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

PODCAST: Bob Bradley talks MLS past, USMNT

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Scott Nicholls and Otis Earle welcomed Bob Bradley to their “Beyond The Pitch” podcast to discuss his time coaching the Chicago Fire, the Fire’s current squad, how MLS has evolved, the new generation of players coming into the USMNT and more.

Perhaps most interesting is Bradley talking about previous losses with stinging emotion that sounds like they happened yesterday, including the 2000 MLS Cup.

[ MORE: Latest Men In Blazers pod ]

Since being fired from Swansea City after less than 100 days, Bradley has been linked with the Norway national team gig as well as a return to Los Angeles. Keep up with the U.S. coach here, and check it out:

U.S. Open Cup preview: Which underdog has best odds?

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Every dog has its day, and the three lower-tier clubs remaining in the 2017 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup are hoping for a second.

Miami FC, Sacramento Republic, and FC Cincinnati enjoyed wins over Major League Soccer sides in the fourth round, and now get further MLS tests in this week’s fifth round.

[ MORE: Lampard linked with manager opening ]

Once FC Dallas and Colorado Rapids tangle on Tuesday, attention turns to the underdogs on Wednesday. Who has the best chance to advance?

  1. Miami FC vs. Atlanta United — Playing an MLS expansion side at Riccardo Silva Stadium will give Miami a bit of confidence, and this is also a side with some good experience in pressure spots. Whether it’s manager Alessandro Nesta or MLS vets Michel, Gabriel Farfan, and Michael Lahoud, MFC won’t shy away. Upset chance: Solid.
  2. FC Cincinnati vs. Chicago Fire — The visitors are having a heck of a season in MLS and don’t have a group which will be worried by a huge crowd, but there’s no debating that 25,000-plus in Southern Ohio give FCC more than a puncher’s chance. Upset chance: Improbable, but possible
  3. LA Galaxy vs. Sacramento Republic — If LA puts something close to its best side out there, Sacramento will struggle to stop its attack.  Upset chance: Long shot.

Elsewhere on Wednesday, New England hosts DC United, Philadelphia visits the Red Bulls, Seattle is off to San Jose, and Houston hosts Sporting KC.

WATCH: Spain’s Saul smashes a shot past Italy’s Donnarumma

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Since returning from a loan at Rayo Vallecano, Saul Niguez has been a somewhat under the radar star at Atletico Madrid.

Coming off his best season with Atleti, the 22-year-old Saul is making an even bigger name for himself at the U-21 EURO this summer.

Spain’s Saul scored a hat trick past Gianluigi Donnarumma and Italy on Tuesday, and the second goal was laced with venom.

Getting onto the ball from 30-plus yards out, Saul smashed his shot with enough power that the ball barely had occasion to rotate.

Saul is under contract at the Vicente Calderon through 2022, and has three caps for Spain’s senior team, too. He was rated Atleti’s third-best performer by WhoScored this season.

Men in Blazers podcast: Transfer window, USMNT at Gold Cup, RBNY-NYCFC

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Men In Blazers are back with their latest podcast, and the boys are hitting club soccer here and abroad as well as Bruce Arena’s men in the red, white, and blue.

Rog and Davo break down transfer window activity, rumored and real; get a heat check on the USMNT heading into the Gold Cup; and recap the (Ray) Hudson River Derby.

All of the MiB content — pods, videos and stories can be seen here, but to really stay in touch, follow, subscribe, click here:

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