Connect with us

Sporting KC

Sporting KC Draw at the Death against Rivals St. Louis

Sporting Kansas City lead early, lead late, and ultimately do what they do and drop points at home to St. Louis City SC.



Credit: Thad Bell

Sporting Kansas City hosted St. Louis City for just the second time during the MLS regular season and third time overall. Entering the game, the all-time series favored Sporting KC 3-2-0.

The starting eleven for SKC stunningly held no changes as Remi Walter somehow played through the pain of his ankle injury and stayed in the lineup after leaving early against Inter Miami. On the bench, Khiry Shelton made his first matchday roster appearance after suffering an injury in preseason.

The KC Cauldron tifo game was on point telling St. Louis to “Abandon All Hope.” Beautiful artwork. I guess they didn’t quite give up on that hope as early as we’d have liked.

First Half

The game got off to a frenetic start with near chances on both ends. Alan Pulido ended the first SKC attack with a heavy pass over the endline. On the other end Andreu Fontas intervened to steal the ball in the box just before a shot. In the 7th minute, it got really dodgy as Dany Rosero let a ball bounce over his head where the St. Louis attacker picked it up and put a dangerous ball in the box that somehow was eventually cleared by SKC.

The game settled down a bit before Sporting Kansas City played the beautiful soccer we all know they are capable of. After a St. Louis free kick, Tim Leibold stepped up to intercept the ball and then played a quick give and go with Daniel Salloi. Leibold then found Pulido who did a give and go with Willy Agada before Alan eventually scored a lovely team goal. 1-0 Sporting KC.

From there, St. Louis would gain a quite a bit of control with their relentless high pressure forcing Kansas City into quite a few mistakes. STL nearly got their first goal when a ball bounced off a player and Tim Melia came up with a huge save. Not long after, another sequence would see the ball pinging around the Sporting KC box before it went off Jake Davis’ face and out for a corner.

But a few minutes later, they’d get their first. Tim Leibold was dispossessed on the left side of the defense and a ball was sent into the box and Davis let up ever so slightly and Joao Klauss slotted it in past Melia. 1-1.

From there it turned into ‘hack a Sporting player.’ Referee Alan Chapman let it go on for a while before finally calling a non-foul that sent Rosero to the ground. Ironically, he missed the three times before that Rosero was pushed, stepped on or just hacked by STL players. The physical play would continue and lead to a second St. Louis goal before the half. Klauss absolutely laid out Willy Agada and took the ball off him, setting up the pass that led to the Celio Pompeu goal. It was a nice shot. 2-1 St. Louis.

The first card of the half would go to Daniel Salloi for dissent. After getting decked right in front of the ref by Chris Durkin, he did earn a foul, but no card was given until Salloi said something to Chapman. St. Louis would lead 2-1 at the half.

Second Half

The second half started like the first ended. Thommy got shoved in the back causing a stumble, but not a fall, so when he’s dispossessed, he’s actually called for the foul trying to win it back. A minute later Nemanja Radoja joins Salloi in the book with a yellow card, also for dissent. Around a million fouls in, both yellows are for dissent. Makes sense. St. Louis had a golden chance in the box in the 50th minute that they eventually botched instead of laying off a simple pass to Pompeu for what almost certainly would have been his second of the night.

In the 54th minute, Willy Agada was replaced by Johnny Russell. The team moved immediately out of their 4-2-3-1 shape and back into a 4-3-3. Markanich gets his third foul of the night, and it was a bad one. But still no yellow. The free kick by Thommy sailed over the bar.

At the 62nd minute St. Louis had 15 shots, 14 fouls and zero cards. In the 63rd minute the first card finally went to St. Louis defender Tim Parker time wasting for delaying a quick restart by Salloi. That free kick would be costly for St. Louis as Johnny Russell delivered a ball that Klauss actually flicked on to Salloi who scored from an impossible angle in the 64th minute. 2-2.

The physical nature of the game would continue, and Davis would go in the book for a foul on an odd sequence where Dany Rosero was too far up the field and turned the ball over. Davis did stop an attack so that actually probably should have been a yellow. Sporting KC getting the first yellow from a foul felt inaccurate though. Minutes later, Davis is wiped out stopping a promising attack the other way and it’s just a foul.

Look up the definition of inconsistency in the dictionary and I think you may find a picture of Alan Chapman.

Because Chapman clearly knew I typed that line, he just called a foul minutes later on Kyle Heibert for holding Thommy, who was trying to break free on an attack. But Erik Thommy would get his revenge in the 77th minute. After a weird sequence in the back where Rosero nearly gave the ball away, SKC recovered the ball and Andreu Fontas played a great ball over the top and Thommy made the perfect run to get himself all alone with Roman Burki. Thommy curled it in to the net to take the lead in the Sporting KC golden boot race with four. Sporting KC up 3-2.

Pompeu went into the book next for St. Louis after a pat to the head of Davis. I suppose that’s progress since Davis was hit in the head in both of the prior meetings and nothing was given.

Stunningly, after a bunch of subs, a lot of nonsense and a few yellow cards, there were only three minutes of stoppage time. But that was plenty for Sporting Kansas City to extend their league lead in dropped points from a winning position. A chaotic play in the midfield led to Salloi clearing a ball backwards to a St. Louis player (sound familiar?) for the game typing goal. Leibold went to ground and missed Tomas Totland who went on to beat an onrushing Melia to tie the game 3-3.

That is how it would end. Five of the last six games were at home. In those five games, Sporting KC won once, against the San Jose Earthquakes. They led all four other games and lost two (LA Galaxy and Inter Miami) and drew two (Portland Timbers and St. Louis). KC are on the road for the next two. Next Saturday they head to Southern Canada to play Minnesota United.

Recent Comments

KC Soccer Journal in your Inbox!

Be the first to know when news breaks, sign up to get all of our posts sent directly to your inbox.


Follow us on Twitter