Sporting Kansas City suffered a 3-2 defeat to FC Dallas on Saturday night at Children’s Mercy Park, ending the club’s 10-game home unbeaten run in all competitions. A hat-trick from Michael Barrios lifted first-place FC Dallas (12-3-6, 42 points) nine points clear of Sporting KC (9-6-6, 33 points) in the Western Conference standings and gave the team its first win at Children’s Mercy Park since 2011.
Barrios bagged his first in the 23rd minute before Gerso Fernandes equalized five minutes into the second half, scoring the 1,000th regular-season goal in Sporting KC history. Barrios netted twice in the final half-hour, however, as FC Dallas snapped its 10-game winless skid in Kansas City and avenged a 3-2 defeat to Sporting KC in the U.S. Open Cup on June 16. Forward Daniel Salloi managed a last-gasp consolation goal for the hosts, who are now winless in five straight MLS matches.
With his team playing its first game in 10 days, Manager Peter Vermes welcomed a slew of fresh faces into the Sporting KC lineup. Chilean midfielder Felipe Gutierrez earned his first start since March 31 after overcoming a hernia injury, while Matt Besler and Ike Opara were also back at full fitness to anchor the central defense. Up top, Fernandes joined a three-pronged attack alongside opposite winger Salloi and striker Diego Rubio to record his 50th regular-season appearance for Sporting KC.
Fernandes was on the receiving end of the game’s first chance in the fifth minute. The diminutive winger ran onto a brilliant long ball from Ilie, shrugged off a challenge from defender Reto Ziegler and dragged a right-footed shot narrowly wide of the far post.
The hosts would pay for their missed opportunity in the 23rd minute, when Dallas midfielder Victor Ulloa lifted a high-arching ball behind the Sporting KC defense for Barrios to chase. A retreating Opara was unable to clear the danger off the first bounce, and Barrios chipped home neatly from 15 yards to give the visitors a 1-0 advantage.
A chippy first half, which consisted of 18 combined fouls and three yellow cards, sprang to life just before the break when both sides exchanged near misses. Sporting KC threatened twice in quick succession as Rubio cleverly picked out Fernandes and Jaylin Lindsey with pockets of space inside the penalty area, but both efforts were blocked by Dallas captain Matt Hedges. On the stroke of intermission, goalkeeper Tim Melia produced a superb, diving save to thwart Maxi Urruti from long range.
Sporting KC enjoyed a terrific start to the second half, drawing level five minutes after the restart on a stunning shot from Fernandes. The Bissau-Guinean cut past Ulloa and MLS debutant Marquinhos Pedroso on the right edge of the box before curling a sublime strike just inside the far post for his second tally of the campaign. The momentous goal was Sporting KC’s 1,000th all-time in the MLS regular season, making it the seventh club in league history to reach the milestone.
Seven minutes later, Lindsey forced Dallas goalkeeper Jesse Gonzalez into his best save of the night with a dipping drive from distance that was tipped over the crossbar. The stop proved pivotal as Dallas struck again in the 62nd minute — and in similar fashion to their opener. Roland Lamah clipped a long ball downfield for the pacey Barrios, who poked low between Melia’s legs to give his side the lead once more.
Barrios secured his first career hat-trick, and the Dallas victory, with 74 minutes on the clock. Sporting KC failed to defend a low delivery into a crowded penalty area, Urruti applied a touch and the ball fell kindly to Barrios, who rifled high into the net from seven yards.
Another Sporting KC milestone was reached in the 77th minute when homegrown midfielder Gianluca Busio entered for his MLS debut, becoming the club’s all-time youngest player to feature in an MLS match at 16 years and 61 days.
Sporting KC entered Saturday having scored multiple goals in seven of its last nine games and improved on that mark deep in second-half stoppage time. Opara kept the ball alive off a partially cleared corner to set up Salloi for a simple, close-range finish in the 97th minute. Salloi now has seven MLS goals this season and eight in all competitions, including three against FC Dallas.
Another Texas club awaits Sporting KC next Saturday as Vermes’ men travel to face rivals Houston Dynamo for the third time in six weeks. Kickoff at BBVA Compass Stadium is set for 8 p.m. CT on FOX Sports Kansas City Plus, FOX Sports Midwest Plus and FOX Sports GO. Sporting KC claimed a 3-2 victory in the first meeting between the sides on June 23 at Children’s Mercy Park before taking a 4-2 loss in the U.S. Open Cup Round of 16 on July 18 in Houston.
2018 MLS Regular Season
Game 21 of 34
Children's Mercy Park | Kansas City, Kansas
Weather: 76 degrees and partly cloudy
|Sporting Kansas City (9-6-6, 33 points)||0||2||2|
|FC Dallas (12-3-6, 42 points)||1||2||3|
Sporting Kansas City: Tim Melia; Graham Zusi, Ike Opara, Matt Besler (C), Jaylin Lindsey; Roger Espinoza, Ilie, Felipe Gutierrez (Gianluca Busio 77); Gerso Fernandes, Diego Rubio (Yohan Croizet 69), Daniel Salloi
Subs Not Used: Eric Dick, Amer Didic, Seth Sinovic, Kuzain
FC Dallas: Jesse Gonzalez; Reggie Cannon, Matt Hedges (C), Reto Ziegler, Marquinhos Pedroso; Carlos Gruezo, Victor Ulloa; Roland Lamah (Ryan Hollingshead 90), Maximiliano Urruti, Tesho Akindele (Paxton Pomykal 82); Michael Barrios (Cristian Colman 82)
Subs Not Used: Jimmy Maurer, Maynor Figueroa, Jacori Hayes, Francis Atuahene
DAL -- Michael Barrios 1 (unassisted) 23
SKC -- Gerso Fernandes 2 ( Diego Rubio 3) 50
DAL -- Michael Barrios 2 (Roland Lamah 5) 62
DAL -- Michael Barrios 3 (Maximiliano Urruti 3) 74
SKC -- Daniel Salloi 7 (Ike Opara 1) 97+
DAL -- Carlos Gruezo (yellow card; unsporting behavior) 15
DAL -- Roland Lamah (yellow card; unsporting behavior) 41
SKC -- Ike Opara (yellow card; unsporting behavior) 45+2
DAL -- Marquinhos Pedroso (yellow card; unsporting behavior) 69
SKC -- Roger Espinoza (yellow card; unsporting behavior) 87
DAL -- Maximiliano Urruti (yellow card; unsporting behavior) 90+9
|Shots on Goal||4||6|
Referee: Drew Fischer
Assistant Referee: Gianni Facchini
Assistant Referee: Oscar Mitchell-Carvalho
Fourth Official: Rosendo Mendoza
VAR: Younes Marrakchi