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Dwyer, Magee score in draw at sweltering Sporting Park

Dominic Dwyer

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KANSAS CITY, Kan. — The temperature and humidity in Kansas City skyrocketed Sunday afternoon, and the action on the field between Sporting Kansas City and the Chicago Fire could only keep up for so long.

Forwards Dom Dwyer and Mike Magee scored for their respective teams in the first half as the two sides played to a 1-1 draw in front of 20,585 fans at a sticky Sporting Park.

Despite temperatures in the low-90’s, the Fire came out with a hasty pace to start the match. Magee nearly put the away team up twice in the first half hour, but clearances off the line by Sporting KC defenders — including Aurelien Collin — would keep the match temporarily deadlocked at 0-0.

By the 31st minute mark, Collin had more saves than goalkeeper Eric Kronberg.

“I thought what really happened was we were not moving the ball quick enough so it allowed them to just hold their ground,” Sporting KC manager Peter Vermes said. “I think as the game went on, once again, they were in their half of the field. It was normal. We didn’t expect anything different.

“I don’t really think they were high up the field to be honest with you,” Vermes said. “I just think that our circulation the first half with the ball was very slow. I thought the second half was much better. They also tried to isolate a couple of our guys with the ball, but we adjustments for the second half and it changed everything.”

The uneasy start for the home side would be erased minutes later though thanks to a Fire mishap and Dwyer goal. Defender Patrick Ianni appeared to be playing a ball back to goalkeeper Sean Johnson, but a poor first touch would leave Dwyer all alone for an excellent curling effort to put the home side up 1-0. The goal prompted an amusing celebration which saw Dwyer and teammate Soony Saad take a selfie in front of a number of enthusiastic fans, though referee Alan Kelly didn’t find it as charming — showing Dwyer a yellow card for his antics.

The deficit would be soon be erased by none other than Magee, who was able to strike without the threat of a clearance. Again, it was a poor defensive effort that led to the goal — this time Seth Sinovic losing possession to midfielder Alex before making the strong pass to Magee for the score.

The 1-1 scoreline would hold steady into the halftime break and, with tired legs mounting, to the final whistle. Sporting KC was dominant throughout the final 45 minutes, holding nearly 80 percent of the possession and firing five shots on target, but goalkeeper Sean Johnson provided eight saves to freeze the scoreline at 1-1.

“The big thing for me is that we don’t quit, and we didn’t,” Fire manager Frank Yallop said. “We kept going and tried to do the right things. I thought Harrison Shipp was good today in that little pocket, finding good spaces. But in general I thought we did okay.

“We’ve tied a lot of games and it’s frustrating that we can’t seem to win,” said Yallop. “That was one of the games where I thought Sporting Kansas City deserved to win, but a lot of the other ties we’ve had we were pretty much on the verge of winning the match. It’s a close thing right now for us but today was a good fighting spirit with injuries and all the stuff that went on, and to get a point here is very difficult.”

With the result, both sides earn a crucial point in the MLS Eastern Conference. Sporting KC move to 7-5-5 and will travel next weekend to Montreal to face the Impact, while the Fire move to 2-4-10 and will also be on the road to face the New England Revolution Saturday.


  1. SBI refs, help me out: Why did Dom Dwyer receive a yellow for that celebration? Is there something against “excessive celebrations”? I know it’s a yellow for taking off a shirt, but no yellow for pulling a shirt over one’s head. Did Cubo receive a yellow for jumping into the stands a few days ago? Seems a bit arbitrary.

    • Railhawks aren’t bad. Organization is committed, lotta good soccer in the Triangle, and CASL’s a pretty good youth club. Great facilities.

      Definitely the sort of club that, if you give it time, could well grow into something like a Championship side in England.

      • Actually, check these guys out – they operate out of WakeMed park, you can literally see the Railhawks’ stadium in the background outta the video. They’re called IDF – International Development Futbol, coached by a Trinidadian guy called Fortune. SCARY good, way above Premier level. (I know, they smoked our Premier crew in a couple of friendlies this past summer…don’t even remember the scores, other than: them lots, us nothing.) Guy is a scout for Barcelona, among other things.

        They’re U12’s, by the way.

        It’s still spotty, but there is a standard of soccer coming that’s just way above anything that’s existed in the states before.

    • They consistently embarrass the Galaxy. Actually, at this point, it’d be an embarrassment for the Railhawks if ever lost to the Gs.

  2. I went to the sports bar where I have watched the cup games and said to the barmaid, no soccer today, and got a beer. In a few minutes one of the near screens had the KC-Chi game just starting. I watched my first ever MLS game.

    At first I wasn’t too interested but as the game went on I started paying attention. It wasn’t bad at all, many players played well. I really liked Dwyer, especially his selfy. KC deserved 3 points.

    • You’ve seriously never watched an MLS game Fast Eddie? Had me fooled. Good for you though. A lot of people just never give it a chance. I can see why, if they had checked in out in the “bad old days” of countdown clocks and weird shootouts and Andrew Shue. Nobody who supports in imagines its EPL or La Liga, but it is totally watchable and gets better every year.

    • Congrats on your first MLS game! Better late than never. It’s ain’t the Premiership, but year by year, the quality of play is improving. Most importantly, it’s our league. Americans need to support the American league. Viewers = money = growth in quality.

      • Never watched the Preemie either, until this year because of how Liverpool played. I was/am a Bundesliga fan. La Liga and Serie A some.

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