Recap: Sporting KC caps off unbeaten May with emphatic 4-0 victory in FC Dallas rematch

Sporting Kansas City stretched the team's unbeaten run to six games, the longest active streak in MLS, with a 4-0 victory over FC Dallas on Friday at Sporting Park. Krisztian Nemeth scored the game winner in the 19th minute with his team-leading sixth goal of the season, while Benny Feilhaber, Kevin Ellis and Graham Zusi all added goals of their own in the second half.

Tim Melia made one save for the team's sixth clean sheet of the season and earned $500 in soccer equipment for the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Kansas City through the Every Save Makes a Difference initiative. Melia is now unbeaten (3-0-2) as the team's starter and becomes the second goalkeeper all-time to go without a loss in his first five appearances for the club.

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Friday's victory - the 100th of Peter Vermes' coaching career in all competitions - moves Sporting Kansas City into second place in the West ahead of next Saturday's match against conference leaders Seattle Sounders FC. The team's two losses in 2015 are fewest in MLS and second fewest in team history through 13 games behind only the historic 2000 season (1).

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For the second straight match, Sporting Kansas City held their opponent without a shot on goal in the opening 45 minutes. In fact, FC Dallas was limited to a single first half shot which came on a Mauro Diaz attempt from 30 yards out that carried over the crossbar in the 10th minute.

Sporting Kansas City, on the other hand, broke through in the 19th minute when Nemeth suffered one of eight fouls on the night - tying the MLS season-high. Zusi delivered the ensuing free kick and Ellis won the aerial duel with Zach Loyd to direct the ball toward the back post, where Nemeth was stationed to head home from close range.

The goal was the club's 600th at home in all competitions and gives Nemeth six goals on all six of his shots on target this season, a feat only seen once before in MLS history when Claudio Suarez scored on his first seven shots on goal for Chivas USA from 2006-2007. The Hungarian international, who joins his national team this week ahead of UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying, nearly netted his second of the night in the 39th minute only to see his shot whistle narrowly wide of the post.

Sporting Kansas City dressed less than the allotted 18 players on the gameday roster for the third straight match on Friday due to injuries and international duty. Rookie Connor Hallisey made his first career start - giving Sporting KC two draft picks in the starting lineup, along with Amadou Dia, for the first time since 2009 - and forced a save from Dan Kennedy with his shot from the top of the penalty area in the 31st minute. 

FC Dallas were reduced to 10 players in the 43rd minute when Loyd received his second caution of a half in which he was whistled four times for fouls on Nemeth. In total, Nemeth suffered six fouls in the first half to tie the team's all-time record for fouls won in a half.

Sporting Kansas City made the most of their man advantage with three goals in the second half, but only after Melia made his lone save of the night to deny Tesho Akindele in the 49th minute. The reigning MLS Rookie of the Year latched onto a cross from Ryan Hollingshead and directed his effort goalward however was denied by the outrushing Melia.

The home side, now 4-0-3 at Sporting Park in 2015, doubled their lead moments later as Feilhaber capped off an eight-pass scoring sequence with his fourth goal of the year. Jalil Anibaba played the ball into Nemeth, who turned Matt Hedges and laid the ball back to set up Feilhaber's first-time finish. A five-year MLS veteran, Feilhaber has now tied his MLS career highs with four goals and seven assists in 2015.

Six minutes later, Sporting Kansas City's lead went to 3-0 when Ellis scored his first career MLS goal in emphatic fashion - snapping a header inside the post off a corner kick from Zusi. The homegrown defender celebrated near the corner flag with tributes for injured defender Ike Opara and a local three-year-old battling leukemia.

After assisting on two goals, Zusi then closed out the scoring in the 64th minute to highlight his 150th career start in all competition. Hallisey cut in from the right flank and clipped the ball into the path of Zusi with a clever backheel before the World Cup veteran made no mistake in sending his shot past Kennedy.

Sporting Kansas City now leads all MLS teams with 21 goals scored thanks to a trio of four-goal performances during their six-game unbeaten run. Prior to Friday, the team had scored four goals on three instances in a six-game span only once - back in 1996 - in 20 seasons.

Friday's match was the first in a three-game homestand as Manager Peter Vermes will now prepare for a rematch with Seattle Sounders FC at 7:30 p.m. CT on Saturday, June 6. A limited number of tickets are available via Ticketmaster.com and the first 10,000 fans inside Sporting Park will receive commemorative Matt Besler posters courtesy of Sprint.

Major League Soccer
Regular Season: Game 13
Sporting Park | Kansas City, Kan.
Attendance: 20,172 (60th straight sell out)
Weather: 71 degrees and partly cloudy
 

Score

1

2

F

Sporting KC (5-2-6, 21 pts)

1

3

4

FC Dallas (6-4-3, 21 pts)

0

0

0

Sporting Kansas City: Tim Melia; Amadou Dia, Matt Besler (c), Kevin Ellis, Jalil Anibaba; Soni Mustivar, Roger Espinoza (Servando Carrasco 71), Benny Feilhaber; Graham Zusi (Saad Abdul-Salaam 83), Krisztian Nemeth, Connor Hallisey (Marcel de Jong 65)

Subs Not Used: Jon Kempin, Jimmy Medranda, James Rogers

FC Dallas: Dan Kennedy; Moises Hernandez, Matt Hedges (c), Zach Loyd, Je-Vaughn Watson; Kyle Bekker, Victor Ulloa, Mauro Diaz (Michel 72), Ryan Hollingshead; Tesho Akindele (David Texeira 74), Blas Perez (Rolando Escobar 46)

Subs Not Used: Atiba Harris, Chris Seitz, Walker Zimmerman, Michael Barrios

Stats

SKC

DAL

Shots

12

5

Shots on Goal

6

1

Saves

1

2

Fouls

11

14

Offside

4

2

Corner Kicks

5

3

Misconduct Summary:

DAL -- Zach Loyd (caution; reckless foul) 33 

DAL -- Zach Loyd (caution; tactical foul) 43 

DAL -- Zach Loyd (ejection; second caution) 43

Scoring Summary:

SKC -- Krisztian Nemeth 6 (Kevin Ellis 1, Graham Zusi 3) 19 

SKC -- Benny Feilhaber 4 (Krisztian Nemeth 2, Jalil Anibaba 3) 51 

SKC -- Kevin Ellis 1 (Graham Zusi 4) 57 

SKC -- Graham Zusi 1 (Connor Hallisey 1, Jalil Anibaba 4) 64

 

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