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Match Report: Sporting KC vs. Real Salt Lake, SKC Sit Alone At Top of MLS

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Sporting KC are now alone at the top of the MLS table following their 1-0 win over Real Salt Lake last night at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park. Not only do SKC stay undefeated at home, but they also improve their record to a very healthy 6-0.

All Sporting KC needed to help them along the way was a 63rd minute goal from Aurelien Collin on what seemed to be the umpteenth corner for Peter Vermes' side, some shoddy defending from Tony Beltran, and an overall resounding performance from the class of the East.

Real Salt Lake is certainly a respectable team but Sporting KC's young side looks to be the best team in the league and somewhat easily dispatched the former MLS Cup champions. And here's the best part, there's no signs of them stopping.

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While it took Sporting KC a longer-than-usual 63 minutes to score they very easily could have been ahead 1-0 in the late stages of the first half when Graham Zusi played in a corner that no one in the box could get to but Bobby Convey who was kindly positioned on the left wing. The former San Jose Earthquake man then hoofed in a ball to the back post where CJ Sapong was stationed. CJ rose well and headed the ball over Rimando into the net, giving SKC the lead, or so they thought.

The referee had in fact pulled the goal back for what was revealed later as a push from CJ on Jamison Olave prior to the header. Saying the fans around the ground were disappointed would be an understatement.

For me personally the almost laughable part about the disallowed goal was that not a single Real Salt Lake player (including Olave, the guy that was originally fouled) complained to the referee. I think that should be an indication to those of us watching the replay at home of the legitimacy of Sapong's supposed foul.

Even with some controversial decision making on the ref's part, Sporting KC's Aurelien Collin could simply not be stopped on his 63 minute headed goal. A score that saw Graham Zusi receive his 6th assist of the season as he whipped in a curling ball that reached the unmarked and on-rushing Collin who had no choice but to head past Rimando.

While there were some nervy moments following the goal for Sporting KC as RSL tried to push guys in to attacking positions, it was relatively a sound game for Sporting KC's defense. Like I said in the preview, both teams were wary of the other's attacking force and therefore took the foot off the gas pedal a little bit when moving forward. Thus leading to the low scoring game.

Interesting Stats

  • Sporting KC has let just two shots on goal occur in the past four games
  • Real Salt Lake became the only team this season to maintain more possession than SKC, a 56/44 ratio.
  • Sporting KC received their 200th regular season win
  • Sporting KC become the first side in over a decade to start the MLS season 6-0