Daniel Salloi celebration - Sporting KC vs. FC Cincinnati - Feb. 1, 2020
Olivia Brestal

Recap: Sporting nets 4-0 win over FC Cincinnati to end first leg of 2020 preseason

Sporting Kansas City struck twice in each half to secure a 4-0 preseason win over fellow MLS side FC Cincinnati on Saturday at Grande Sports World in Casa Grande, Arizona.

Daniel Salloi, Roger Espinoza, Johnny Russell and Sporting KC II forward Wilson Harris stamped their names onto the scoresheet as Manager Peter Vermes’ side collected its second straight four-goal victory to open the 2020 preseason, presented by Children’s Mercy.

A lively start saw Sporting nearly take the lead after four minutes when Khiry Shelton did wonderfully to redirect Gadi Kinda’s diagonal ball back across the face of goal, but Erik Hurtado’s first-time effort under duress fizzed marginally over the crossbar.

Jaylin Lindsey set up the opening goal seven minutes later, exploiting space down the right flank and serving a delightful cross to the feet of Salloi. The Sporting KC Academy product took a touch and finished clinically past FC Cincinnati goalkeeper Przemyslaw Tyton for his second preseason strike in as many matches.

Sporting continued to threaten and almost doubled their advantage in the 15th minute when Tyton produced a fine save after Hurtado had latched onto a low, driven service from Luis Martins.

Cincinnati’s best first-half opportunity came midway through the period as Brandon Vazquez raced into the box and pulled the trigger, but Sporting goalkeeper Richard Sanchez dove at full extension to push aside the near-post effort.

The final flashbulb moment of the first 45 minutes delivered Sporting’s second goal, with the industrious Espinoza intercepting a stray pass in Cincinnati’s defensive third and slotting expertly into the far corner.

Wholesale halftime changes yielded a new look for Sporting, who remained firmly in the driver’s seat and surged ahead 3-0 on 65 minutes. Center back Graham Smith moved into an advanced position and poked the ball in behind the Cincinnati defense, leaving Harris with only the keeper to beat. Sporting II’s leading scorer from 2019 made no mistake, following in Salloi’s footsteps with his second goal of the preseason campaign.

Harris, also a graduate of Sporting KC Academy, turned provider in the 82nd minute by steering a clever flick-on header into the path of Russell, who punctuated his preseason debut with an impudent, close-range chip shot to round out a comfortable triumph in the warm desert sunshine.

After returning to Kansas City on Saturday night, Sporting will venture back to Arizona for the club's second preseason stint from Feb. 8-23, highlighted by a Feb. 12 friendly versus Columbus Crew SC and three games in the Visit Tucson Sun Cup. Tickets for all Visit Tucson Sun Cup fixtures are on sale now at FCTucson.com.

Sporting Kansas City vs. FC Cincinnati
2020 Preseason presented by Children's Mercy
Saturday, Feb. 1, 2020
Grande Sports World (Casa Grande, Arizona)

Scoring Summary:
SKC – Daniel Salloi (Jaylin Lindsey) 11’
SKC – Roger Espinoza (unassisted) 44’
SKC – Wilson Harris (Graham Smith) 65’
SKC – Johnny Russell (Wilson Harris) 82’

Sporting Kansas City Lineups

First Half: Richard Sanchez; Jaylin Lindsey, Roberto Puncec, Matt Besler, Luis Martins; Ilie Sanchez, Roger Espinoza, Gadi Kinda; Khiry Shelton, Erik Hurtado, Daniel Salloi

Second Half: John Pulskamp; Cameron Duke, Graham Smith, Botond Barath, Amadou Dia; Camden Riley, Gianluca Busio, Tyler Freeman; Johnny Russell, Wilson Harris, Gerso Fernandes

FC Cincinnati Lineups

First Half: Przemyslaw Tyton; Mathieu Deplagne, Maikel van der Werff, Nick Hagglund, Greg Garza; Haris Medunjanin, Allan Cruz, Fatai Alashe; Joris Ahlinvi, Yuya Kubo, Brandon Vazquez

Second Half: Spencer Richey; Zico Bailey, Saad Abdul-Salaam, Kendall Waston, Andrew Gutman; Tommy McCabe, Frankie Amaya, Caleb Stanko; Joseph-Claude Gyau, Rashawn Dally, Jimmy McLaughlin

Sporting KC 2020 Preseason Schedule

Date Opponent Time (CT)
or Result
Saturday, Jan. 25 Phoenix Rising FC Trialists W 4-0 Casino Arizona Field;
Tempe, Ariz.
Saturday, Feb. 1 FC Cincinnati W 4-0 Grande Sports World;
Casa Grande, Ariz.
Wednesday, Feb. 12 Columbus Crew SC 12:30pm Grande Sports World;
Casa Grande, Ariz.
Saturday, Feb. 15 Real Salt Lake
(Visit Tucson Sun Cup)
5pm Kino North Stadium;
Tucson, Ariz.
Wednesday, Feb. 19 Phoenix Rising FC
(Visit Tucson Sun Cup)
8pm Casino Arizona Field;
Tempe, Ariz.
Saturday, Feb. 22 New York Red Bulls
(Visit Tucson Sun Cup)
3pm Kino North Stadium;
Tucson, Ariz.