It was a cold and rainy evening in Kansas City.
Many eyes were trained on the ALCS, as the Royals played the Orioles. Or on college basketball, as the University of Kansas held their first practice. Yet Sporting Park still managed to sell out, and the capacity crowd watched the reigning champs clinch their playoff spot with a 2-0 win over the Chicago Fire.
The match was largely a tale of two goalkeepers. Chicago's Sean Johnson had several good saves at the beginning of the game that were instrumental in slowing down Kansas City's momentum. Johnnson continued to have an exceptional match, until the 80th minute when Graham Zusi fired a shot from 25 yards out. It was all downhill from there, as Johnson let in another goal from Dom Dwyer just twelve minutes later. Dwyer had missed a penalty kick earlier in the match, but notched a header off of a Zusi cross to make it 2-0.
The all-out star of this game was Andy Gruenebaum. His instinctive saves likely solidified his role as starting goalkeeper for the remainder of the 2014 season. His four saves in the first half alone could have made up a save of the week roster. Highlights included an astounding save on Matt Watson, whose volley seemed to be a sure lead for the team, and a nice strike on a 15 yard strike from Quincy Amarikwa.
Sporting KC has two games left in the regular season. Their next match is away against the Philadelphia Union on October 18th.