MLS- Sporting Kansas City

Feilhaber shines as Sporting KC hand Impact first loss of season


Photo by ISIphotos.com


When Sporting Kansas City traded for Benny Feilhaber this past offseason, they did so with the hopes of landing a central midfielder who was capable of dictating the tempo of games and unlocking defenses.

On Saturday night, Feilhaber lived up to that billing.

Feilhaber helped Sporting KC hand the Montreal Impact their first defeat of the season, assisting on both goals in a 2-0 win at Sporting Park. Feilhaber set up goals on each side of halftime, as Claudio Bieler and Graham Zusi both found the back of the net for the hosts.

While the Impact’s defense had been the one receiving many of the plaudits in recent weeks, it was Sporting KC’s back line which held firm. Matt Besler returned from international duty with the U.S. Men’s National Team and helped goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen and the rest of the Sporting KC defense to post their third cleansheet in as many games.

The decisive goal came early for Sporting KC. In the fifth minute, Feilhaber collected a pass near midfield and dribbled forward before finding Bieler, who took a touch and hit a shot past Montreal goalkeeper Troy Perkins for his third tally of the year.

With Bieler’s strike surely altering their gameplan, the Impact could no longer just sit back and absorb the pressure while waiting to hit on the counter as they had in recent weeks. Marco Di Vaio and the Impact wound up with some chances to equalize, but Nielsen and Sporting KC’s stingy defense denied them at every turn.

That opened the door for Zusi’s insurance goal in the 80th minute. Zusi made a great diagonal run behind the Impact’s back four and Feilhaber hit a quality through ball to him. Zusi then fought off a defender before calmly hitting a low chip over an onrushing Perkins.

Here are the match highlights:


What do you think of Sporting KC’s 2-0 win over the Impact? Expecting more performances like this from Feilhaber? Still believe Montreal will be one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference this season?

Share your thoughts below.

  • Falsify

    Order is restored. KC looking like a powerhouse team in this game. Feilhaber had a great game with a great assist in the first half.


  • Siberian

    Finally!! Hope Feilhaber can keep it up. Bieler had a big miss, but so far he’s been a great signing this season. I’m happy with him. Sporting KC defense has settled down and is now what we thought it would be. Still wouldn’t mind another offensive weapon though.


    • AzTeXan

      Impressive getting that NE Revs stink off himself so fast. Normally you need at least a season’s worth of tomato juice baths to do that.


  • the count

    am i the only one who notices that almost every picture of benny on SBI is of him in this ‘passing pose’

    where he is like, ultra low to the ground leaning back, arms flailing, and kicking leg all swinging wildly looking.

    just an observation


    • whoop-whoop

      First game in quite a while I’ve seen Felhaber put together an entire match that at all resembled the image of the one of myth and fleeting flashes in my memory. Like most, I’ve seen the talent, but have pretty much given up the hope I had 5 years ago of him being a stalwart creative force in the middle for the Nats. The word that comes to mind w/ him is fickle. Love to see him keep it up with consistency…………. when the word potential is used at this stage in ones career, it is usually paired with words like unrealized and wasted. Is he capable of putting together an entire season as that guy? I rather doubt it based on the past, but hope I’m wrong… it surely would be a waste if he never did.


    • Scott

      Correct. I think that we will see both in the next match. We desperately need a creator in the midfield and Feilhaber is the only one available. Zusi keeps his spot until Landon returns.


      • GW

        JK is handling Benny just right.

        Benny’s seems to get complacent very easily. So Vermes and JK keeping the pressure on him to perform can only be a good thing.


  • Grubbsbl

    Fielhaber was very impressive last night. But I actually thought man of the match went to Zusi, the guy was everywhere. He offered simple passes to retain possession in tight situations, created when needed, plus had a great run and finish for his goal. And I love that Zusi can play in different ways and in different roles. Having said all that, Feilhaber was awesome and possesses the ability to unlock defenses. The national team still needs that, hope he continues to find form.


  • Michael F. SBI Mafia Oriinal

    Wow Zisi. That goal was pure class. Holding off the defended, choosing to not go down like so many other players would have, and the skill to chip back across the goalie and in. Truly amazing. And that’s coming from the guy who wasn’t all that impressed with hin in his last Nats game beyond the defensive header. Great job.


  • Mack

    sporting kc might struggle next summer when they lose 3 players to the world cup. as more and more players from mls get called into their national teams it is becoming important that mls switches to the international schedule. the play in the league will be reduced when you lose all of the us’ mnt players all of honduras mnt players as well as other possibilities like keene


    • Nick4235

      So we can have more snow games like the WCQ in cities like Denver, Boston, Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, Chicago, New York etc etc..?


  • 2tone

    Decent game from Feilhaber. But he has to be more consistent to even be metioned in the USMNT picture.

    Zusi for me was teh catalyst for the KC win. I hope he can provide more of this sort of offense for the Nats in June.


  • Swanny

    Feilhaber and Zusi were great, but I would love to see this team ultilize Sapong better, though. Maybe in a 4-4-2 in some way. It seems like the 4-3-3 just takes him right out of the game.


    • crossmlk

      Yeah, that’s a great idea. KC should chuck the style that has put them on the map so they can get one guy involved more!

      I think it is CJ who needs to and has adapted quite well. This is his first year of playing wide full time. Most of the time last year he played centrally. But before we go down this road to far I think you maybe need to replay the game yesterday. CJ was quite involved and effective,especially before the knee in the back. You don’t have to score goals to be effective, as long as you open it up for your team to score goals. In this offense you have to be where you’re supposed to and he did that quite well yesterday.


  • Patrick

    You can not forget about Uri. He owned the defensive midfield. He was absolutely tenacious.


  • Gary Page

    based on the highlight video here, Sporting KC should have had at l;east 4 goals. Montreal’s defense looked bad on numerous occasions and Bieler missed about 3 great opportunities. Feilhaber looked good from what was shown. Looks to me like the Revs didn’t use him properly.


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