Sporting Kansas City took its first road loss of the 2016 season on Sunday, falling 2-1 to FC Dallas at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas. The result drops Sporting Kansas City (4-3-0, 12 points) to fourth place in the Western Conference, while FC Dallas (5-1-2, 17 points) moves atop the MLS Supporters’ Shield standings.
Midfielder Lawrence Olum put Sporting Kansas City ahead in the 22nd minute, scoring his first MLS goal since 2014 off a corner kick from Benny Feilhaber, but FC Dallas drew level 13 minutes later through Michael Barrios. Second-half substitute Mauro Rosales then curled home a free kick in the 68th minute to snap Sporting Kansas City’s two-game road winning streak.
Sunday’s nationally televised contest carried high stakes, as the winner would assume first place in the league table. Captain Matt Besler returned to the Sporting Kansas City lineup after missing three games with a concussion, while winger Brad Davis became the fifth player in MLS history to reach 400 career appearances (including playoffs).
Both sides created multiple opportunities throughout the first half amidst wet and windy playing conditions. Goalkeeper Tim Melia produced his first of three saves in the seventh minute, diving left to palm Kellyn Acosta’s bending effort beyond the post. Davis was involved in Sporting Kansas City’s first chance shortly thereafter, but his cross for Dom Dwyer was cut out by the sliding Zach Loyd.
Dwyer almost had his third goal in as many games after bundling the ball past goalkeeper Chris Seitz in the 16th minute, but the striker was whistled for a handball near the goal line following Feilhaber’s free kick delivery to the far post. At the other end, Fabian Castillo did well to weave past two defenders before dragging wide in the 20th minute.
Sporting Kansas City drew first blood halfway through the opening stanza. Feilhaber’s shallow corner kick bounced across the face of goal and reached Olum, who buried a header from point-blank range for his fourth career MLS goal and his first since rejoining the club in December.
FC Dallas leads MLS with 15 goals through Week 7, and the Texas club showcased its firepower after falling behind. In the 35th minute, Acosta sent a diagonal pass down the right flank that skipped across the wet surface, splitting two Sporting KC defenders to reach Barrios after Maximiliano Urruti applied a slight touch. Melia got his mitts to the ensuing shot but couldn’t keep the ball out of the net, bringing an end to his 214-minute road shutout streak to start the year.
Oscar Pareja’s men applied heavy pressure the latter stages of the first half, nearly grabbing the lead through Victor Ulloa only for Melia to produce a fine save in the 40th minute. Tesho Akindele found the back of the net two minutes later, but the offside flag was raised and the match remained all square. Dwyer was on the receiving end of another opportunity just before the break, but struck narrowly wide after collecting a through ball from Medranda.
Dwyer and Medranda reversed roles in the 61st minute, when the English striker set up the diminutive midfielder with a clever back-heeled pass into space behind the Dallas backline. Medranda had only the keeper to beat, but Seitz made the pivotal save to deny the Colombian his first MLS goal.
FC Dallas received a free kick in the 68th minute when Urruti drew a foul just outside the penalty area in a central position. Rosales, who had entered the match just five minutes earlier, expertly picked out the left corner from 20 yards to give the Texas side its first lead of the evening.
The hosts would preserve their 2-1 advantage to the final whistle, but not before Sporting Kansas City came bitterly close to salvaging a point in second-half stoppage time. In the 91st minute, Davis’ left-footed free kick beat FC Dallas’ four-man wall but was turned away by Seitz. Two minutes later, a scramble in the penalty area saw the ball break to substitute Diego Rubio, who hammered just high of the crossbar amidst heavy traffic.
Sporting Kansas City’s road travels will continue next week, with four of the next five fixtures coming away from home. First up is a visit to the sixth-place San Jose Earthquakes (3-2-2, 11 points) on Sunday at 2:30 p.m. CT. The match will be televised nationally from Avaya Stadium on ESPN, WatchESPN and ESPN Deportes, with a local radio broadcast on La Grande 1340 AM. Sporting Kansas City will look to snap a 17-game winless run in San Jose (including playoffs) dating back to 2000.
2016 MLS Regular Season
Game 7 of 34
Toyota Stadium | Frisco, Texas
Weather: 65 degrees and rainy
|Sporting Kansas City (4-3-0, 12 pts)||1||0||1|
|FC Dallas (5-1-2, 17 pts)||1||1||2|
Sporting Kansas City: Tim Melia; Saad Abdul-Salaam, Nuno Andre Coelho, Matt Besler (C), Amadou Dia (Seth Sinovic 70); Benny Feilhaber, Lawrence Olum (Ike Opara 70), Roger Espinoza; Jimmy Medranda (Diego Rubio 79), Dom Dwyer, Brad Davis
Subs Not Used: Alec Kann, Jordi Quintilla, Connor Hallisey, Jacob Peterson
FC Dallas: Chris Seitz; Ryan Hollingshead (Atiba Harris 46), Zach Loyd (C), Walker Zimmerman, Maynor Figueroa; Michael Barrios, Kellyn Acosta, Victor Ulloa, Fabian Castillo (Juan Esteban Ortiz 82); Maximiliano Urruti, Tesho Akindele (Mauro Rosales 63)
Subs Not Used: Jesse Gonzalez, Moises Hernandez, Colin Bonner, Carlos Lizarazo
|Shots on Goal||6||5|
FCD -- Atiba Harris (caution; unsporting behavior) 90
SKC -- Lawrence Olum 1 (Benny Feilhaber 1) 22
FCD -- Michael Barrios 4 (Maximiliano Urruti 2, Kellyn Acosta 1) 35
FCD -- Mauro Rosales 1 (unassisted) 68