Tables Turn as SKC Draws United

First draw between the sides since 2009
by Skylar Rolstad   |   Monday, May 20, 2013

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

Before Sunday, neither DC united nor Kansas City scored more than 2 goals against each other in the last 6 of their 7 matches. It was a trend that spanned from 2010 to this season's April 5 game against United at Sporting Park.

And both teams would follow suit at RFK Stadium on May 19, as the two teams ended in a 1-1 draw. Interestingly, this would be the first draw between the 2 clubs since 2009, a 1-1 decision in Kansas City.

DC's match in Kansas City earlier this year stuck them with a lineup depleted of both Dwayne De Rosario and Nick DeLeon due to injury.

On Sunday tables were turned as DCU prepared a full strength lineup to take on a Sporting Kansas City that missed Aurelien Collin and Oriol Rosell due to yellow card accumulation. Chance Myers was replaced by Mechack Jerome as a precaution for his hamstring injury suffered 2 weeks ago.

The game started off in a way unlike most previous matchups between the 2 teams, however, when DeLeon forced goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen to punch the ball away with a high, curling 25-yard shot in just the 10th minute.

Sporting again longed for a first-half goal that would keep the game in its clutches for the latter 45 minutes. So far this year, Sporting has only won 2 games in which it had not scored in the first half.

In the 30th minute, surely one of the most controversial calls in the league kept Ike Opara from scoring a tap-in goal from a through pass by Jacob Peterson.

Upon further review, a defender on the ground near the byline kept Opara on by at least 7 yards, as well as 2 other defenders in the 18-yard box.

From that moment on, Sporting took control of every aspect of the game but the scoreboard. Kansas City won most midfield battles and kept the ball in DC's end of the field for most of the match. Sporting’s attacking talent forced DC United goalkeeper Bill Hamid into a few saves that would keep United in the match.

Opara would find some revenge in the 60th minute when he flicked a ball from a corner kick across to Ethan White's chest and into the goal.

United would collect some retribution of their own 5 minutes later when the substitute Chris Pontius' pin-point cross found Kyle Porter's outstretched boot at the back post. The goal was Porter's first MLS goal of his 5 year career.

Getting 4 points from a road trip that included Eastern Conference leaders Houston Dynamo can be called par for the course for a Kansas City team that twice pieced together a lineup missing key players like Matt Besler, Aurelien Collin or Chance Myers.

Depth was tested over the last 2 weeks and was proven by a spirited win that broke Houston's home unbeaten streak of 36 games and controlled the game as the away team at RFK Stadium.

Sporting will head back home for a rematch against the Houston Dynamo on Sunday, May 26.

On Tuesday May 28, Sporting will take the first step in defending its US Open Cup trophy in an Open Cup second round match against a team still to be determined.

NEXT UP: May 26- Houston Dynamo vs. Sporting Kansas City, Sporting Park, Kansas City, Kans. 3:30pm ET, NBC Sports Network.


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.