Sporting Kansas City opened the 2018 preseason with a 2-1 victory over Phoenix Rising FC on Saturday morning at Phoenix Rising FC Soccer Complex in Tempe, Arizona.
The game was split into three 30-minute periods, with Sporting KC trotting out a different group for each section of the game.
Sporting KC created plenty of chances in the first period, with Diego Rubio firing narrowly wide and Graham Zusi seeing a stunning free kick tipped over the crossbar. Salloi was then sent in on goal but another excellent save from the Phoenix goalkeeper kept the game scoreless.
In the 23rd minute, Sporting KC found the breakthrough. Cristian Lobato cut inside from the right wing onto his left foot and fed Salloi, and the Homegrown striker cut inside of a challenge on the top of the box before rifling high into the corner to make the score 1-0 at the end of the first period.
It didn’t take long for Sporting KC to extend its lead in the second stanza, with two Academy products linking up to devastating effect. Jaylin Lindsey, 17, surged down the right wing on an overlapping run and cut the ball back powerfully to the penalty spot where Gianluca Busio, 15, was waiting to stroke the ball into the side netting.
Kharlton Belmar almost added to his side’s lead later in the period but fired over after holding off his marker in the area, before excellent work from Academy player Cameron Duke set up Busio who also sent a shot over the bar. Lindsey almost added a goal of his own after being played through by Belmar, only to be denied by a low stop from the Rising FC goalkeeper.
In the third period, recent MLS SuperDraft selection Will Bagrou beat his man down the left and crossed the ball for new Rangers forward Hadji Barry, but his side-footed attempt zipped wide of the target. A few minutes later, Zach Wright, who was signed as a Homegrown player earlier this month, blew past his man on the right wing but saw his final effort tipped around the post.
With the clock winding down, Phoenix pulled a goal back following a stunning finish from the side’s forward – curling a looping shot into the corner to make the final score 2-1.
Sporting Kansas City vs. Phoenix Rising FC
January 27, 2018 – Phoenix Rising FC Soccer Complex (Tempe, Ariz.)
Sporting Kansas City 2, Phoenix Rising FC 1
SKC – Daniel Salloi (Cristian Lobato) 23’
SKC – Gianluca Busio (Jaylin Lindsey) 37’
PHX – Player X 87’
Sporting Kansas City Lineups
First Period: Tim Melia; Graham Zusi, Amer Didic, Matt Besler, Jimmy Medranda; Ilie, Yohan Croizet, Roger Espinoza; Cristian Lobato, Diego Rubio, Daniel Salloi.
Second Period: Adrian Zendejas, Jaylin Lindsey, Graham Smith, James Musa, Seth Sinovic; Kuzain, Cameron Duke, Gianluca Busio; Kharlton Belmar, Khiry Shelton, Gerso.
Third Period: Andrew Dykstra; Colton Storm, Matt Lewis, Trialist, Wilfred Williams; James Musa, Cameron Duke, Felipe Hernandez; Zach Wright, Hadji Barry, Will Bagrou.