Early in March -- the second game of the season -- Sporting Kansas City was outmatched and outplayed by FC Dallas on the road in a 3-1 victory. The team looked disorganized, unfamiliar and looked like they had a road of improvement ahead of them.
Tonight, the 13th match of the season, Sporting Kansas City looked organized, together and finally looked like contenders for silverware as they drubbed FC Dallas 4-0.
Four different Sporting KC players scored on the night, with three goals coming in the second half. The lone first half goal, however, set the tone for the rest of the night. After threatening for several minutes, Kevin Ellis lifted a ball as he fell down towards the far post, where Krisztian Nemeth was there to head home in front of the net. This was Nemeth's sixth goal of the year and it put the home side ahead 1-0.
While the goal gave Sporting KC the lead, the biggest play of the first half came in the 43rd minute. FC Dallas defender Zach Loyd earned his second yellow card of the night and was sent to the showers early, giving Sporting Kansas City a one-man advantage for the remainder of the match. This would be the impetus for the high-scoring performance in the second half.
Nemeth was back in the scoring process in the second half, but this time on the assisting part. He sent a ball across the box to an oncoming Benny Feilhaber in the 51st minute, and the midfielder continued his high-octane season by putting the ball home for his fourth of the season.
Defender Kevin Ellis was the next man to get in on the goal-scoring bonanza in the 57th minute. He sent in a powerful header off a Graham Zusi corner kick for his first of the season to essentially put the home side ahead for good.
The assister on the previous goal was the one to officially shut the door in the 63rd minute. Rookie winger Conor Hallisey drove the ball into the box and laid the ball off with a nice back heel to a crossing Graham Zusi, who knocked it past Dan Kennedy for the fourth goal of the night.
Sporting KC was able to keep the clean sheet for the second match in a row and did not let FC Dallas in close enough to create much of an attack in the final twenty minutes of the match, cruising to a 4-0 win.
The win propelled Sporting KC to a tie with FC Dallas second in the Western Conference, which sets up a possible battle for first place against the Seattle Sounders on June 6 at Sporting Park.