Sporting Kansas City has one of the most beautiful stadiums in the league, and one of the best home-field advantages, but lately they sure to seem to enjoy playing on the road.
The Eastern Conference leaders went to Red Bull Arena looking to become the first visiting team to beat the Red Bulls, and it took them all of 12 minutes to put the slow-starting Red Bulls into a hole they'd never climb out of. First-half goals from C.J. Sapong and Kei Kamara were more than enough to lead to hold off a mis-firing Red Bulls side. Sporting KC held on for a 2-0 victory that extended their lead atop the East to four points.
Sapong finished a 12th-minute chance after Graham Zusi rocketed a free kick off the crossbar. The rebound fell to Matt Besler, who found Sapong for the finish. Kamara added KC's second in the 19th minute when he beat Wilman Conde to a Graham Zusi corner kick and headed home the goal.
The Red Bulls were a disjointed bunch for much of the night, never really mounting much of a consistent threat. Hans Backe went with a central midfield tandem of Rafa Marquez and Teemu Tainio, deploying Dax McCarty on the right wing, and the lineup left the Red Bulls lacking for creativity or real contributions from the wings.
The victory extends Sporting KC's lead on second-place Chicago to four points, and their lead on the Red Bulls to five points. New York will look to rebound on Saturday when they visit struggling New England. Sporting KC returns to action on Saturday with a visit to Canada to take on the Montreal Impact.
What did you think of the match? See Sporting KC holding onto first place in the East? Starting to wonder if the Red Bulls have the chemstry to mount a serious challenge come playoff time?
Share your thoughts below.