Sporting KC boss Peter Vermes focuses on positives in draw with FC Dallas

FRISCO, Texas—Dom Dwyer's third brace of the season helped Sporting Kansas City pick up a road point in the crowded Western Conference playoff race, but they came up short in their bid to snap FC Dallas' home unbeaten streak before it passed the one-year mark.

Sporting left Toyota Stadium on Saturday night with a 2-2 draw against the Supporters Shield leaders, after conceding Maxi Urruti's bicycle-kick equalizer in the 76th minute – the fourth goal in a 10-minute span that saw all of the match's scoring.

“Good response by us to get the equalizer on our side, and then to get the second goal there was even better,” head coach Peter Vermes said after Sporting's winless streak in MLS road play reached 11 matches. “I thought we gave up a soft goal on their second one, honestly.”

Tesho Akindele scored first for the hosts, in the 66th minute, but Dwyer roofed a right-footed blast after Brad Davis' final pass in the 68th and volleyed home a pass to himself in the 73rd to make it 2-1. All that went for just one point, though, when Sporting keeper Alec Kann failed to punch out a shot and Urruti made the visitors pay for the mistake.

“That’s the disappointing part of it. I thought both teams had chances,” Vermes said. “They had a couple more in the first half than we did, but in the second half both teams were going back and forth. To be in front like we were and give up that goal, it’s a little disappointing. But it’s good to get a point.”

Sporting are still above the red line in the West, alone in fifth place with 35 points, but could have used a victory to solidify their position. Portland hold the last playoff spot on 32 points, with San Jose just one back of the Timbers. Portland have one game in hand on Sporting – and the Earthquakes have three.

“Wins are important anywhere you are, but everybody else has to play their games as well,” Vermes said. “Points at the end of the season every year go all over the place. We just have to keep trying to grind out as many points as we can with each game.

“It’s better to come away here from one than zero, so it’s a good point for us.”

And, heading into Tuesday's CONCACAF Champions League opener – away to Trinidadian side Central FC (7pm CT; Facebook.com) – Sporting will take all the momentum they can get, even if that late lapse did keep them from taking down the Shield leaders and Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup finalists at their home ground.

“I think if a few things in this league go your way, it’s amazing how fast things can turn in your favor,” Vermes said. “So the good thing is we’re still plugging away and fighting game after game, and you can see it in the way our players play. That’s the positive thing on my side.”