"We willed that to happen tonight," said Sporting KC head coach Peter Vermes as Sporting Kansas City celebrated Cinco de Mayo by knocking off the American version of the famous Mexican team, defeating Chivas USA 4-0.
Claudio Bieler scored a brace and was an offside call away from a hat trick. Graham Zusi added a goal and an assist, and CJ Sapong scored his first of the year in the triumph.
Peter Vermes went with a different lineup to start the match. Ike Opara and Mechack Jerome both started in place of Matt Besler and Chance Myers respectively, both out to preserve them for later matches. Peterson Joseph also started for Benny Feilhaber, and Jacob Peterson got the start on the wing in place of CJ Sapong.
Sporting had been threatening all match with superb wing play from Graham Zusi and Jacob Peterson, but it took until the 41st minute for Sporting to score. Claudio Bieler received a ball in the box from Zusi and juked his way around Dan Kennedy and the Chivas defense to finish the score. It was Bieler's fifth goal of the season.
It was a wonder that Sporting KC went into the half with only a one goal lead. However everything came crashing down for Chivas in the second half. Paulo Nagamura made a nice move once receiving a through ball in the 54th minute, causing Dan Kennedy to clip him to save the goal. Nagamura earned a penalty and Dan Kennedy was sent off.
Bieler took the PK and buried it in the bottom left corner as replacement keeper Patrick McLain dove right. Sporting lead 2-0.
Sporting then piled another goal on a little more than 10 minutes later. Josh Gardner, who made his season debut for Sporting KC, had the ball on the wing and casually crossed it in to Graham Zusi, who finished it in the top right corner to put Sporting KC ahead 3-0.
CJ Sapong then capped off the scoring with a goal in the 87th minute. Mechack Jerome put in the cross and Sapong was there to finish across the face of goal. It was Sapong's first goal of the season, and the first time since 2011 that Sporting had scored four goals in a league match.
Chivas USA was credited with four cards in the match, Dan Kennedy earning a straight red and three other Goats earning cautions. Paulo Nagamura was the only Sporting player with a yellow card, which he earned in the 58th minute for time wasting.
This game also saw some history being made. The shutout earned Jimmy Nielsen his 38th career MLS clean sheet, which put him ahead of former national team member Tony Meola on the franchise record.
With the win Sporting KC snapped a two game losing skid and Claudio Bieler snapped a month-long goalless streak. They moved into a tie for first in the Eastern Conference with a new record of 5-3-2. They are tied with New York Red Bulls, who they have both a win and a game in hand against.
Chivas fell to 3-4-2 and sixth in the Western Conference. Chivas will take on Portland Timbers next Sunday at Jeld-Wen. Sporting will have a quick turnaround, however, as they take on last place Seattle Sounders FC Wednesday night at Sporting Park.