By CALEB SONNELAND
For the first time in a month, Sporting Kansas City are no longer the basement dwellers of the East.
The 2-1 win came thanks to goals from DP Omar Bravo and Julio César later in the first half after initially falling behind off a Camilo Sanvezzo header in the 15th minute.
Bravo added his third goal of the season from the penalty spot in the 33rd after being felled by Captain Jay DeMerit in the Vancouver area. Bravo hadn't scored since his brace on Sporting's Opening Day 3-2 win over Chivas USA.
Only seven minutes later, Bravo turned provider and the hosts were in front through defender Julio César. Sporting won a corner and from it Bravo headed the ball back across the face of goal for César to smash home past Joe Cannon. The goal was his first of season but only his second attempted shot at goal in 2011.
The visitors had initially got on the score-sheet early when Sanvezzo rose highest to a Davide Chiumiento ball to niftily head past Jimmy Nielsen and put Vancouver in for an ideal start at Livestrong Sporting Park.
Vancouver Captain DeMerit was interestingly replaced at halftime by Bilal Duckett in a switch that could only be assumed to be caused by injury. DeMerit has struggled with a groin injury before in the season, and it won't be news that Whitecaps fans will be itching to hear if their Captain is stricken down once again.
Undefeated since May 21st (1-0 loss to Seattle), Sporting has strung together several strong showings to final churn some life into an organization that was seriously under-performing earlier in the season. Now seven games unbeaten, Sporting fans will be relieved to see their club rise to 6th in the East on 17 points.
The result means that fellow strugglers Vancouver remains firmly rooted to the bottom of the West. Other than picking up a solid win in Philly last week, the Whitecaps haven't been in the "Winners" column in MLS play since the first game of the season, a 4-2 win over Toronto.