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No place like home: Sporting KC win over FC Dallas makes it three straight at home



Thad Bell Photography

Late in the first half of a hotly contested midweek clash between Sporting Kansas City and FC Dallas, the question became, “Whose goal would change the match… and how?” Gadi Kinda and Daniel Salloi answered the query and claimed a 2-1 win for the home side at Children’s Mercy Park Wednesday evening.

The match was a meeting of May Masters. Sporting, despite schedule congestion, has been gaining back points as of late, going 3-1-1 in May and taking back-to-back home wins to the aggregate tune of 7-1 on the scoreboard. FC Dallas has been almost as hot, going 2-0-3 in May and currently sporting the longest active unbeaten streak in MLS’s Western Conference.

Three days on from Sunday’s 4-1 home come-from-behind triumph over Portland Timbers, Head coach Peter Vermes stayed with the same starting lineup:


Adding bite to the matchup of MLS originals were two facts: Sporting is likely envious of Dallas’ 4th place standing (firmly in the playoff picture with over 1/3 of the season gone) and FC Dallas is unbeaten in Kansas City since 2018 at 4-0-2.

A one-hour weather delay prolonged the buildup, but the match began in earnest from the whistle. The character of the match took shape early as Sporting built from the back and used combinations at width to get into space behind FCD’s mid-block. When Dallas attacked, it was to players in advantageous positions in space.

Striker Alan Pulido’s shot in the 9th minute from 12 yards to the left of Dallas’ keeper Jimmy Maurer off a give-and-go with Daniel Salloi drew the biggest “Ohhhhhhh” from the strong weeknight crowd. Just two minutes after, FC Dallas forced Sporting’s netminder Kendall McIntosh into two point-blank saves.

The match had indeed begun.

A Dallas goal waved off due to an offside in the 17th minute only added to the electricity already in the air. Eight minutes later, Dallas should have jumped on top. An offside evading run put Alan Velasco in behind Sporting’s back four and the subsequent ball into the box put gave Jesus Jimenez a high xG opportunity. The ball pinged off the post and Sporting survived.

Pulido looked to answer off a ball from Davis in the twenty-ninth. The Mexican cut to his left and unleashed a roller that went just right of the near post. Right center back Dany Rosero would nod over the bar six minutes later from a corner.

The 41st minute brought a break through. Left back Logan Ndenbe drove to the inner left channel, then released for Salloi. Freed from the pack, Salloi played low to the near post for Pulido. Yet, the ball was behind and rolled for a hoped-for back post runner. Gadi Kinda was the runner, and he rippled the far post netting for the lead and the spark to ignite what would come.

Andreu Fontas forced fans from their seats with a powerful drive off the bar just before the halftime whistle. The whistle was Vermes’ signal to get to the task of pushing his side towards a second and solving the problem of the clever runs of FC Dallas’ front six targeted at taking 1v1 advantages between Sporting’s lines.

Like last match, Graham Zusi stepped on for Jake Davis at right back to start the 2nd half.

The second for Sporting Kansas City would come in the 60th minute from “Showtime”. Salloi, on a hot streak lately and forever versus Dallas, crept in from the left and wrapped his right foot around the ball and directed it inside Maurer’s far post. The Hungarian Hitman now has racked up eight goals and three assists in 15 regular season appearances against FC Dallas.

Vermes made three subs after the goal and was forced to make another as Zusi went down in the 70th minute. Previously, Rosero came off with a knock.

FC Dallas made the five minutes of added time much more tense after US National Team forward Jesus Ferreira latched onto a long ball deep in the left side of Sporting’s box, evaded substitute center back Robert Castellanos, and chipped sweetly over an out of place McIntosh.

However, Sporting hung on for the three points and upped their hopes of pushing into a playoff position.

No rest for the weary – nor any wanted, perhaps for a team on a roll – as Kansas City travels to Vancouver to battle the Whitecaps late Saturday evening.

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