Bieler Scores in SKC Rout of Philly

Sporting KC designated player, Claudio Bieler, gets his first MLS goal in win over Union
by Brandon Arendt   |   Monday, March 04, 2013

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

Sporting Kansas City and Graham Zusi took over right where they left off last season with a 3-1 win over the Philadelphia Union on Saturday.

It was a match that started out as hotly contested. For nearly the entirety of the first half, the Union looked to be very much in control of the game, dictating the tempo and attacking at will. It was a playing style that netted them their first goal and the early lead when, in the 17th minute, Keon Daniel took advantage of a mental miscue by Chance Myers and placed an absolutely brilliant ball directly into the path of Sebastian Le Toux, who calmly slotted it into the near corner of the net.

Philadelphia couldn’t manage to take the lead into halftime. However, former US international and veteran Bobby Convey got the attacking play started just before the 40th minute when he lifted the ball over Brian Carroll to create enough space to cross the ball into the penalty area to Claudio Bieler.

Bieler unselfishly headed the ball backward to a streaking Benny Feilhaber for a clearer shot. Feilhaber then took a touch and struck the ball with pace right at Zac MacMath. Unfortunately for the Union, MacMath could only parry it away, allowing Zusi to strike the free ball into the upper netting to equalize just before the halftime whistle.

In the second half, Sporting KC came out swinging and controlled the vast majority of possession. The team seemed to score at nearly every opportunity that presented itself.

In the 66th minute, Zusi again played a pivotal role in a Sporting KC goal, only this time creating it rather than scoring it. Zusi whipped in the free kick at Spanish midfielder, Oriol Rosell, who rose unmarked in the box to nod the ball past MacMath and gain the lead for Sporting KC.

Moments later it was Bieler’s time to shine as in the 83rd minute, Sporting put the game completely out of reach for the Union. Zusi delivered a long cross to the far post where Meyers pulled the ball back to Bieler, who finished the ball intelligently inside the far post. Bieler’s first goal of the season placed the final nail in Philadelphia’s coffin and quelled some SKC fans’ fears of inadequacy.

NEXT UP: March 9 – Sporting KC vs. Toronto FC, Rogers Centre, Toronto, Canada. 1:30 p.m. EST, MLS Live.

Brandon ARENDT

Milwaukee Tech
Club Domestic:
Sporting KC
Club Foreign:
Swansea City
Brandon is a Milwaukee native and the current Sporting Kansas City columnist for Soccer Newsday. He is an avid gamer, unabashed beer snob and has what can best be described as an "unhealthy" addiction to soccer.