Thoughts and stories from Sporting KC's fifth round US Open Cup match-up with FC Dallas. These thoughts are only my own and no one else needs to take any responsibility for any of them. Promise.
A couple of records got either tied or broken tonight at Sporting Park. The club scored six goals in a match for the first time in almost a decade. The last time they scored a touchdown but missed the extra point was August 3, 2005. The victim that night was the Des Moines Menace and the match was a Round of 16 match-up in the US Open Cup, just like tonight. In that match, Davy Arnaud had two goals and an assist, Josh Wolff had two goals (both from the spot) and two assists and the other two goals came from Scott Sealey and Sasha Victorine.
An individual record set was goals in a game as Dom Dwyer put in four, the first time any one in club history has ever done that. It was also the first time any player had gotten a hat trick for the club since Birahim Diop scored three against the San Jose Earthquakes at CommunityAmerica Ballpark on October 23, 2010.
Benny Feilhaber got in on the record-setting action as he became the first player with three assists in an Open Cup game in club history.
Krisztian Nemeth's second goal in the 59th minute was one of those goals that you had to see to believe. Now, I've seen players chip the keeper before. I've seen players shoot from impossible angles before. What I've never seen is someone do both at the same time.
Nemeth had the ball within a foot of the end line and a little space to do something with it. It looked as if he was thinking about whether or not to take it and decided, "Why not?" When he was asked after the game whether it was a shot or a cross, he said, "Both."
That golazo by Nemeth also provided another first. The assist went to rookie defender Saad Abdul-Salaam, his first as a pro. All three first round draft picks made appearances in this match and again had an impact. I would think it would be fair to say that Peter Vermes chose very well when he chose Abdul-Salaam, Connor Hallisey and Amadou Dia.
The win puts the club through to the Open Cup quarterfinals. Their opponent is one they know well. The Houston Dynamo will make their 2015 debut at Sporting Park on July 21 at 7:30 p.m. Houston may have some of the same players, but long-time head coach Dominic Kinnear left for San Jose after last season, to be replaced by Scotsman Owen Coyle (who's also coached Burnley, Bolton and Wigan Athletic in England).
One person who could shed some light on his tendencies would be Roger Espinoza, who played for Coyle at Wigan. It will be their second match against each other, but first in Kansas City. One would imagine an electric atmosphere as the club would look for another Open Cup sellout against one of their big rivals.
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