Sporting Kansas City played their third scrimmage of the offseason. This time they met trialists for USL League One side FC Tucson.
For this game the team decided to play three 60 minute “games.” The starting lineup for the first scrimmage had just one change. Daniel Salloi came in for Gerso Fernandes. Here is the full lineup.
Starting XI - Melia, Zusi, Fontas, Besler, Wallace, Ilie, Rowe, Gutierrez, Russell, Neemth, Salloi
The game got started quick when the first goal came in the 21st minute. Graham Zusi chased a ball all the way to the end line and cut it back, it gets deflected but Kelyn Rowe hits it first time on the volley to make it 1-0 Sporting KC.
Not to be outdone, Zusi got a goal of his own in the 23rd minute. This time it came from a Felipe Gutierrez corner kick. The ball fell to Zusi who hit a “Yohan Croizet in the Open Cup” type volley and nailed it into the goal. No matter the level of competition, the first two goals would have gone in. 2-0.
PRESZN BANGER ALERT. (It's casual @gzusi.)#SKCPreseason // @ChildrensMercy pic.twitter.com/we3CgFimOl— Sporting KC (@SportingKC) January 31, 2019
In the 40th minute Krisztian Nemeth got in on the action with some good build up play. Nemeth started with the ball, sent it wide to Johnny Russell who cuts it back to Zusi. From there Zusi slots a pass to Nemeth and he buries the shot. 3-0.
Just a few minutes later in the 44th minute Daniel Salloi slide a nice ball into Russell who had floated all the way towards the middle/left side of the field. Russell takes a touch and turns and drives it into the net. 4-0.
Nine minutes into the “second half” (it’s just a 15 minute half) and Sporting KC strike again. Long switch to Zusi who is basically playing RW at the moment and he cuts it into the box for Nemo who chips the keeper for goal number five. 5-0 Sporting.
The sixth and final goal came when FC Tucson kept trying to play out of the back and Sporting forced a turnover. The ball falls to Kelyn Rowe and he hits it off the post and in.
The final score was 6-0 and Tim Melia barely got involved until the last moments of the game. Tucson sprung a counter and were one-on-one with Melia but Timmy came up big stuffing the shot and ending the game.
Two more scrimmages to come today.
[Update: Here are the recaps of the second and third scrimmage. 180 minutes of soccer today.]