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MLS Preseason 2015: Sporting KC falls 2-1 to Real Salt Lake

Dwyer scored, but a reserve-heavy lineup in the first half could not keep Real Salt Lake out of the net.

Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

The "A-team" made a nice showing in the final 30 minutes of the game, but they could not overcome Sporting KC's deficit as they fell 2-1 to Real Salt Lake.

This was the final group stage match of the Desert Diamond Cup, in which Sporting KC finished 1-1-1.

First Half

  • Sporting Kansas City started out with a very starter-lite lineup with Paulo Nagamura and Seth Sinovic as the only players who were consistent starters in 2014.
  • Emory Welshman had a free curler that he sent to the far right corner in the 12th minute that put Real Salt Lake up 1-0. There was not much Tim Melia could do about it in goal.
  • Welshman nearly doubled the RSL lead in the 23rd minute when he got good contact on a cross but the header went off the bar.
  • James Rogers, freshly signed forward for Sporting KC, made a nice play of dispossessing Real Salt Lake in the final third and made some decent moves to get into the box but could not finish in the 25th minute. Still, good potential from the new forward.
  • Sporting KC had a dangerous free kick in the 33rd minute but Servando Carrasco's free kick was well wide. This came in the middle of better attacking play from Sporting KC after the almost goal from Welshman in the 23rd minute.
  • There was a stoppage in play in the 35th minute when Carrasco and Kevin Ellis went down after knocking heads. Both returned to the game but were shaken.
  • The first half ended with nothing else too noteworthy and with no extra time. Real Salt Lake led 1-0 on Welshmen's goal.

Second Half

  • There was not much of a lineup change for Sporting Kansas City as Mikey Lopez came on for Servando Carrasco and that was it. There were no changes for Real Salt Lake.
  • Real Salt Lake took a 2-0 lead when Devon Sandoval took advantage of a bad misplay from Lopez and got in alone against Melia. Melia deflected the ball but it still bounced into the goal to give Sandoval his fourth goal of the preseason.
  • Sporting had their best chance of the game up to that point in the 55th minute when Ellis sent a header towards the bottom right corner of goal, but it was cleared off the line by a well-positioned Real Salt Lake defender.
  • Welshman and Seth Sinovic got into a bit of a fracas in the 60th minute that earned them both yellow cards after some unnecessary contact from Welshman.
  • Sporting KC made a complete line change in the 60th minute and brought on what can be assumed as the "A-team, close to what we could see as the Opening Day lineup.
  • Less than five minutes after the line change, Sporting KC cut the lead in half. Benny Feilhaber sent in a corner that was headed home far post from Dom Dwyer. Sporting KC still trailed 2-1.
  • Anor had a great one-touch shot on a nice aerial ball from Zusi, but Jeff Attinella had a fantastic kick save to keep Real Salt lake in the lead in the 76th minute.
  • In the 87th minute, Dom Dwyer almost equalized the game when he got his head on a cross but sent it just wide. Following the play, the Real Salt Lake trainers came out to check on Elias Vasquez, who came off with a knee injury.
  • Sporting Kansas City had two corners and a deflected shot by Zusi in extra time but could not put the equalizer in the net and the match ended with a 2-1 Real Salt Lake advantage.

Items of Note

  • Ike Opara did not play in this game but will play Saturday according to the KC Star's Sam McDowell.
  • Jon Kempin was also missing from this game, as was Soni Mustivar, who is still awaiting paperwork to go through.
  • Benny Feilhaber took the majority of the corner kicks, even with Graham Zusi on the field.
  • Sporting Kansas City will play two games on Saturday. They will have a closed door scrimmage against Minnesota United FC at 11:30 a.m. CST and then will rematch with Seattle Sounders FC at 6 p.m. CST in a streamed match. From there, they have eight days until their season opener against the New York Red Bulls.