Sporting KC enters Wednesday road match in Eastern Conference lead
Sporting Kansas City entered Wednesday’s road match against the Houston Dynamo back in first place in the Eastern Conference after a 2-0 victory Saturday against the Columbus Crew.
Sporting KC (11-5-3) earned the victory with an early goal by Jacob Peterson in the sixth minute and an 82nd minute goal by Teal Bunbury.
Goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen secured his eighth shutout of the season — tied for the league’s best — with a four-save performance. Nielsen’s showing was especially welcome considering the Crew out-shot Sporting Kansas City 18-6, with an 4-2 shots on goal advantage.
Sporting KC’s aggressive start paid off when Peterson Joseph, in his second career start, collected his first assist of the season. Joseph sent a pass through two Columbus defenders to Peterson, who put his team up early.
In the 75th minute, Columbus’ Emilio Renteria beat Sporting KC defender Aurelien Collin and fired a shot on goal. The strike then ricocheted off Nielsen and was collected by Tony Tchani, whose second-chance shot from long range sailed wide.
Finally, Bunbury received a pass from Kei Kamara and sent it past Columbus goalkeeper Andy Gruenbaum for the match’s final score.
Wednesday’s match, the results of which were not available at press time, concluded a three-game road trip for Sporting KC. The last time the two clubs met, on July 7, they battled to a scoreless tie at Livestrong Sporting Park.
Sporting KC’s road trip began on July 11 when Sporting KC returned to Philadelphia and exacted revenge after an earlier 4-0 defeat this season. This time, Sporting KC’s 2-0 victory came in the semifinals of the U.S. Open Cup and set up a championship game to be played in Kansas City against Seattle on Aug. 8.
Three selected to All-Star gameday roster
Goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen, defender Aurelien Collin and midfielder Graham Zusi were selected to the Major League Soccer All-Star gameday roster, the league announced on Sunday.
The three representatives, tied for the most of any MLS club, will play against UEFA Champions League winners Chelsea FC on July 25 at PPL Park in Philadelphia.