Two new faces and two veteran players in new positions in 2017 but it was a familiar story for Sporting Kansas City in their season opener. Sporting KC dominated possession and created a number of chances but came away without a goal.
The story of the first half was the penalty called by referee Robert Sibiga. Melia was in the process of sliding out to block a shot and took out Julian Buescher. Marcelo Sarvas’s shot was low to Melia’s right and Sporting KC’s keeper went the right way and blocked it.
Melia’s job was not complete as the rebound went towards the onrushing Patrick Mullins but Melia was equal to the second attempt as well.
On the DC United end Bill Hamid was equal to any ball SKC could get into the box including a big save on a Feilhaber free kick that was dipping under the bar.
The second half saw Sporting KC tighten down the defense even further and continue the offensive pressure but DC United did come up with another dangerous chance. This opportunity called on more than Melia to be the hero.
A corner from DC United floated in and deflected off Roger Espinoza towards the back post. Fortunately for Melia, Jimmy Medranda was there to head it back out but it went right to another DC United attacker. The shot came back into the other post where Dom Dwyer headed it back out to help keep the clean sheet for the visitors.
On the other end Hamid was again up to the task, turning away a rocket from Dwyer and snagging all of the crosses SKC could put through the box.
In the end, Sporting KC played well, out-possessing, out-shooting and generally carrying the attack to the home team. New players Gerso and Ilie Sanchez have a real MLS game under their belts and know what to expect for the future.