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Oct 252013

Huddle for Web Sporting KC advances to quarterfinals of CONCACAF Champions League
(October 23, 2013) — Sporting Kansas City advanced to the quarterfinals of the 2013-14 CONCACAF Champions League following their 0-0 draw against CD Olimpia on Wednesday night at Sporting Park. Sporting KC will await the results from Thursday night’s CCL matches to see which team they play in the next round of the tournament.

Sporting KC finished first in their group with a 2-0-2 record (8 points). The eight group winners advance to the quarterfinals, which will be played in March 2014.

Sporting KC can finish no higher than sixth place in the overall standings. The top four teams have home-field advantage which means Sporting KC would host their opponent in the first leg of the quarterfinals at Sporting Park and head on the road for the second leg.

Wednesday night, Sporting KC controlled 68% of the possession but were unable to beat Olimpia goalkeeper Noel Valladares. The Honduran national team goalkeeper recorded five saves on the night, including two on Jacob Peterson in the first half.

In the second minute, Peterson cut to the middle and laced a left-footed shot on target. Valladares reacted well and tipped it over the crossbar for a corner kick. In the 29th minute, Seth Sinovic curled in a ball from the left flank. Peterson darted to the penalty spot and headed the ball cleanly to the near post, but Valladares knocked the attempt away with his fingertips.

Sporting KC goalkeeper Eric Kronberg made one save on the night for his third shutout of the tournament. The veteran goalkeeper finished the group stage with only one goal allowed in four games played and has allowed only two goals in six games played this year in all competitions.

Wednesday’s match was a physical affair, as the two squads combined for 35 fouls. Sporting KC center back Aurelien Collin picked up a yellow card in the first half and will be suspended for the first match of the quarterfinals due to yellow card accumulation.

Sporting KC will return to League action on Saturday with their regular season finale against the Philadelphia Union at PPL Park. Sporting KC is currently one point back of the New York Red Bulls and Real Salt Lake in the MLS Supporters’ Shield race. Saturday’s match will kick off at 2 p.m. CT on the NBC Sports Network.

Oct 212013

SKC%20Awards%20Graphic%20 1920x1080 v2 Sporting KC announces 2013 team awards

Award recipients unveiled at Pitch Black event at Sporting Park

(October 19, 2013) – Sporting Kansas City announced the team’s annual awards on Saturday during Pitch Black, presented by Aristocrat Motors and Mercedes-Benz of Kansas City, at Sporting Park. Sporting Kansas City players, coaches, media members and fans voted on the following awards:

• 2013 Most Valuable Player, presented by Aristocrat Motors and Mercedes-Benz of Kansas City: Graham Zusi
• 2013 Offensive Player of the Year, presented by Providence Medical Center: Graham Zusi
• 2013 Defensive Player of the Year, presented by Ivy Funds: Matt Besler
• 2013 Goal of the Year, presented by Power Partners: Benny Feilhaber, Aug. 31st vs. Colorado Rapids at Sporting Park
• 2013 Newcomer of the Year, presented by UMB Bank: Ike Opara

Additionally, the club chose the following awards:
• 2013 Golden Boot, presented by US Bank: Claudio Bieler
• 2013 The Victory Project Humanitarian of the Year: Aurelien Collin
• 2013 Bob Gansler Award (Outstanding Academy Player), presented by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas City: David Leichty
• 2013 Sporting Club Network Club of the Year, presented by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas City: Kansas Rush Soccer Club

• 2013 Academy Affiliate Club of the Year, presented by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas City: Sporting StL Rangers

Zusi, 27, has recorded five goals and 10 assists in all competition this season for Sporting Kansas City while becoming a key contributor on the U.S. Men’s National Team. Zusi has 18 international appearances, including a role in 12 of the United States’ last 13 FIFA World Cup qualifiers, and has tallied three goals and two assists for the U.S. MNT. After being named MLS Breakout Player of the Year in 2011, Zusi was an MLS MVP finalist and Best XI selection in 2012 and was a nominee for Best MLS Player at the 2013 ESPYS. He is currently tied for the MLS lead with five game-winning assists in 2013.

In 22 MLS matches this season, Besler has anchored a Sporting Kansas City defense that leads Major League Soccer with the fewest goals allowed. After debuting with the U.S. Men’s National Team in January, the 26-year-old Overland Park, Kan. native now has 12 international appearances highlighted by starts in six FIFA World Cup qualifiers and all three knockout round games en route to the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup title. Besler is a two-time MLS All-Star and earned MLS Best XI, MLS Defender of the Year and MLS Breakout Player of the Year recognition in 2012.

Feilhaber, 28, scored one of the season’s most memorable goals on Aug. 31 in front of a sold out crowd at Sporting Park. His right-footed shot from 30 yards from net curled past Rapids goalkeeper Clint Irwin in the 33rd minute to propel Sporting KC to a 2-1 victory over the visitors. Watch the goal — this third of the season and seventh of his MLS career — online at

Opara, 24, excelled in central defense for Sporting Kansas City in 21 appearances in all competition this season after being acquired in a trade with the San Jose Earthquakes last December. He’s matched his MLS career high with three goals and also scored the game-winning goal in a 2-0 victory at Real Esteli FC in Nicaragua.

Bieler, 29, leads all Sporting Kansas City players with 10 goals in his debut season with the club, most among all MLS newcomers in 2013. His 10 goals are also the most by a Designated Player in a single season in club history and he is only the fourth player in team history to score 10 goals in their first season with the club (Preki and Digital Takawira in 1996, Miklos Molnar in 2000). He has also added four assists in 28 MLS matches.

Collin, 27, is a two-time MLS All-Star and also stands out off the field as a model representative in the community. Collin consistently goes above and beyond to support children battling life-threatening illnesses with voluntary visits during treatment and a commitment to continuing connections outside the hospital. He’s joined sports practices, taken shopping trips, attended fundraisers and become a friend to many kids in need.

Leichty received the 2013 Bob Gansler Award, annually bestowed upon the most outstanding Sporting KC Academy player of the year. The 18-year-old midfielder appeared in three MLS Reserve League matches last season and was on the senior team’s 2013 pre-season roster, including an appearance against the New England Revolution in January. Leichty made 25 appearances during the 2012-13 U.S. Soccer Development Academy season and has played in all five USSDA matches this season for the unbeaten Sporting KC Academy U18′s. He’s ranked the #91 player nationally in the class of 2013 by and the #3 player in the Heartland Region.

The Sporting Club Network – a membership of athletes and athletic organizations created to affiliate all interested soccer and other organizations in the Midwest with Sporting Club and Sporting Kansas City – recognized two of the Network’s outstanding clubs for their accomplishments in 2013: Kansas Rush Soccer Club and Sporting StL Rangers. For more information on these two clubs and the Sporting Club Network, visit

Sporting Park welcomed fans alongside Sporting Kansas City players and coaches on Saturday for a night of drinks, dining and live entertainment on the field. The team honors were formally presented to the award winners and proceeds raised will benefit The Victory Project in its mission to help kids in Kansas City who have cancer.

Visit for a list of Sporting Kansas City’s all-time award winners.

May 152013

Jimmy+Nielsen+New+England+Revolution+v+Sporting+ CxreTGgmaLl Sporting KC goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen releases new book

Major League Soccer’s Goalkeeper of the Year for 2012, Jimmy Nielsen has established himself as one of the best players in the League and a fan favorite in Kansas City. Yet while supporters are familiar with his achievements on the field and larger-than-life personality off it, few are aware of the remarkable story that led him to the Midwest. That story is now told in Nielsen’s new book, Welcome to the Blue Heaven, Don’t Bet Against the Goalkeeper from Ascend Books.

Compared from a young age to Denmark’s greatest ever goalkeeper – Peter Schmeichel – Nielsen was scouted by Manchester United and a host of other leading European clubs, but at the point when he should have been building a great career he was instead developing a ferocious gambling habit. In 1999 he was dropped from Denmark’s Under-21 team after missing curfew due to a lost night at the roulette table.

Nicknamed ‘Casino Jimmy’ by rival supporters, Nielsen continued to gamble – the stakes getting so high that he was able to win $500,000 on a single night at one casino, then throw more than half of that away at the same venue a day later. His losses finally caught up to him in 2004, when his inability to pay off a gambling debt helped put a major bookie out of business in his hometown.

Avoiding bankruptcy only with financial assistance from his soccer club and with the support of a family he feared would desert him, Nielsen gradually pieced his life back together. But in his playing career he remained unfulfilled. He had spent almost his entire career with Aalborg, the team he supported as a boy, starting a record 398 games and winning the Danish championship in 1999, but he dreamed of a fresh challenge.

That seemed at last to have arrived in 2007 when he was signed by the English club Leicester City. Instead he left after just six months and without playing a single game – frozen out by a coach who had never wanted to sign him in the first place. He returned to Denmark with a new team, Vejle, but never settled.

Were it not for a phone call from Kansas City in January 2010, that might have been the end of the story. Despite still performing to a high level, Nielsen was contemplating retirement when he was offered a contract by an American club that he didn’t even know existed. He said yes.

Nielsen could not even have pointed out Kansas City on a map at that stage but three years on he is the happiest he has ever been. Moving to America has not been without its challenges – from his daughter’s demand that their pet gerbil come with them, to having his face cut open by a bobblehead doll that was thrown at him by a fan during a game.

But the warmth of the Midwest, the unique passion of Sporting Kansas City’s fans and the standard of Major League Soccer – easily as high, in Nielsen’s opinion, as that in Denmark – have given him a new lease on life. Now Nielsen wants to share his story with the fans who have taken him to their hearts, and who have made him feel that he is, at last, at home in blue.

Nielsen’s story comes to life in his new book, “Welcome to the Blue Heaven, Don’t Bet Against the Goalkeeper,” by Jimmy Nielsen with Paolo Bandini from Ascend Books. Available now at retailers such as Rally House, Kansas Sampler, Barnes & Noble, and Books-A-Million (suggested retail $24.95); online at and as an ebook on Amazon Kindle, Apple iPad and other popular platforms.

Excerpts from Welcome to the Blue Heaven, Don’t Bet Against the Goalkeeper

From Chapter 1: The World’s Most Expensive Gerbil

“This was no ordinary pet. Otto was, without a doubt, the most expensive gerbil ever to have lived. We didn’t know it when we bought him. Back then, Otto cost the same as any other gerbil, about $50 when you include the cage, the water bottle and other basic supplies. But getting him to America? That took thousands of dollars.”

From Chapter 13: Gambling Gets Serious

“I was only there for an hour and I lost $350,000, more than half of what I had won the night before… I was very good at hiding how much I had won or lost, to the point that not even my closest gambling buddies knew the extent of my betting… I risked too much, took my loved ones for granted and made too many bad decisions to ever recount.”

From Chapter 18: A Phone Call From Out of the Blue

“The message said it was from an agent I’d never heard of, asking whether I might be interested in playing for Kansas City. I texted him back saying yes, and asking when I might hear more… My phone rang two minutes later. Over the next hour (Peter Vermes and I) shared one of the most exciting and motivational conversations of my entire life.  He told me about the team, his vision for how it could get bigger, and how soccer was growing in America. He told me about Kansas City itself and what a great place it was to live…All I could think was…I want to play for this guy!”


Jimmy Nielsen will speak and sign books following the Sporting Kansas City versus Houston Dynamo game at 2:30 p.m. CT on Sunday, May 26 in the Shield Club at Sporting Park.

He will also be appearing at Rally House in North Kansas City on June 8th (Noon-1:30 p.m. CT), Naomi’s Hallmark in Overland Park on June 8th (4-5:30 p.m. CT), Nebraska Furniture Mart on Saturday, June 15 (12:30-2 p.m. CT) and Kansas Sampler in Overland Park on June 27th (6-7:30 p.m. CT).

Jimmy will discuss his life and career as chronicled in his new book in a public conversation with Paolo Bandini, sportswriter and co-author of the book, on Thursday, June 20 at the Plaza Branch of The Kansas City Public Library (4801 Main St., Kansas City, MO). This event and reception are free to the public, with the reception starting at 6 p.m. CT and the program at 6:30 p.m. CT. Seating is limited and RSVPs are encouraged by calling (816) 701-3407.


Jimmy Nielsen is the captain of Sporting Kansas City and the 2012 MLS Goalkeeper of the Year. He grew up in Denmark and spent 13 years playing for his hometown team, Aalborg BK – starting a club record 398 consecutive games and helping the club to win its second-ever national championship. During that time he was twice named as Danish Goalkeeper of the Year. After that he had brief spells with Leicester City in England and Vejle in Denmark before joining the Kansas City Wizards – as the team was then known – in 2010. He lives in Kansas City together with his wife and two daughters.

Paolo Bandini is a freelance sports writer and broadcaster, specializing in soccer and football. He spent six years on the full-time staff at the Guardian – one of Britain’s leading national newspapers – before deciding to branch out on his own, and has since worked for a variety of employers including ESPN, The Score, BBC radio and Talksport – as well as continuing to write for the Guardian. Paolo spent the 2012 NFL season covering the St Louis Rams for and has since relocated full-time to Missouri, where his wife is studying for her PhD.

May 092013

int 130509 Sounders SportingKC hl Sporting KC suffers 1 0 loss to Seattle Sounders FC

The Seattle Sounders FC defeated Sporting Kansas City 1-0 in front of a sold-out crowd on Wednesday night at Sporting Park.A 94th minute goal from Djimi Traore sent the Sounders home with three points.

Kei Kamara made his first appearance for Sporting Kansas City since returning from his loan stint with Norwich City FC and Josh Gardner made his first start as a Sporting Kansas City player.

Sporting Kansas City’s first chance of the match came a mere 15 seconds in when Jacob Peterson dispossessed defender Zach Scott, sped down the left flank and fired a low shot that was saved by goalkeeper Michael Gspurning.

In the 13th minute, Sporting came close on another chance when C.J. Sapong took an attempt from the top of the box that floated just wide of the far post.

Seattle nearly went up a goal in the 20th minute of play when Mario Martinez played in a long ball that Brad Evans just barely clipped over the crossbar with a well-timed header.

Five minutes later, the home side followed up with a chance of their own when U.S. international Graham Zusi boldly struck from 20 yards out but Gspurning made the save.

Seattle were quick to respond in the form of a free kick from Martinez that evaded the wall and was goal-bound, but goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen made a sliding save.

With two minutes remaining in the first half,  Sporting had their final chance of the first half when Ike Opara neatly headed down the ball down to Chance Myers, whose 20-yard volley was blocked by Gspurning.

The second half was relatively quiet until the 80th minute when Myers lofted in a pass headed for Kamara, but it was cleared out. Claudio Bieler settled the deflected ball and shot wide of the far post.

Three minutes later, Kamara, in his first MLS appearance of 2013, took a low shot from deep in the right corner, but Gspurning wasn’t phased and snuffed out the chance.

The match appeared headed for a draw until the fourth minute of stoppage time when Zach Scott’s throw-in fell to Traore, whoseshot sailed past Nielsen from close range.

Sporting Kansas City will return to the road to face Eastern Conference rival the Houston Dynamo at 7 p.m. CT on Sunday at BBVA Compass Stadium.

May 072013

Kei+Kamara+Sporting+Kansas+City+v+New+England+d9gNeUss61Dl Sporting KC hosts Seattle Sounders on Wednesday in rematch of 2012 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup final

Sporting Kansas City welcomes the Seattle Sounders FC to Sporting Park at 7:30 p.m. CT on Wednesday in a rematch of the 2012 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup final. The two teams meet for the first time since Sporting Kansas City prevailed in a penalty kick shootout last August at Sporting Park to end the Sounders’ three-year reign as U.S. Open Cup champions.

Sporting Kansas City forward Kei Kamara, the team’s leading goal scorer each of the last three seasons, returned to the club on Monday upon the completion of his loan agreement with Norwich City FC of the Barclays Premier League. He scored one goal in 11 appearances for the Canaries and is expected to be available for selection on Wednesday after training with the team today.

The mid-week match-up comes three days after Sporting Kansas City posted a 4-0 victory over Chivas USA to move into first place in the Eastern Conference. Graham Zusi was named MLS Player of the Week with a goal and game-winning assist in the performance, while Designated Player Claudio Bieler added two goals to move into the League lead with six on the season.

Jimmy Nielsen leads the League with six shutouts, moving atop Sporting KC’s all-time chart with 38 clean sheets in his MLS career. Wednesday’s meeting will feature two of the top goalkeepers in MLS as Nielsen and Seattle’s Michael Gspurning were the only two goalkeepers with goals against averages below 1.00 last season.

Seattle enter the fixture unbeaten in their last four matches in all competition, but at the bottom of the Western Conference standings seven games into their season. Their trip to Sporting Park will be a third straight road match for Sigi Schmid’s squad, who are coming off a 2-2 draw at Philadelphia on Saturday.

Argentinean midfielder Mauro Rosales, the 2011 MLS Newcomer of the Year, contributed a goal and an assist in Seattle’s first multi-goal game of the campaign. Former KC forward Eddie Johnson scored his second goal of the season in the 10th minute en route to extending the team’s unbeaten streak to 34 games when scoring first.

The Sounders will be without forward Lamar Neagle and homegrown defender DeAndre Yedlin on Wednesday due to suspension after both players received red cards in the final 10 minutes of Saturday’s showdown with the Union. The visitors are also managing injuries to Designated Players Shalrie Joseph and Obafemi Martins, as well as former No. 1 overall SuperDraft selection Steve Zakuani. All three players missed the Sounders’ previous match along with two-time MLS All-Star Osvaldo Alonso due to personal reasons.

Schmid, the League’s all-time leader in wins with 195 MLS victories (including playoffs), has used 11 different lineups in the team’s 11 matches in all competition this year.

Sporting Kansas City is winless in their last six MLS matches against Seattle since winning the first-ever meeting between the two sides in 2009. The Sounders hold a 5-1-1 record in the all-time regular season series, including wins in all three MLS games played in Kansas City. In the lone MLS meeting a year ago, Sporting KC and Seattle split the points in a 1-1 draw at CenturyLink Field.

May 062013

 Bieler brace powers Sporting KC to 4 0 victory over Chivas USA

Nielsen sets Sporting KC’s all-time regular season shutout record

Claudio Bieler opened the scoring in the 41st minute with Graham Zusi claiming the assist. Bieler doubled Sporting KC’s lead in the 57th minute after converting a penalty kick drawn by Paulo Nagamura. Zusi added a goal to his tab in the 65th minute while Josh Gardner, in his debut for Sporting Kansas City, provided the assist. C.J. Sapong secured Sporting Kansas City’s victory in the 87th minute when he notched his first goal of the season.

Jimmy Nielsen’s clean sheet marked his 38th with the club, the most in team history.  The win also marked Peter Vermes’ 50th as manager for Sporting Kansas City.

The victory improved Sporting Kansas City’s record to 5-3-2 and puts them in a three-way tie for first place in the Eastern Conference.

It was Sporting Kansas CIty with the first chance of the match, arriving in the 10th minute when Zusi crossed the ball to Jacob Peterson, who did well to find space deep in the box and sent in a shot that was saved by goalkeeper Dan Kennedy.

Eight minutes later, Zusi played a similar ball across the mouth of the goal to Peterson, but it was just beyond his sliding reach.  The 21st minute saw another chance for the home team, orchestrated by Zusi once again when he evaded Chivas USA’s backline and nudged the ball out wide to Bieler, but his looping chip on frame was skillfully headed out by Joaquin Velazquez.

Peterson again proved to be a thorn in Chivas USA’s side when he found himself unmarked on the right flank, cut to the middle and shot low but Kennedy deflected the shot.

Sporting Kansas City’s persistence paid off  in the 41st minute when Peterson forced a turnover by Chivas USA, nudged the ball to Zusi who slid it to Bieler on the right.  The Argentinean Designated Player evaded Kennedy and shot a cool and collected ball into the back of the net, notching his fifth goal of the season while Zusi claimed his fourth assist.

In the third minute of stoppage time, Zusi nearly doubled Sporting Kansas City’s lead when he fired in a dangerous cross that went unmet.

The second half commenced with the same fervor and Sporting Kansas City dominating the game. In the 54th minute Kennedy denied Paulo Nagamura of a goal-scoring opportunity inside the box and was shown a red card prior to the penalty kick. Bieler converted the penalty, notching his second goal of the game and his sixth of the season.

Zusi tripled Sporting Kansas City’s lead in the 65th minute after her met  Gardner’s cross at the mouth of the goal, got a neat touch on it and sent it in past goalkeeper Patrick McLain. The goal marked Zusi’s third of the season and Gardner’s first assist.

Sporting Kansas City secured their victory with a fourth goal in the 87th minute with a strike from Sapong.  Mechack Jerome served in a low cross to the 2011 MLS Rookie of the Year, who re-directed the service with a first-time volley to the far post.

May 052013

356815680 Kei Kamara to re join Sporting KC on Monday

Sporting Kansas City forward Kei Kamara will return to Kansas City tonight upon the completion of his loan agreement with Norwich City FC. The Sierra Leone international played in 11 games with the Canaries in the Barclays Premier League, scoring one goal.

Kamara, who was Sporting Kansas City’s leading scorer the last three seasons, will train with the team on Tuesday and will be eligible for selection by Manager Peter Vermes on Wednesday at Sporting Park when Sporting KC faces the Seattle Sounders at 7:30 p.m. CT in a rematch of the 2012 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup finals.

May 042013

USATSI 7241689 167117624 lowres Sporting KC hosts Chivas USA on Cinco de Mayo

Sporting Kansas City takes on Chivas USA for the third of four consecutive matches against Western conference opponents at 4 p.m. CT on Sunday at Sporting Park. Tickets are available for the match online at or at the Sporting Park Box Offices.

The match, sponsored by Deffenbaugh Industries, will be nationally broadcast on UniMas and shown live locally on KSMO-TV with coverage starting at 3:30 p.m. CT. The game will also air live on Sports Radio 810 WHB and La Gran D 1340 AM.

Sporting Kansas City is undefeated in their previous four matches with Chivas USA, including three victories over the past three seasons. The two clubs have played at Sporting Park on one prior occasion, which resulted in a 1-1 draw on July 9, 2011. The Sporting KC equalizer was earned in the third minute of second-half stoppage time.

The last time these two clubs met resulted in a 1-0 victory in favor of Sporting Kansas City. C.J. Sapong converted the game-winner on an assist by Graham Zusi, the 2012 MLS assist leader with 15. A year earlier, Sapong scored his first professional goal in his MLS debut against Chivas USA at The Home Depot Center before going on to earn 2011 MLS Rookie of the Year honors.

Chivas USA head coach Jose Luis Sanchez Sola records his first visit to Sporting Park since taking the helm of Chivas USA, marking Sporting Kansas City’s second consecutive match against a first-year MLS manager. Sanchez Sola is 3-3-2 on the season and Chivas USA currently sit tied for fourth place in the Western conference.

Chivas USA most recently earned a 2-2 result against the San Jose Earthquakes with goals from Mario de Luna and Tristan Bowen, both players first goals of the 2013 season. Chivas USA will be without the club’s leading goal scorer Juan Agudelo and Ecuadorian midfielder Oswaldo Minda due to injuries.

Sporting Kansas City is 7-4-4 against Chivas USA all-time and 4-1-2 at home in the series. Sporting KC is coming off back-to-back losses to the LA Galaxy and the Portland Timbers. Last Saturday, Sporting Kansas City’s 10-game home-unbeaten streak was snapped in a 3-2 loss to the Timbers in the second-highest scoring game in MLS this season.

Sporting Kansas City’s Jacob Peterson made his first appearance since undergoing shoulder surgery during the offseason, entering in the 61st minute of the match last Saturday. Sporting Kansas City midfielder Paulo Nagamura has started and played every minute except for one during the first nine matches of the 2013 MLS regular season. Nagamura came to Kansas City in November 2011 after five seasons with Chivas USA.

The match also features both goalkeepers from the 2012 AT&T MLS All-Star Game in Sporting Kansas City’s Jimmy Nielsen and Chivas USA’s Dan Kennedy. With a shutout on Sunday, Nielsen would surpass Tony Meola for most shutouts in club history with 38. A Sporting Kansas City victory will mark Manager Peter Vermes 50th win while leading the club.

Mar 162013

sean johnson 300x169 The Fire Steal a Point, But Fail to Find the Score Board

The Chicago Fire are still winless after a draw against Sporting KC in SKC’s home opener.  Chicago pulled a point out of Midwest rivals despite poor finishing, passing, and ball control.  Sporting’s lack of a finishing touch in this game is the only reason that Chicago came out with any points at all.

Struggles putting the ball in the back of the net have plagued the Fire so far this season.  Chicago is three games in and they are still looking for their first goal.  In this game, they spent most of their time in their own defensive third looking for a way to get the ball back.  Sporting held possession for over three quarters of the game and the timid Chicago midfield and defense did little to close down sporting when they had possession.

Even though Chicago has been shut out in their last two games, the resilience shown in this game by the back line, despite injury trouble, is a positive sign for the Men in Red, and certainly something to build upon.

Sporting slung 20 balls toward the net in the game, but only 3 hit the frame, and all of those were fired straight at Sean Johnson.  Even the shots that made their way through heavy traffic in front of the net were easily turned away by the Chicago goaltender.

Chicago was able to put some pressure onto the opposition working on the counter attack.  The midfield and defense were able to slow down the play enough to make a few fast breaks possible.   The Fire thought they might steal three points with a late goal from Dan Paladini in the 89th minute.  His first touch off the through ball from Rolfe was just a bit too heavy, and Sporting KC goaltender, Jimmy Nielsen, was able to come out and make a lovely diving leg save to keep the clean sheet.

The Fire play next at Toyota Park, against Chivas USA on March 24th at 4:00pm CT.  Chicago anticipates the return of Logan Pause and Steven Kinney to the squad from injury for this game.  Chivas will be taking on the defending champion LA Galaxy tomorrow in the much anticipated rivalry match at The Home Depot Center.


Final Score

Chicago Fire 0 – 0 Sporting KC


Crucial Stats 

Attempts at Goal

Chicago – 7

Sporting KC – 20

Attempts on Target

Chicago Fire – 1

Sporting KC – 3

Passes/Passing Percentage

Chicago Fire – 220/59%

Sporting KC – 609/82%


Chicago Fire – 27.1%

Sporting KC – 72.9%

Into the Book

Chicago 41’ – Dan Paladini

KC 47’ – Seth Sinovic

Chicago 77’ – Gonzalo Segares

Chicago 84’ – Maicon Santos

Chicago 91’ – Chris Rolfe

KC 93’ – Oriol Rosell