(May 27, 2014) – Sporting Kansas City moved into sole possession of second place in the Eastern Conference with a 1-1 draw against the New York Red Bulls on Tuesday at Sporting Park. Red Bulls forward Bradley Wright-Phillips scored his MLS-leading 11th goal of the season to split the points after Antonio Dovale had given Sporting Kansas City the early lead with his first career MLS goal in the ninth minute.
Playing the team’s second match in a five-day span, Sporting Kansas City started strong with three near misses in the game’s first five minutes. Defender Igor Juliao, starting his fourth straight match after being acquired on loan from Fluminense, made a 45-yard run down the right flank and nearly finished the individual effort with a chip over Red Bulls goalkeeper Luis Robles if not for a goalline clearance from Chris Duvall.
The New York backline again rescued Robles with another last-gasp block from Jamison Olave in the fourth minute to turn away Sal Zizzo’s header. Just over a minute later, Benny Feilhaber’s free kick from 20 yards out struck the crossbar to leave little doubt about which side had the upper hand in the early stages.
The offensive pressure paid off for Sporting Kansas City with the game’s opening goal in the ninth minute from the foot of Dovale. The 24-year-old Spaniard worked his way into a dangerous spot in the center of the park and unleashed a curling left-footed strike from 25 yards out for his first career MLS goal.
Dovale becomes the eighth different goal scorer for Sporting Kansas City in the 2014 regular season and his ninth minute goal is the earliest scored by the team in 2014. Feilhaber earned the assist, his third of the season and 18th in his MLS career (including playoffs).
After attempting a single shot in the first half, the Red Bulls leveled the match with their first shot on goal in the 50th minute. Thierry Henry picked out Wright-Phillips behind the Sporting KC backline and the English striker buried the breakaway. Ten of his 11 goals in 2014 have come in his last seven matches, including six in the month of May — tied for most in MLS with Sporting KC striker Dom Dwyer.
New York capitalized on the momentum and threatened to pull ahead, forcing Sporting Kansas City goalkeeper Eric Kronberg to record three key saves over the next 15 minutes of the match. Wright-Phillips nearly scored his second of the match but was thwarted by Kronberg in the 53rd minute.
Second-half substitute Peguy Luyindula tested Kronberg with a low drive in the 66th minute only to see his attempt pushed away with a diving save. Kronberg was well positioned on the ensuing corner kick to smother another effort from outside the area, this time from Henry.
Sporting Kansas City weren’t without chances of their own to secure all three points in the second half. Dwyer directed his header narrowly high of the bar on a cross from Juliao in the 65th minute and Robles made a superb stop on Dovale, stretching full extention to protect his near post in the 79th minute.
Both sides were missing three players due to international duty — including Sporting Kansas City captain Matt Besler and midfielder Graham Zusi who started for the U.S. Men’s National Team on Tuesday night against Azerbaijan — and each saw their winless run reach four MLS matches. Sporting Kansas City will return to the road to face D.C. United at 6 p.m. CT on Saturday at RFK Stadium.
The match will air live on KMCI 38 the Spot locally and on SKCTV across the Midwest. The team’s official watch party will be held at Johnny’s Tavern in Overland Park (8719 W. 95th St.) featuring food and drink specials.
- Sporting Kansas City and the New York Red Bulls drew 1-1 at Sporting Park on Tuesday.
- Sporting KC is 234-220-120 all-time and 153-81-54 at home.
- Sporting KC is 5-4-4 during the 2014 MLS regular season and 3-1-4 at home. The team moved into sole possession of second place in the Eastern Conference after Tuesday’s draw.
- Tuesday marked Sporting KC’s sixth of seven matches during the month of May (a 28-day span).
- Sporting KC is 19-18-12 against the New York Red Bulls all-time and 14-8-4 at home all-time.
- Sporting Kansas City’s Antonio Dovale opened the scoring on Tuesday, his first goal since joining Major League Soccer in March.
- The ninth minute goal was the earliest goal scored by Sporting KC this year and came from the eighth different goal scorer.
- Bradley Wright-Phillips tied it up for the New York Red Bulls in the 50th minute with his League-leading 11th goal of the season.
- Dom Dwyer has 10 goals on the season and sits in second place in Major League Soccer for goals scored behind only Wright-Phillips.
- Thierry Henry assisted Wright-Phillips, marking Henry’s second assist in eight matches against Sporting KC and fifth of 2014.
- The assist moves Henry into a tie for second in the League with Brad Davis, Fabian Espindola, Federico Higuain, Javier Morales, Shea Salinas and teammate Lloyd Sam.
- Henry has not scored a goal in eight matches against Sporting KC.
- Sporting KC is 3-4-4 when wearing Sporting Blue.
- Sporting KC has yet to allow a first half goal from the run of play this season, a 16-game streak that dates back to 2013.
- With the draw, Sporting KC remains undefeated in 2014 when scoring first (5-0-3) and when leading at the half (3-0-1).
- Sporting KC is 30-38-21 all-time during the month of May and 2-2-2 in 2014.
- Sporting KC has scored 12 goals at home this season, second in the Eastern Conference, behind only New York.
- Seth Sinovic led all players on Tuesday with five interceptions.
- Benny Feilhaber led all players on Tuesday with four chances created.
- Aurelien Collin led all players on Tuesday with 11 duels won.
- Collin also won seven of his nine aerial duels on Tuesday.
- Alex Martinez tied Jamison Olave for most tackles won with four on Tuesday.
- Tuesday marked Sporting KC’s first of four matches this season nationally broadcast on ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes.
- Tuesday’s match was sponsored by Providence Medical Center.
- Tuesday was the first of three meetings between the New York Red Bulls and Sporting KC during the 2014 regular season. Sporting KC travels to New York on September 6 before hosting them on October 26 in the regular season finale.
- The attendance for Sporting KC’s Tuesday night match against the New York Red Bulls was 19,221, marking the 44th consecutive sellout at Sporting Park.
- The match ball was delivered by Ken Morrow, a member of the gold medal USA Hockey team at the 1980 Olympics and a member of the United States Hockey Hall of Fame.
- The first 15,000 fans to arrive on Tuesday received a replica MLS Cup championship ring.
- After the final whistle, all fans were welcomed down to the pitch to watch the U.S. Men’s National Team featuring Matt Besler and Graham Zusi. The USMNT played Azerbaijan in a friendly match-up as preparation for the 2014 Summer World Cup in Brazil.