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.
Free kick goal Graham Zusi pic.twitter.com/pZTj40mmhC— Carter Augustine (@CarterAugust1ne) February 8, 2019
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:
Graham Zusi, Andreu Fontas, Matt Besler, Rodney Wallace
Kelyn Rowe, Ilie Sanchez, Felipe Gutierrez
Johnny Russell, Krisztian Nemeth, Daniel Salloi
SKC 2nd half squad:
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.
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.