Sporting KC received their first loss this year against the 1-4-1 Portland Timbers. Sporting KC had a rough game out of the gate and just couldn’t bring the momentum back to their advantage. Surprisingly, Sporting dominated control of the ball with a 59% possession to Portland’s meager 41%. Sporting also had a better passing percentage with a 76% to a Timber’s 34%. So, even though Sporting did better overall, they still received a loss.
The first half started with Sporting KC kicking off. The kick-off was quick and well executed by Kei Kamara and C.J Sapong. When the ball was stolen in the first minute by Eric Brunner, C.J Sapong bursted into action and tried to steal the ball but received a non-card foul for a handball. In the 9th minute, on a corner from Graham Zusi, Kei Kamara took a shot from the center of the penalty box which hit Timber’s goalie, Troy Perkin’s hand and bounced just right, out of bounds. In the 20th minute C.J Sapong headed,what seemed to be a goal, into the hand of Troy Perkins. In the 22nd minute, Steve Purdy received a yellow card for a reckless foul on Roger Espinoza who stayed down on the ground in agonizing pain for 30 seconds but jumped up and walked it off, only to get his free kick rejected by Troy Perkins. In the 41st minute of the first half, the only goal of the game was scored. The goal started on a deep kick in the corner by Kris Boyd, which was then headed into the goal by Chance Myers. The 20,482 people at the game went crazy. To end the half, Lovel Palmer, of the Portland Timbers, received a yellow for a reckless foul and 4th official, Sorin Stoica, said that he would add three extra minutes to the half. Nothing was achieved by either side on that extra time.
To start the second half, Portland had the kick-off and the lead. Portland took more time with this kick-off and the Timber’s control lasted well over a minute. Then, out of nowhere, Julio Cesar came in and stole the ball in the 47th. The first 20 minutes of the second half were very tedious. Both teams went through many changes and, in the 66th, became tired of changing possession. Collin received a half field pass from Chance Myers, went up for the ball and instead of kicking the ball, he kicked Steve Purdy’s legs out from under him. Collin acquired a yellow card on that play. In the 71st Coach Peter Vermes put Teal Bunbury in for Bobby Convey. Once again in the 78th both Portland and Sporting put subs in. Portland’s Coach, John Spencer, subbed out Steve Purdy and subbed in Freddie Braun. Then, Coach Vermes put in Paulo Nagamura for Julio Cesar. In the 79th Kei Kamara shot a marvelous shot to the goal but was blocked by Troy Perkins, who dominated the night. In the 81st Kris Boyd received his first yellow card this year because he tripped up Seth Sinovic. Later, in the 88th, Mat Bessler received the 5th and final yellow card of the game, when he tripped up freshly subbed, Darlington Nagba. Finally, 4th official, Sorin Stoica, indicated a total time of 5 minutes added to the game. But Sporting KC could not do anything with it.
At the end of the game Sporting KC loses 1-0 bringing Sporting KC to a 7-1-0 record. While still atop the division, Sporting KC comes home hoping to win number 8.
When Coach Peter Vermes talked to MLS soccer over the phone he said,”We didn’t give anything away but one chance in the second half, and we created quite a few chances. I thought the guys gave a hell of an effort, and I thought we were good tonight.” He also said,”“It’s not like we didn’t have the right mentality, or our attitude was bad, or we did something poor in the game. We didn’t have much against us. We went out on the road and took the match to them.” Then, Portland’s goal keeper, Troy Perkins, was asked his thoughts on the game. “It wasn’t pretty, it wasn’t clean, but like we said before we went out, it’s going to be a dull fight. And, you know to get a win, it doesn’t necessarily have to be pretty. Just get in around the ball as much as we can and fight for everything and we finally got a little bit of luck on our side.” Lastly, C.J Sapong was asked his thoughts, “We had a long [winning] streak, which gave us a target on our backs for every team to come at us. I feel that we may have given the game away, but it’s not like they ran us off the field. I think the road trip took a lot out of us and we’re happy to go get a little break and get right back at it soon.”