Sporting Holds On For Home Win

An early goal was enough to give Sporting 3 important points
by Skylar Rolstad   |   Monday, October 21, 2013

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

An early goal from Dom Dwyer on Friday night was just enough to separate the Supporters’ Shield contenders from the worst team in the league, DC United.  The goal was Dwyer’s 2nd of the season and came in only the 7th minute of the game when Peterson Joseph’s intensity forced United defender Perry Kitchen to lose the ball at the back.

The 38 minutes that followed brought forth a dominant Sporting KC team that gave up few chances to DC and did not have defensive lapses like in previous home games.  A lineup featuring Oriol Rosell and Benny Feilhaber depended on Joseph to pull his weight defensively, and the Haiti international continued his impressive form. 

Speaking of form, it is a good thing for SKC that this was the last home match of the regular season.  The team’s record at home improved to still dismal 9-5-3.  Neither team was impressive by any means, but Sporting Kansas City manager Peter Vermes took something positive from being able to win at home when things were not going his team’s way. 

The match’s second half was an absolute stalemate; Sporting could at times find good combination play, especially between Soony Saad and CJ Sapong, but did not have what it took to play the final ball into the attacking third. 

Nevertheless, the 3 points Sporting gained on Friday night put them in the lead for the Supporters’ Shield race and clinched them a No. 1 or 2 spot in the MLS playoffs. A scoreless draw between the Portland Timbers and Real Salt Lake on Saturday night kept Sporting KC in the lead.

However, New York defeated Houston by a score of 3-0 to put the Red Bulls at the top of the single table. Sporting fans will be rooting for Chicago Fire to get a result at Red Bull Arena next weekend. If the Fire can beat or draw New York, Sporting’s match against Philadelphia will essentially be a cup final for the Supporter’s Shield.

Before Sporting’s MLS regular season finale is the final CONCACAF Champions League group stage match of the season on Wednesday. The winner of their game against CD Olimpia from Honduras will win Group 2 and move on to the knockout stage of the tournament.

NEXT UP: October 23 – Sporting Kansas City vs. CD Olimpia, Sporting Park, Kansas City, Kan. 8 p.m. EST, Fox Soccer Plus.

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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