Tuesday, May 27, 2014

That Was Better, But...

While the final score of the Sporting Kansas City-NY Red Bulls match was 1-1, it could very easily have been 5-1 or 6-1. With the flurry of chances Sporting KC had in the first 10 minutes, they should have gotten more than one.

In the 2nd minute, defender Igor Julião got in behind the NYRB defense and had chipped it over goalkeeper Luis Robles, but defender Chris Duvall cleared it off the line. Two minutes later, Sal Zizzo's shot was also cleared off the line, this time by Ibrahim Sekagya. More on him later.

You don't get much closer to scoring without actually scoring than Benny Feilhaber did in the fifth minute. Feilhaber's rocket hit the crossbar and came down, but not quite over the line. It's truly a game of inches, considering that if Feilhaber's shot would have been two inches lower, it goes in.

It wasn't until the ninth minute when Toni Dovale put the ball in the back of the net that the efforts bore fruit. They would, unfortunately, be made to rue the missed chances.

In the 50th minute, Thierry Henry put a ball through to Bradley Wright-Phillips, who regained the league lead in goals with his 11th tally. The crowd thought Wright-Phillips was offside, but he'd been held onside by Julião.

Overall, it was a good effort by Sporting KC. It seems to me that once Lawrence Olum, Matt Besler and Graham Zusi return from national team duty and Uri Rosell comes back from injury, this team could be scary good come November. And they will be playing in November.


In approximately the 73rd minute, Sekagya simply fell down in the NYRB penalty area. Just dropped like he'd been shot. He laid there for a while, absorbing the boos of the crowd. He tried getting up, but then laid back down, drawing more boos and forcing the stretcher to be brought out.

While Sekagya was being carried off the field, NYRB head coach Mike Petke decided to bring on a substitute for his defender. When the sub was announced, Sekagya was "miraculously healed" and got up off the stretcher and walked back to the bench. It led Steve Brisendine of MLSSoccer.com to tweet that faith healer Benny Hinn must be the NY trainer. That was funny.


In the locker room after the game, the team gave Dovale the ball he scored his goal with. He kept saying, "For me?" He was genuinely touched that they would do that for him. He was told to bring it to training so his teammates could sign it for him. I thought that was a nice touch.


Sporting KC invited fans to watch the USMNT friendly with Azerbaijan on the pitch after the match. A few hundred people took them up on it. It just seemed to me that it was more evidence of Kansas City's claim to the title of Soccer Capital of America.

During halftime, ESPN showed a short clip of the fans watching the game and that got a good cheer from the crowd.


Next up for the club is a trip to the nation's capital for a match with DC United. Kickoff is set for 6:00 CDT and will be shown on KMCI-TV (ch. 38).

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