Beyond the Box Score: Dwyer dominant in record-setting win at Sporting Park

For one brief moment, Dom Dwyer became a storyteller during the aftermath of Sporting Kansas City’s historic 6-2 win over FC Dallas in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Round of 16.

Speaking in the post-game press conference, Dwyer was asked how he felt in the hours leading up to his masterclass performance at Sporting Park.

“You might not believe this, but I walked in the locker room tonight and I bumped into Krisztian (Nemeth) and I said to him that I was gonna get five and he was gonna get three,” Dwyer said.

Dwyer’s prophecy may have been delivered in jest, but as Wednesday’s match began to unravel—as one goal led to another—the lofty mark he had predicted for the red-hot striking duo was just narrowly missed.

Dwyer scored four, Nemeth added a brace and Sporting Kansas City sealed a date with rivals Houston Dynamo in the U.S. Open Cup quarterfinals on July 21 at Sporting Park.

In a match that entertained a sold-out crowd from beginning to end, Dwyer became the first player in Kansas City history to score four goals in a single match. He claimed his hat-trick in the 41st minute, converting a penalty kick to record the first ever hat-trick at Sporting Park and the only first-half hat-trick in team history.

SPORTING KC ALL-TIME HAT-TRICKS

Player Date Result Competition
Vitalis Takawira 5/16/1998 W 3-1 at New England MLS regular season
Preki 9/5/1998 W 5-1 vs San Jose MLS regular season
Davy Arnaud 7/3/2004 W 5-1 vs FC Dallas MLS regular season
Eddie Johnson (twice) 5/26/2007
6/2/2007
W 4-3 at New England
W 3-2 vs New York
MLS regular Season
Birahim Diop 10/23/2010 W 4-1 vs San Jose MLS regular Season
Dom Dwyer (4 goals) 7/1/2015 W 6-2 vs FC Dallas U.S. Open Cup

The first-half fireworks weren’t finished. On the stroke of halftime, Benny Feilhaber and Jacob Peterson combined down the right flank before Nemeth finished the incisive attack with a low strike to make it 4-0. Before Wednesday, Kansas City had scored four goals in the first half on just twice in more than 700 games across all competitions—once in 1996 and again in 1999.

SPORTING KC: MOST FIRST-HALF GOALS (ALL COMPETITIONS)

Date Halftime score Result Competition
6/20/1996 4-0 vs DC United W 5-1 MLS regular season
6/20/1999 4-0 vs NY/NJ MetroStars W 6-0 MLS regular season
7/1/2015 4-0 vs FC Dallas W 6-2 U.S. Open Cup

Nemeth’s first goal gave Feilhaber his third assist of the night as Sporting KC’s midfield talisman had set up Dwyer in the 5th and 30th minutes with two well-delivered set pieces. In one half of action, Feilhaber took his Open Cup assist total to four, becoming the club’s all-time assist leader in the tournament.

Feilhaber now has assists in four straight games to give him 13 across all competitions this year. With more than half the season to play, the MLS All-Star candidate is on pace to shatter Preki’s single-season assist record in all competitions for the club (18 in 2003).

SPORTING KC SINGLE-SEASON ASSIST LEADERS (ALL COMPETITIONS)

Assists Player Season
18 Preki 2003
17 Preki
Graham Zusi
1997
2012
16 Preki 2000
14 Preki 1996
13 Preki
Preki
Benny Feilhaber
1998
2002
2015

The final 45 minutes saw Dwyer and Nemeth add gloss to an emphatic victory over their MLS counterparts. Nemeth’s audacious chip-shot with the outside of his right foot beat goalkeeper Chris Seitz from an almost-impossible angle near the right endline before Dwyer expertly curled a free kick into the corner of the net. The end result was six goals for Sporting KC, tied for the most in a single match in club history.

SPORTING KC: MOST GOALS IN A MATCH (ALL COMPETITIONS)

Date Result Competition
5/2/1996 W 6-4 vs Columbus MLS regular season
6/21/1997 W 6-1 vs D.C. United MLS regular season
6/20/1999 W 6-0 vs NY/NJ MetroStars MLS regular season
8/3/2005 W 6-1 vs Des Moines Menace U.S. Open Cup
7/1/2015 W 6-2 vs FC Dallas U.S. Open Cup

“(Dwyer) was big time tonight,” Sporting KC manager Peter Vermes said after the match. “I said to the bench [during the game], ‘The bull is out tonight. He’s been unleashed.’”

Vermes was most delighted by Wednesday’s result, which not only sent Sporting KC through to the Open Cup quarterfinals but extended the club’s home winning streak to seven games in all competitions—the second-longest in club history and one short of the all-time record. Five of those victories have seen Sporting KC shut out their opponent.

LONGEST HOME WINNING STREAKS IN SPORTING KC HISTORY

Win streak Dates Aggregate score Shutouts
8 games 8/24/2004 to 11/5/2004 11-0 8
7 games 5/27/1998 to 8/23/1998 14-3 4
7 games 3/25/2000 to 5/20/2000 16-3 6
7 games 5/3/2015 to 
present
19-4 5

“I think this competition is something we are very focused on and we want to win,” Vermes said. “We truly take every game very seriously. Nothing really changes. We just get ready for the next game and we know what is at stake when we’re going into it.”

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