In the first of two matches Saturday afternoon, Sporting Kansas City defeated Minnesota United FC 1-0 in a closed-door scrimmage.
This game featured the majority of the Sporting KC starters and it was Bernardo Anor's goal in the 8th minute that separated the two squads.
Sporting KC came out with this lineup to start the match.
This was a 4-3-3 that featured Krisztian Nemeth at center attacking midfielder and Anor as the starting left winger. It also featured De Jong over Sinovic on the left side, perhaps an indication as to Vermes' plans for the opening day back line.
Sporting Kansas City got the early lead in the 8th minute with a goal from Anor, who continues to impress this preseason.
That would be the end of the scoring for the day but not the end of the action. Over the next few minutes, Sporting KC dictated the pace but were still susceptible to counters from the Loons, keeping the back line on their toes.
In the 25th minute, Anor went down hard and there was a stoppage in play.
25' Brief break in play after hard challenge on Anor along sideline. He'll continue, as does the first half. pic.twitter.com/rl6KUpp7ej— SKC Gameday (@SKCgameday) February 28, 2015
Fortunately for Sporting, Anor was not seriously hurt and continued for the rest of the game. Sporting had a couple more opportunities the rest of the half but could not put them in as they took a one-goal advantage into halftime.
In the second half, Peter Vermes used his substitutions like they were in a real match, going with only three. In the 55th minute, Jacob Peterson came in for Graham Zusi, followed two minutes later by Mikey Lopez coming in for Marcel De Jong.
Minnesota United subbed in several different players throughout the match and had a line change in the second half. This was followed a couple of minutes later by Erik Palmer-Brown coming in for Ike Opara.
Sporting then had one more decent opportunity before the match closed out.
81' Espinoza intercepts and immediately picks out Dwyer alone on goal. Keeper comes up big with sliding stop in 1v1.— SKC Gameday (@SKCgameday) February 28, 2015
This would be the last big action of the match as Sporting KC finished off the 1-0 victory.
The players not used in this afternoon match were used to play the Seattle Sounders in the evening, but this game showed who the first team will feature when the season starts. Obviously nothing will be completely settled until March 8 at 6 p.m. but it's the closest we've seen of the first team in 2015.
Here are the highlights of the match, put together by Minnesota United FC to give you more of a visual.