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Wright-Phillips notches 11th goal, salvages draw for Red Bulls vs. Sporting KC

Bradley Wright-Phillips


KANSAS CITY, Kan. — The script was all-too familiar for Sporting Kansas City Tuesday. An early go-ahead goal gave fans a sense of optimism and excitement, only for the visitors to storm back for a crushing equalizer.

The New York Red Bulls were the antagonists — or benefactors, if you will — this time around as the two sides played out to a 1-1 draw in front of 19,221 at Sporting Park. Forward Toni Dovale scored the lone goal for Sporting KC — the first of his Major League Soccer career — while forward Bradley Wright-Phillips put away his league-leading 11th goal of the season to cap off the night’s scoring.

“Look, we played a good game. They scored a goal,” Sporting KC manager Peter Vermes said in the post-game press conference. “How about our goal? I guess that would be the same question to them, ‘How did we score, and how did we have three chances that were unbelievable in five minutes?’ We played a good game and they scored a goal.”

Wright-Phillips’ 50th-minute equalizer came after the Red Bulls had enjoyed a late first-half surge following a lackluster first 20 minutes to the match. Wright-Phillips received a spot-on through ball from Thierry Henry on an even better run into the box before calmly slotting his shot past Sporting KC goalkeeper Eric Kronberg for the crowd silencer.

“That’s why you have a Thierry Henry on your team,” Red Bulls manager Mike Petke said after the match. “That’s why he makes the money he does and that’s why he’s been at the level he’s at, for that one moment that he can make that pass. Credit to Bradley (Wright-Phillips), he finished. A couple minutes later he almost had the exact same thing that could have put us ahead, but we’ll take the draw.”

Sporting KC, which looked poise to go up two or three goals early in the match, was unable to regroup and get by the New York defense for a game-winner. The home side’s only score came nine minutes into the match following a brilliant shot from Dovale from 23 yards out.

“It was so beautiful,” Dovale said when asked about scoring his first goal in front of the main Sporting KC supporters section. “I think I won’t forget that good memory in my life. We have very special fans. I haven’t ever seen supporters like this in my career. I have played in many big games in Spain and I have never seen this. This is very special, but we cannot stop. We have to keep going and think about the next game.”

The result is Sporting KC’s second draw in four days. Their record now sits at 5-4-4 prior to a weekend meeting with D.C. United in the nation’s Capitol. New York earn a tough road point and see their record go to 3-5-6. The Red Bulls will have the weekend off before hitting the road to take on the New England Revolution on June 8.


  1. Why is SKC benching beiler? Dwyer missed two clear opportunities and the attack needed finishing! why leave the star on the bench. The red bulls were awful. Dax and Alexander were non existent. Bover did not do much probably because he is not a winger and convey was awful yet people continue to tout his pedigree. The team needs a midfield that can create and stop attacks. They don’t have this. Henry played a ball from the defensive third all the way through the skc midfield and passed the ball for goal. Until that point the skc midfield looked outstanding henry play exposed how skc is not as dominant as we think and that red bulls need players that can create. Alexander and Dax are not these players. Yes they are hard workers on the field but if they ever aspire to go to the national team they need to work on their distribution and creativity.

  2. LOL. “We played a good game and they scored a goal”…

    More like “we just dropped 2 points because we tried to play on the counter at home.”

      • I’m not comparing RBNY and SKC — just pointing out the weirdness of RBNY’s schedule, with 3 days between games, and then 11 days between games.

      • Probably has more to do with the TV contract and their channel’s scheduling dept than MLS.

      • Yeah, they probably wanted to co-promote with the USMNT game that followed.

        On an unrelated point, does anyone think that Peter Vermes yells and complains from the time he gets up in the morning until he goes to bed? Between him and Collin, SKC have cornered the market on bellyaching accompanied by outrageous facial expressions, although Collin tends to go for the whiny while Vermes looks like he’s about to commit a violent act.

      • Agreed. Collin’s reactions especially are so absurd and overwrought. What a clown.

        Vermes’ comments are silly. Other than the first ten minutes, SKC didn’t play that well and certainly didn’t outplay RBNY. In the first ten minutes they were totally dominant, but only scored once.

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