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Monday Night Fullbacking - Right at Home

In which our heroes hold on to a one goal victory courtesy of Jacob Peterson's noggin, and other such happenings.

Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

Sporting Kansas City improved their home record to 8-1-4 Sunday afternoon in a wet and wild match. Jacob Peterson's glancing header found it's way past a diving Jake Gleeson, the one shot he couldn't keep out. Sporting forced Gleeson into five saves, all of them excellent, while allowing Portland just one shot on goal. Both teams were denied by the post as well, with Benny Feilhaber and Saad Abdul-Salaam hitting the post for the hosts while Jack McInerny hit the post near the death to almost salvage a point for Portland, but in the end, a 1-0 victory for the good guys would stand.

Of all the stats out there, perhaps the most interesting is Sporting's n in the air. Sporting won 17 out of 24 aerial duels, denying Portland any kind of direct attack while swarming them when the all was on the ground. Ike Opara himself won 6 aerial duels, and completed 86% of his passes.

For a full summary of player performance, let's look at some numbers. Here's my rating table for yesterdays performance.

Portland Timbers
Jake Gleeson 5.0
Zarek Valentin 5.0
Jermaine Taylor 5.0
Alvas Powell 5.0
Vytautas Andriuskevicius 4.5
Diego Valeri 5.0
Darlington Nagbe 4.0
Diego Chara 6.0
Ben Zemanski 4.0
Jack Barmby 4.5
Amobi Okugo 5.0
Fanendo Adi 5.0
Lucas Melano 4.0
Jack McInerney 4.5
Team Average 4.8
Sporting Kansas City
Alec Kann 6.5
Saad Abdul-Salaam 7.0
Ike Opara 8.0
Kevin Ellis 4.5
Chance Myers 4.5
Benny Feilhaber 7.5
Roger Espinoza 5.0
Jimmy Medranda 5.0
Soni Mustivar 5.0
Lawrence Olum 5.0
Jacob Peterson 8.0
Conor Hallisey 5.0
Dom Dwyer 5.0
Cameron Porter 4.5
Team Average 5.8

Overall a solid effort from everyone to keep the clean sheet. Jacob Peterson once again proved to be The Answer and Benny seems to be finding his form when Kansas City need him most. Of course goals are great but it's hard not to commend the defensive performance put on by Ike Opara and the rest of the back line, especially in the absence of regular keeper Tim Melia. So Man of the Match to either Opara or Peterson, take your pick.

And much congrats to Peter Vermes on joining the century club. 100 career coaching wins! Not too shabby, especially when looked at next to two USOC trophies and an MLS Cup...