Midfielder Felipe Gutierrez and forward Erik Hurtado were the stars of a scintillating Sunday night showdown at CenturyLink Field, propelling Sporting Kansas City to a 3-2 road win over Seattle Sounders FC.
MLSsoccer.com promptly took notice, giving the duo an MLS Team of the Week nod. Gutierrez, who struck twice in the first half, was selected among Week 22’s best XI. Hurtado, who delivered a tireless performance up top and bagged the all-important game-winner, landed a spot on the Team of the Week bench.
Gutierrez opened the scoring after 12 minutes and doubled his tally from the penalty spot 21 minutes later, taking his team-best goal total to 10 on the MLS campaign. The influential Chilean has now become the fourth Sporting midfielder in club history to bag 10 goals in a single regular season, joining fellow teammate Benny Feilhaber, all-time great Preki and 1990s standout Mark Chung.
Hurtado, who missed four months of action with a knee injury, made the most of his first MLS start in a Sporting uniform. The striker exited in the 80th minute, but not before wreaking havoc on the Seattle defense and finding the back of the net near the hour-mark with a breathtaking combination of pace and power.
Gutierrez, Hurtado and Sporting will aim to keep the momentum rolling this Saturday when the club welcomes rivals Real Salt Lake to Children’s Mercy Park for a 7:30 p.m. CT kickoff. Sporting (7-9-7, 28 points) sit five points below the seventh and final playoff spot in the West with 11 matches still to play, while Real Salt Lake (10-9-4, 34 points) currently occupy sixth in the West. Tickets for the pivotal contest are on sale now at SeatGeek.com.