Kamara Locks Victory for SKC

Kamara scores a pair while Feilhaber contributes in 3-0 win over NE Revs
by Skylar Rolstad   |   Monday, August 12, 2013

State of SKC - column on Sporting KC (SKC) & the Kansas City soccer scene.

On Saturday night in Kauffman Stadium, the Kansas City Royals lost to the Boston Red Sox 5-3 in front of a sellout crowd of 38,742. 

A half-hour West on I-70, another sellout crowd gathered at Sporting Park to watch Sporting Kansas City take the field against Boston's soccer team.

This time, however, the home team dismantled the Beantown visitors, 3-0.

The night's man of the match had some tough competition, with Kei Kamara scoring 2 brilliant goals each on the end of beautiful crosses from Soony Saad. Benny Feilhaber also stood up for SKC and topped off a great 90 minutes with a spectacular free kick goal. 

Kamara got the better of New England leftback Kevin Alston throughout, out-leaping Alston for his 1st goal and out-running him for his 2nd one. Sporting won the match in the attacking third, where the ball was kept for most of the game. The Revolution's 5-man midfield defended well early, but Sporting were able to move the ball so dynamically that spaces were left for players to run into.

This match also featured some of the best defensive talent in the league, with Sporting's defenders Matt Besler and Aurelien Collin matching up with Stephen McCarthy and Jose Goncalves of New England. 

Peterson Joseph was again featured in SKC's midfield as the defensive presence. Joseph made a large improvement from last week's 3-2 loss to New York; the story of that match was one that told of Sporting's domination of the game while New York converted from very few chances from counter attacks. Joseph was very much an engine in the middle of the park on Saturday. 

A key player that was not on the field for Sporting KC on Saturday was Graham Zusi, who did not play last week against New York or during the week against Real Esteli. 

Saturday's match was not only packed with goals, but also fouls. New England was reduced to 10 men in the 65th minute when Dimitry Imbongo received a 2nd yellow card for dissent.

In the 86th minute, Andy Dorman took Kamara down with a nasty challenge that required 2 SKC trainers to help Kamara limp off the field. Kamara is going to be out for some time with a left ankle sprain, and is on crutches.

Paulo Nagamura also sustained an ankle sprain that has left him out for well over 2 months. Dorman was sent off for the tackle. 

To end the game, Benny Feilhaber scored a Cristiano Ronaldo-esque free kick from the top of the box in what was his 2nd game against his former team.

At the post-game press conference, Feilhaber told reporters how it felt to score on a former team, saying, "It's guys I played with for 2 years, it's good to beat them, good to score on them and it's good for our team to get 3 points. ... All in all it was a perfect night."

Sporting triumphs in CCL Play

On Wednesday, Sporting KC traveled all the way to Esteli, Nicaragua, to begin its CONCACAF Champions League campaign. 

Sporting's lineup was strong, and consisted of many players that were on the field at Sporting Park on Saturday. Saad, Feilhaber and Oriol Rosell each played 70 minutes or more, with Rosell playing all 90. 

Unlike most fields in the CONCACAF region, Real Esteli's turf was a perfect surface and did not affect the match being played on it. The match was a stalemate in the midfield until the 31st minute, when Feilhaber's free kick sailed across the field and was headed by Ike Opara. Opara was playing the ball back into the box, but it had sailed all the way to the back post and beaten the unlucky Real Esteli goalkeeper Justo Lorente.

Esteli managed to record 7 shots to Sporting's 15, a very respectable amount of attacking prowess compared to what opponents can usually manage against SKC. Esteli, however, did not have as effective of a counter attack compared to MLS opposition. 

Sporting KC goalkeeper Eric Kronberg, Nielsen's long-time backup, played for 90 minutes Wednesday. Kronberg only had to make 2 saves on the night, while Collin and Opara were in front of him to stop Esteli's attack. 

Dom Dwyer sealed the deal for Sporting in the 76th minute with an excellent run at an Esteli centerback, a dizzying move past him and a spectacular shot into the opposite corner of the goal. The goal was Dwyer's 2nd in as many games; he had scored his 1st for Sporting in the 3-2 loss to New York in the previous weekend. 

Sporting's next match in CCL play will be in Honduras against Honduran champions Olimpia on Aug. 27. 

NEXT UP: August 18 – Sporting Kansas City vs. San Jose Earthquakes, Buck Shaw Stadium, San Jose, Calif. 10 p.m. EST Univision.

Skylar ROLSTAD

Nationality:
USA
College:
Univ. of Kansas
Club Domestic:
Sporting KC
Club Foreign:
AC Milan
A student at the University of Kansas. He writes for the Sporting Kansas City club column for Soccer Newsday and is a regular at Sporting Park. His passion for soccer can best be described as unhealthy.
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