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Sporting KC overcome injuries, red card to shutout Dynamo

SoonySaad (USA Today Sports)


Sometimes even a positive result can surprise you.

Sporting Kansas City might not affirm that notion, but after surviving an early red card and two injuries — to top the Houston Dynamo 2-0 Friday — there’s really no other way to put it.

Soony Saad opened his 2014 scoring account with the gaming-winning goal, while fellow forward Dom Dwyer added insurance with his 11th on the season to help the visitors earn their first victory in six matches.

“To be able to play the way that we did and score two goals, own the game the way we did,  and get a shut out — incredible,” Sporting KC manager Peter Vermes said after the match. “(That was) an incredible performance. That was probably the best performance we’ve ever had other than the championships we’ve won.”

The outlook wasn’t as positive early on for Sporting KC. Midfielder and interim captain Paulo Nagamura was forced to come off with a concussion five minutes into the match after colliding with Houston’s Will Bruin. Then in the 21st minute, a red card was shown to forward Toni Dovale for a high elbow thrown at Alexander Lopez.

Sporting KC would rebound from the grim start and score a goal in the 45th minute, but at the cost of another player. Following a Houston turnover and a pass to Saad to set up the opening goal, midfielder Benny Feilhaber was clipped down and would be subbed off at halftime with what team officials say is a separated left shoulder.

Houston would take advantage of Vermes using all three substitutions by halftime and bring on two fresh bodies to aide in possession and shots. But despite the advantage in those categories, it was the visitors who were able to execute at the right moments. The pressure kept coming and in the 69th minute it paid off with a penalty call following a Dynamo handball in the box, which would be converted a minute later by Dwyer.

Houston made things interesting with two or three sequences in the remaining 20 minutes, but it was not enough, as Sporting KC gained a crucial three points with the three-week World Cup break ahead of them.

“It’s always a good thing,” Vermes said. “This group of guys, they deserve three points. They deserved three points here in the last too many games we’ve played. They’ve played well. Even in D.C. and at home against the other two teams, they really have played well and they deserve three points. I’m hoping this is a good confidence builder for them because they deserve it. Their commitment and the way they play is excellent.”

Sporting KC improve to 6-5-4. Their next match will come during the break in U.S. Open Cup play on June 18th. The Houston Dynamo fall to 5-9-2. They’ll also return to action during the fourth round of the U.S. Open Cup on June 11th.


  1. Someone needs to be the vocal leader of the backline. While we made up for Bobby Boswell’s lack of speed, we haven’t filled his leadership role.

  2. Dynamo worst run of form I have ever seen from this team. There are problems far worse than calllups and injuries. Really looking toward to this break.

  3. That penalty call is a tough one, pretty close to the shoulder. I think the problem was staring at the ref afterword that made it looks pretty guilty.

  4. Can someone explain to me what actually happened on the red card? I’ve seen about 100 comments concerning the red card, but with no explanation.

    • Alex Lopez was up in Toni Dovale’s ear saying who knows what, then Dovale thew a light elbow over his shoulder that connected with Lopez’s head.

      It didn’t injured him, and the ref probably could have let it slide, but it’s definitely an offense that’s punishable by red card.

    • Considering SKC’s injury situation in defense right now. I think we can fully expect EPB to get a lot more playing time.

  5. Red card was ridiculous … even the replays show that it was just a common “rub and reaction” than a malicious attempt to hurt someone …

    Ref didn’t even see it … was looking at the run of play 20 yards away …

    To over come the injuries and the silly red card … while engaged in a really physical game …

    That is the real SKC …

    • the dynamo are the shallowest team in the league and have like 3.5 starters available while having played the most games in the league….. I mean TFC has played 10 games while we’ve played 16… its awful scheduling for us..

      if you put it in some context its not all that impressive.

      • 75 minutes of 10 man football …

        to win 2 to 0 … losing 2 starters to injury, 1 to red, having starters Chance Myers, Ike Opara lost for the season due to injuries, and Besler and Zusi gone to the USMNT/World Cup?

        I think you are selling SKC short …

      • Dynamo fan here. It’s pathetic to lose to any team in this league, AT HOME, with a man advantage.

        Granted, having an injured Eric Brunner on the pitch somewhat evened the playing field, but lets not pretend that SKC wasn’t equally as depleted as the Dynamo.

    • I’ve been to every game this year and I think the Dynamo are were just terrible more so than it was SKC being “the real SKC”. I honestly believe the Dynamo should have refunded the fans for last night’s game like the Sounders did a few years ago. You would have thought the Dynamo were down a man, not up a man for 70 minutes. Just a complete dumpster fire of a performance that’s becoming all too common for this group

      • Completely agree with you, man. This team just isn’t improving and the ugly soccer we play is harder to accept when we’re not even getting results.

    • Maybe I am jaded because the game was one of the weirdest I have every been to but I thought the ref was terrible.

    • No, Benny took a dive but his form was bad. He tried a double twist but only landed a 1 1/2 and on his shoulder. He thinks he is Mexican.


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