It was a great night at Sporting Park on Saturday as the all-time regular season attendance record was set at 21,505 and the boys picked up 3 points against the 1st place Seattle Sounders.
Uri Rosell, fresh off winning the Portuguese Cup, showed up to lead the I Believe chant.
CLASSIC. The whole stadium was rocking and Sporting KC threatened first. Marcel De Jong just about ends the life of the Capo in the Cauldron. I was standing right there and if not for that post... he would no longer have a head.
He is facing the other way and his legs are just to the right of security in yellow if that helps...
You have respect the work those guys put in all game.
This recent run of success has been surprising considering the absences KC has dealt with. All sorts of guys have stepped up and played well. That being said, the holes are still exposed from time to time.
Not sure why Andy Rose doesn't take a chance on goal there, but I'm glad he didn't.
Amadou Dia has filled in admirably, but he is still just a rookie and mishaps will happen.
Not a whole lot of danger there. It was from a long way out and Melia had it covered. But that is why we see things like this from De Jong...
Surprise.... We have two left backs!
That is fantastic work from Marcel in tracking back to help out Dia and win the ball back. He was everywhere on the field and did well playing on the wing. SKC's first shot on goal came in the 20th from Zusi roaming around and finding De Jong on the left.
This is an example of Zusi playing False 9. He received that ball near the halfway line. Not where we are used to seeing the "striker" playing in this squad. He was roaming all over the field with Hallisey and De Jong playing in front of him a lot of the time.
More of Zusi creating chances on his False 9 grind...
Sporting KC almost got on the board in the 34th minute when De Jong whipped in a perfect ground cross to find Hallisey, who sent it just over the bar.
Kansas City kept up the pressure and Hallisey would get another chance a couple minutes later. Dia sent in a dangerous ball JUST out of the reach of Connor's sliding boot.
It was a very eventful first half and the chances continued for both teams.
Lamar Neagle was able to sneak through the backline and force a very good, very weird, double save out of Melia.
I'm about 75% sure he knocked that out with his head. But the ensuing corner kick was even more awkward for the KC defense.
More danger from set pieces. Melia was beat. But they dodged the bullet.
But Sporting KC kept firing away. Zusi takes a beautiful first touch to set himself up for a half volley that is parried away for a corner.
I'll pause and let you watch that one again...
Soni Mustivar had himself a good match. He made more than one big tackled when he needed to. This one right here, saved a goal going into half. He tracked back to mark Neagle and did just enough to disrupt his header.
The game finally settled down a bit to open the 2nd half. That is, until the return of Dom Dwyer in the 58th minute sparked the crowed!
It was a positive move from Peter in a tie game that showed a desire to take all 3 points. The False 9 had created a fair amount of chances, but many chances were not finished because there was nobody in the middle. De Jong off, Zusi slides over and we have our striker back. It just felt like something was going to happen.
But there were more close calls to come for SKC. In the 62nd minute, Pappa navigated his way through traffic in the box to get off a shot.
I have to give Pappa some respect here. This is what I love to see out of players. He wasn't looking for a penalty (which he would have gotten) and he stayed on his feet to finish the play. Fortunately for KC, Melia was there to care of it.
Shortly after, a controversial call would disallow a goal.
People talked a lot about this one. It looks like Neagle is onside when he touches it in. But I think Marco Pappa is way offside when he first received it. Also, the highlights on MLSSoccer.com describe that play as Pappa being offside. So if that is the case, it looks like they got the call right.
It was not all Seattle, however. Marcel De Jong continued to cause problems for the Sounders with his powerful left foot, and Dia put his boot through one in the 66th minute.
Good to see he isn't afraid to take a rip from distance!
Then came the decisive play.
I personally do not believe the penalty call is that bad. Dom did get his head to it first, and I have always thought the game is FAR to easy on keepers. Dwyer touched it first and then got laid out.
That being said... it was a VERY surprising call considering the way the game had been called prior to this. Referee Ismail Elfath had let the guys play a very physical match. And as I mentioned, keepers rarely get called for things like that.
But look at the pass from Espinoza and the work Dom is putting in. That is exactly why PV put him into this match and it worked.
Benny Feilhaber, not having a very good match to that point, stepped up to give the home side the lead in the 84th minute.
The stutter step from Benny sent Stephan Frei the other way and KC was able to defend the rest of the way to get all 3 points.
Seattle fans were rather salty after the match. Complaining about the offside call, the PK call, and also Benny's studder step. I would be complaining about my team missing so many chances, but that is just me.
Big win for KC. Undefeated at home. 2nd place. 7 games unbeaten. If you don't like it..... deal with it.