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Sporting ends FC Dallas unbeaten run in style

Zusi - Getty


In one of the more eye-catching results of the weekend, Sporting Kansas City thumped FC Dallas 4-1 at Pizza Hut Park on Sunday evening, ending the hosts' nine-game unbeaten streak.

Away from home, without its DP and eventually reduced to 10 men, Sporting put together one of the more impressive displays of the season in a game with a handful of equally impressive goals.  

After Vancouver's Eric Hassli put his name in the hat for Goal of the Season last night against Seattle, Graham Zusi and Brek Shea may have entered the competition as well with some fine displays of power and skill.

Zusi registered a brace with a goal on either side of halftime, the second of which the 24 year old blasted a free kick past an unsuspecting Kevin Hartman from about 50 yards away from goal in the 55th minute to give KC a 3-1 lead. 

FC Dallas playmaker Shea also registered a phenomenal individual run as he carved open the Sporting defense to level the score before halftime.  Shea skipped past four Kansas City players before slotting the ball under a helpless Eric Kronberg to cap off the run.

The deadlock was broken midway through the first half as Zusi cut in on the left side and put a powerful shot into the far side netting of the Dallas goal for his first of the season.

The recently acquired French defender Aurelien Collin notched his first goal for the club as he poked home a cross from CJ Sapong following a Sporting corner just three minutes after the halftime whistle.

The rout was completed in the 78th minute by Luke Sassano after some slick passing from SKC slipped him in behind the Dallas back line to chip over an on-rushing Hartman.

The result is even more impressive for the visitors when you consider that they were without Omar Bravo, Teal Bunbury started on the bench and Milos Stojcev was sent off in the 56th minute after getting his second yellow card.

But Kansas City closed the game out in style and FC Dallas could get little going offensively for one of the few times this season.  The Texans controlled 65% of possession but couldn't make Sporting pay as the visitors walked away with all three points and a massive boost in confidence.


What did you think of the Shea and Zusi goals?  Goal of the Season candidates?  Does Vermes keep this winning formula for the next game?

Share your thoughts below


  1. Ives,
    Thanks for the response. As I said, “I didn’t know [you] said that.” Maybe that’s because you didn’t. I was going by what the other guy said.

    As for Tim Ream, I think you have been overhyping him this whole time. Not accusing you of NY bias, but he certainly gets 10x the praise around here that guys like Gonzalez, John, and Marshall get. And I’d say you haven’t been critical ENOUGH of him. He still seems to be getting a bit of a pass, whereas one game was enough for many to conclude that Gonzalez doesn’t have what it takes. Distribution is nice but give me defenders who know how to defend first and foremost. Scoring threats are never bad either, especially for a national team that is so dependent on set pieces. I don’t understand how a CB where one box of out five gets checked doesn’t get more criticism.

  2. Is it a coincidence that the starting lineup was sans a number of our “marquee” players and they thumped the second ranked team in the stronger Western Conference, while being a man down? I think not. What we saw was a talented group of players who were playing for each other, not the record books or themselves. I’m not saying that this should be our lineup for the rest of the season, but for this team to have a prayer of pulling off a successful season, there needs to be a mindset change in some of the regular starters. This is not tennis or golf where it is all about you. This is a team game in every sense of the word, and to be successful that is how it has to be played. GO SPORTING KC! You have won me as a fan.

  3. Not a chance fischy that the Zusi will beat out Hassli. It was a fantastic shot, but you don’t award that on a ball that GK Hartmann should have had. Keller had absolutely no chance on the Hassli goal in addition to the sick angle he shot it from…All 3 goals were sublime but Hassli had the best, hands dowm….

  4. If you watch the highlights, you will notice that maybe a handful of people are sitting on the sunny side of the stands, but there are a few shots that show a pretty decent crowd on the shaded side. Unfortunately, the cameras are located on the shaded side, probably for good reasons, but the scene makes it look as if there are dozens of people at the game, instead of thousands.

    Makes me think that they really blew it with the stadium design. Not only does it look bad because no one is sitting on that side, but I suspect the team would draw bigger crowds and fill a lot of those seats if they weren’t so miserable to sit in. Watch some night games and you will see more people on that side, but I’d guess all the season ticketholders have enough sense to buy seats on the other side.

  5. CJ “the worst pick of the draft per Ives” Spaong

    Yikes, I didn’t know he said that. Oh well at least he correctly predicted that Tim Ream would be an international-caliber defender based solely on his ball distribution!

    (SBI-I love when people just make stuff up. Pretty hilarious actually. With Sapong, I said he was the biggest reach in the first round and HE WAS. By that I mean there weren’t many, if any, other teams who were picking Sapong that early and at the time I thought KC should have traded down because they could have gotten Sapong a bit later (I noted at the draft that taking him AHEAD of Will Bruin was something I wouldn’t have done). I actually told Peter Vermes that the night of the draft. Vermes acknowledged that the team was looking to trade down but couldn’t find a deal that worked, and since they didn’t have another pick until much later they REACHED for the player they liked in Sapong. There’s a difference between saying a player wasn’t any good and saying a player went earlier in the draft than most teams would have taken him. I never said the guy wasn’t a player. As a matter of fact, anybody who wants to pretend I didn’t rate Sapong or though he was the “worst player in the draft” can go read my Sporting KC season preview for Fox Soccer and see what I wrote about him. Actually, here’s my Fox Soccer draft review, show me where I called him “The Worst Pick in the Draft”:

    As for Tim Ream, I’ve rated Ream as an MLS player and future player in Europe, but anyone acting like I ever said he’d be a lockdown national team defender is seriously revising history. I’ll sit here and wait while anybody finds where I ever said he’d be a standout national team defender right off the bat, if ever. He’s a good defender, much better than some here want to give him credit for being, but he also has plenty to early if he’s going to be a national team starter.)

  6. I haven’t seen KC play, but I can say that this statement is pure rubbish:

    By definition, if he struggles with touch, he is not very polished. He is the opposite of polished. Also, if he struggles with his touch, then he’s a long way from top notch in this sport.

  7. Everyone was too busy seeing Nowitzki and the Mavericks win their first title, and rightly so! Seeing Lebron and Wayde lose just made my day.

  8. It’s disappointing to see a quality team in a soccer-specific stadium (albeit in a terrible location) struggle that badly to fill the seats. Or even some of the seats. Today though, admittedly, Dallas sports fans had other things on their minds.

  9. It might be in part because he hasn’t really stepped it up until this season. He’d been labeled as a player of the future and was being monitored until recent play.

    I have a feeling after this season if not in the summer transfer window he will find a suitor for his skills.

    That being said I think he’d be a nice fit for the grooming of Fulham.

  10. Bunbury is still top notch. He is very polished, but struggles with his touch. He needs to find the right formula re: ball control and he will be ok.

  11. He is slumping like a usmnt forward… Yea its that bad, he caught the suck bug. CJ “the worst pick of the draft per Ives” Spaong is showing promise though and has no physical match, amazing athlete

    (SBI-Do me a favor and tell me where I called Sapong “The worst pick of the draft.” I thought he was a reach where he was taken, and the fact is he was. You do realize the difference right? KC could have gotten him later but grabbed him early. Credit to them for rating him so highly, but even Peter Vermes himself acknowledged to me that they took him early, but were unable to trade down and didn’t have another pick for a while so they took him when they did. Rather than skewing my words, why not go back and actually read up on what I said about Sapong at the draft, after the draft, and in my Sporting KC season preview for Fox. I had Sapong going around 25th and he went 10th. You’re acting like I didn’t think he’d even be drafted. Nice try.)

  12. Zusi is playing great without the goals. Super impressed with his progression. Good to see skc win despite another soft red. If micheal kennedy isn’t the worst ref on the planetwe would have nearly doubled our total this week. Skc w/o 7 “regular” starters

  13. Bunbury has been playing awful – he looked like he was playing on Ambien against Chicago. Check out CJ Sapong’s moves on YouTube and you can see why Teal may not be starting.

  14. Serious question: why is Brek Shea still in MLS? That’s not a slight at Dallas or at the league; he’s just shown enough with FCD that I can’t imagine that other, higher-paying leagues wouldn’t be interested in him, especially since he’s only 21.

  15. After a bunch of dull, 0-0, 0-1 games last weekend, this weekend had all kinds of exciting action. I watched all the league highlights from the weekend, and there was a lot of entertaining soccer (I was at the Sounders-Whitecaps game as well).

    Alan Gordan I think also should be considered for goal of the week for the clutch strike against LA. It’ll be interesting to see who gets it. I think Hassli.

  16. I don’t have a freakinZ clue what Hartmann was doing so far out from goal on Ausi’s second goal, but ya gotta give the Terp credit for hitting that shot. That’s gonna give Hassli a run for his money on Goal of the Week and Goal of the Year.

    As for Shea — a run like that makes one wonder why he seemed to playing so slowly with the USMNT. Sure. the KC defenders played like traffic cones, but it was still sweet.


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