Graham Zusi, Mike Chabala

MLS Snapshot: Sporting Kansas City 1-3 Houston Dynamo

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One game in 100 words: The rain delay didn’t hinder any of the game action, as a scuffle between Kofi Sarkodie and Benny Feilhaber marked what was an aggressive game steeped in yellow cards. Will Bruin scored the first goal in the 35th minute, and after halftime, Dominic Dwyer equalized in the 54th minute, netting his 17th score of the season on a deflected shot. The two goals within five minutes of each other bolstered Houston’s lead to 3, and the scoreline never changed, as Sporting failed to convert during a hefty six minutes of stoppage time.

Goals

Houston: Will Bruin (35’), David Horst (62’), Ricardo Clark (67’)

Sporting Kansas City: Dominic Dwyer (54’)

Three moments that mattered:

26′ —  KC’s missed opportunity to capture the first goal  — Sporting Kansas City had a golden chance to seize an the first score of the competition to possibly change the outlook of the match. A corner kick was thrown into the box for Sporting, and it took a hard deflection straight at the net, forcing a pure reaction save from Tally Hall.

62′ — Horst blasted header — At this point, neither team was the favorite to win the game as the score was level at 1-1, but when David Horst stood completely unmarked on the doorstep to receive Brad Davis’ set piece cross, that notion quickly dissolved. It was a great delivery from Davis, and Horst crushed the ball into the upper netting with his head. Young goalkeeper Jon Kempin couldn’t realistically have been able to save the chance.

67′ — Sporting succumbs to a two-goal hole — Five minutes after Horst put his team ahead, Ricardo Clark struck, and the crowd at Sporting Park was stunned. Again, Brad Davis hit a perfect ball toward into the penalty area, and Clark barely made contact with the pass, skipping it off the top of his head. There was still a fair amount of time left in the game, but a two-goal deficit only presents an uphill battle.

LINEUPS

Sporting Kansas City — Kempin, Ellis, Collin, Besler, Sinovic, Steuble (Claros 66’), Olum, Feilhaber (Saad 68’), Sapong, Dwyer, Zusi

Bench — Palmer-Brown, Toni, Claros, Lopez, Bieler, Saad, Melia

Houston Dynamo — Hall (Deric 80’), Sarkodie, Horst, Taylor, Ashe, Garcia, Clark, Garrido, Davis, Barnes, Bruin (Johnson 40’)

Bench — Deric, Cochran, Driver, Ownby, Carrasco, Lopez, Johnson

VIDEO: Alex Morgan scores goal against Costa Rica in 12 seconds

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The United States got off to a historically roaring start in Olympic qualifying. Taking on Costa Rica in Frisco, Texas to begin Group A play, Alex Morgan opened the scoring in just 12 seconds, taking just six passes to complete the masterpiece.

According to the USWNT twitter account, the goal is the fastest in U.S. Soccer history.

According to CONCACAF, the goal is also the quickest in CONCACAF Olympic qualifying, breaking Abby Wambach’s of 35 seconds in a 14-0 domination of the Dominican Republic in 2012.

[ WATCH LIVE: USWNT vs Costa Rica live online on NBC Sports Live Extra ]

The United States scored three goals in the first 15 minutes against Costa Rica tonight. They will take on Mexico and Puerto Rico across the next five days.

Watch Live: USWNT vs Costa Rica in Olympic qualifying

SAN DIEGO, CA - JANUARY 23:  (L-R) Carli Lloyd #10 of the United States is congratulated by teammate Alex Morgan #13 after a goal against Ireland at Qualcomm Stadium on January 23, 2016 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Todd Warshaw/Getty Images)
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The United States women are set to begin Group A play in Olympic qualification, taking on 36th ranked Costa Rica at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas at 8:30 a.m. ET.

The game takes place after a 17-day camp at the national training camp in Carson, California.

[ WATCH LIVE: USWNT vs Costa Rica live online on NBC Sports Live Extra ]

Other teams in the group include Mexico and Puerto Rico. The Mexicans dominated Puerto Rico 6-0 in the first game.

LINEUP

United States: Solo; Krieger, Johnston, Sauerbrunn, Klingenberg; Brian, Horan, Dunn, Lloyd, Heath; Morgan.

Columbus, NYCFC release new kits to mixed results

NYCFC
New York City FC
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Two Major League Soccer clubs have put their kits out there for the 2016 season. They’ve received a mediocre welcome at best.

Columbus was the first, and their kit makes a bold statement moving away from the traditional yellow and black that so often adorns their regular shirts. Instead, the kit incorporates the Columbus flag onto it. The release has seen quite a negative reaction on social media.

The kit was unveiled at the Columbus City Hall on Wednesday, featuring the traditional adidas stripes, although instead of the usual placement on the shoulders, the stripes come down the side of the torso. Recently, adidas has the tendency to copy general jersey patterns across its multiple properties, so look for this design with other clubs in the near future.

The negative reaction to the Columbus release isn’t terribly surprising considering fans often enjoy sticking to tradition, and backlash is common when clubs deviate from the norm. As an additional hurdle, the color contrast between red and yellow is somewhat stark, lending to the difficult reception. Add in the bright pastel blue shorts and…yikes.

While the club didn’t describe how they will utilize this kit during the season, it’s likely to be the primary (at least for now) as the club release says the kit portfolio also includes last year’s black kit, which is traditionally the away kit.

NYCFC’s release of their secondary kit was more positive, receiving a mixed response on social media.

As you can see, adidas again copied their general outline with the stripes down the side of the torso. However, the German clothing manufacturer did much better with the general design of these kits than the Columbus ones. I will give a bit of personal opinion here: I absolutely love these kits. The ripple effect accentuates the crest with a near-3D effect, and the colors mesh perfectly which serves to assuage the eye from being overwhelmed by a busy design. If there’s any criticism, it’s that without an outline, the Etihad logo tends to get in the way a bit, but that’s nitpicking. Well done NYCFC. Columbus…I’ll leave that one to you all.

Men In Blazers podcast: Romelu Lukaku Pod Special

Men In Blazers
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Rog and Davo break down Leicester City’s 3 – 1 win at Manchester City, marvel at Spurs going second in the table, and talk about the headlines surrounding the mid-table clash between Chelsea and United.

Listen to the latest pod by clicking play below.

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