One point behind: Sporting KC still near East lead despite 2-1 loss to Columbus
Sporting Kansas City remained one point shy of the New York Red Bulls for first place in the Eastern Conference after a 2-1 defeat against Columbus at Livestrong Sporting Park on Saturday.
Kei Kamara’s eighth goal of the season gave Sporting KC (11-7-4) an early 1-0 lead eight minutes into the match, but two first-half strikes by the Crew’s Jairo Arrieta earned the victory for the visitors. The defeat preceded Wednesday’s international friendly against the English Premier League’s Stoke City FC. Stoke City reached Kansas City, Kan., on Monday ahead of the 7:30 p.m. start time at Livestrong Sporting Park on Tuesday.
On Saturday, Sporting KC will return to league play when it visits the New England Revolution at 8 p.m. in a rematch of the clubs’ July 21 0-0 draw.
Following that will be perhaps the most anticipated non-league match of the season as Sporting KC hosts the final of the U.S. Open Cup at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 8.
Against Columbus Saturday, Graham Zusi notched his ninth assist of the season — tied for third most — in setting up Kamara’s score. Zusi arched a free kick from 45 yards out to Kamara, who headed the ball past Crew goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum.
But it was Arrieta, a Costa Rican international player, who tore victory away from Sporting KC’s grasp with his first two goals — in the 17th and 34th minutes, respectively — in his MLS career.
Sporting KC trailed at half for just the second time this season, despite outshooting Columbus 25-12. With six shots on goal to Columbus’ three, Sporting KC would be deterred by Gruenbaum’s five saves on the night.
Collin out 1-2 weeks
Defender Aurelien Collin did not leave Philadelphia’s MLS All-Star Game with much to celebrate. Collin received two facial fractures during the July 25 game after playing 36 minutes in a 3-2 All-Stars victory against Chelsea FC at PPL Park.
A collision with Michael Essien near midfield sent Collin off the field on onto the injured list for the time being.
Previously, Collin started all 21 regular season matches before Saturday’s home match against Columbus.
In his second MLS season, Collin has scored three goals and one assist while helping lead Sporting KC’s defense to nine shutouts and a league-best 0.90 goals against average before his injury.