duke sent a header narrowly wide of the post in the 56th minute and Saad's long-range effort dipped just beyond the top corner four minutes later.

With Sporting KC controlling the tempo over their PDL opposition, scoring chances continued to be created and Teal Bunbury was twice the benefactor in the final 15 minutes. Rodriguez made a sprawling save in the 76th minute to block the first and then the FC Tucson goalkeeper made an even more impressive stop on Bunbury seven minutes later, diving high to his left.

Sporting Kansas City will next face MLS counterparts Portland Timbers FC at 7 p.m. CT on Saturday. Visit SportingKC.com/preseason for ticket and travel information.