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Sporting KC 3-2 aggregate over Phoenix Rising

Russell, Zusi and Freeman score for Sporting KC

Johnny Russell scored first for Sporting KC
Thad Bell

Johnny Russell, Graham Zusi and Tyler Freeman scored tonight as Sporting Kansas City scrimmaged Phoenix Rising FC in Scottsdale, Arizona. Phoenix scored twice on Sporting KC in the scrimmage which were the first two goals let in during the preseason. The format was either two 75 minute games or one 150 minute game with two different squads, the teams themselves didn’t seem to agree on Twitter.

Russell started the scoring when SKC’s pressure created a turnover. After the turnover the ball was quickly passed to the Scottish winger, he slotted it low past former Swope Park Ranger’s keep Zac Lubin in the 56th minute of the first 75 minute half.

Phoenix leveled the score in the 70th when Solomon Asante was able to cross the ball past Matt Besler into Phoenix trialist Lamar Neagle. The former Seattle Sounder forward headed the ball down past Tim Melia.

It did not take long for Sporting KC to regain the lead. In the 72nd minute Krisztian Nemeth was taken down outside the box. Zusi took the free kick and curled a nearly impossible to stop shot into the corner to make it 2-1.

The second 75-minute half started with a whole new squad for Sporting KC and it did not take long for something to happen. SKC’s 16-year-old homegrown forward Tyler Freeman unleashed a shot that took a bit of a deflection and found the back of the net.

Phoenix pulled one back in the 28th minute of the second half. Kevon Lambert shot to the upper corner of the backpost just past Adrian Zendejas outstretched arms. The ball rebounded off the inside of the post and back across the goal mouth and across the goal line.

SKC 1st half squad:

Tim Melia

Graham Zusi, Andreu Fontas, Matt Besler, Rodney Wallace

Kelyn Rowe, Ilie Sanchez, Felipe Gutierrez

Johnny Russell, Krisztian Nemeth, Daniel Salloi

SKC 2nd half squad:

Adrian Zendejas

Jaylin Lindsey, Botond Barath, Graham Smith, Seth Sinovic

Roger Espinoza, Wan Kuzain, Gianluca Busio

Yohan Croizet, Tyler Freeman, Gerso Fernandes

Mo Abualnadi replaces Graham Smith with 45 left in the second half.

Eric Dick replaced Zendejas for the final 15.

Next up:

Sporting KC’s next preseason action is Wednesday, February 13th when they face the Houston Dynamo in split squad action with two simultaneous games at 5:00 PM. The second squad will take on Phoenix Rising’s USL League One partner, FC Tucson.