Sporting Kansas City faced off with the Portland Timbers in the first preseason match of 2015 and fell 2-0, officially starting 2015 off for the club.
The rain that had enveloped Tuscon, AZ. over the day had left the pitch full of standing water and puddles over the field. The game was sloppy and, since it was preseason, it was hard to draw conclusions from. Instead of a full recap, we listed some of the interesting things from the game including injuries, goals and club debuts.
- Here were the starters for the first half:
- Marin, Anibaba, Griffiths, Carrasco, Nemeth and Anor all made their debuts for Sporting Kansas City. Griffiths is the only one not under contract already.
- Seth Sinovic was hurt after being beaten on a play near the corner. He was helped off the field by trainers after laying on the ground for a time. Sporting KC confirmed on Twitter he needed stitches after an elbow to the head.
- Vermes subbed Sinovic out for Amadou Dia, the 20th overall draft pick in the 2015 MLS Superdraft. He is not signed by Sporting KC as of yet.
- Gaston Fernandez scored the first goal of the game for Portland, converting a penalty after a handball. Marin made a nice save before then but the handball came on the next shot.
- After the goal, Sporting KC made a mass substitution with seven new players on the pitch.
30' Mass subs for #SportingKC. Our current XI: Marin; Ellis, Marcelin, Griffiths, Dia; Otero, Lopez, Medranda; Dixon, Peterson, Hallisey.— Sporting Kansas City (@SportingKC) February 1, 2015
- Otero, Marcelin, Dixon and Hallisey all made their SKC debuts in preseason. Dixon and Otero are undrafted tralists, while Conor Hallisey was one of Sporting KC's first round picks, taken 10th overall.
- Portland took a 1-0 lead into halftime.
- Tim Melia, an offseason signing by Sporting KC, came on for Luis Marin to start the half. No other subs were made.
- Nick Besler came on for Portland. Since Matt is still with the USMNT, the long awaited brother match was put off for another day.
- The Timbers doubled their lead with a Michael Nanchoff free kick that curled around that wall. Really nothing that Melia could do.
- Rain started to fall again, making an already poor pitch even worse.
- Sporting KC made another round of substitutions in the 60th minute, each group getting 30 minutes of play apparently.
60' More subs for #SportingKC. Current XI: Melia; Dia, EPB, Rodriguez, Duke; Claros, Hernandez; Rocha; Dixon, Rogers, Hallisey.— Sporting Kansas City (@SportingKC) February 1, 2015
- Hernandez, Rocha, Rodriguez and Rogers played their first preseason minutes for Sporting KC. Rogers was taken in the third round by Sporting KC and Rocha was their fourth round pick. Hernandez and Rodriguez are trialists, with Hernandez being a 16-year-old player out of the Sporting KC academy.
- Melia made two massive saves, first off a close-range shot following a cross and then he charged and deflected a ball out of bounds on the rebound. Good form from the backup keeper.
- Portland emerged victorious from this match 2-0. Both goals were on set pieces.
Who didn't play?
- Matt Besler- With the national team
- Jon Kempin- With the national team
- Chance Myers- Recovering from torn ACL
- Graham Zusi- Recovering from injured foot
- Ike Opara- Recovering from chondral defect in ankle
- Saad Abdul-Salaam- Reason unknown
- Roger Espinoza- Reason unknown
Sporting KC will play against FC Tucson, a team from the USL Premier Development League. The match is not open to the public so there's no guarantee of a stream. That match is on Feb. 9.
After that, Sporting KC starts the Desert Diamond Cup with a match against the Colorado Rapids on Feb. 18.