Benny Feilhaber

Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

MLS Snapshots: SKC start post-Dwyer era with win; RBNY run wild

Leave a comment

Sporting Kansas City 3-2 Chicago Fire

The game in 100 words (or less): Four days after trading away their leading goalscorer the last four seasons (55 goals during that period), Sporting KC showed no signs of missing Dom Dwyer en route to a 3-2 victory over the Chicago Fire. Daniel Salloi, Benny Feilhaber and Latif Blessing picked up the scoring slack on Saturday, as Peter Vermes’ side returned to the Western Conference summit. Matt Besler, Graham Zusi and Dax McCarty all returned from the U.S. national team and went straight into their respective side’s starting lineup; David Accam started another game on the Chicago bench, having reportedly requested a transfer after being left off the All-Star lineup by his own head coach, Veljko Paunovic, and for the second straight game came off the bench to score in the second half.

[ MORE: SKC trade Dwyer to ORL | Sigi back to LA | LAFC hire Bradley ]

Three Four Five moments that mattered

23′ — Salloi does it all by himself, makes it 1-0 — Aided by a bit of fortune on a pretty wicked deflection, Salloi is rewarded for his 50-yard run. A word of advice: keep an eye on this kid.

28′ — Besler’s clearance winds up in his own net — Sometimes you just want the ground to open up beneath your feet and swallow you whole.

45+1′ — Feilhaber bikes it home for 2-1 — Feilhaber didn’t have a ton of time think about how he was going to put this one over the line. He opted to invert himself, and it worked.

51′ — Blessing gets a touch as the ball is headed for goal — Diego Rubio did the heavy lifting; Blessing applied the poacher’s final touch.

78′ — Accam gets on the end of a cross for 3-2 — It’s usually Accam streaking down the left wing and whipping the ball into the box, but this time the Ghanaian international was on the receiving end of Patrick Doody’s cross.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverageStandings | Stats | Schedule ]

Man of the match: Latif Blessing

Goalscorers: Salloi (23′), Besler (28′ – OG), Feilhaber (45+1′), Blessing (51′), Accam (78′)


New York Red Bulls 4-0 Montreal Impact

The game in 100 words (or less): Total shots: 24-5; shots on target: 11-2; possession: 70-30; total passes: 553-241. Need I say more? Daniel Royer scored twice, and Bradley Wright-Phillips and Michael Murillo tallied one goal each. New York leapfrog Atlanta United for fourth place in the Eastern Conference, now two points back of New York City FC for third. Montreal, meanwhile, sink to 10th in the East, seven points out of the sixth and final playoff place.

[ MORE: SKC trade Dwyer to ORL | Sigi back to LA | LAFC hire Bradley ]

Three moments that mattered

23′ — Royer converts after winning the penalty — Win the penalty, score the penalty.

58′ — Murillo’s slams it home for 2-0 — Murillo happened to be in the right place at the right time, and that’s his first goal in MLS.

85′ — BWP applies the dagger late on — Alex Muyl’s cross left Maxime Crepeau in no man’s land, and BWP did what BWP does.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverageStandings | Stats | Schedule ]

Man of the match: Daniel Royer

Goalscorers: Royer (23′ — PK, 89′), Murillo (58′), Wright-Phillips (85′)

MLS Snapshot: Sporting KC 1-1 Philadelphia Union (video)

Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press via AP
Leave a comment

The game in 100 words (or less): Despite a double-digit edge in shots and seven minutes of stoppage, SKC couldn’t find a winner. CJ Sapong won a penalty that Roland Alberg converted as Philadelphia came back to steal a surprise point at Children’s Mercy Park on Thursday in the last MLS match before the Gold Cup break. Diego Rubio scored a splendid opener for Sporting KC, which inches ahead of FC Dallas for first in the West. The point moves Philly within five points of the East’s Top Six.

The goals

49′ — Ru-ru-rubio (to the tune of Susudio) — Diego Rubio was given a second too long and a yard too much, and lashed a gorgeous goal home to give SKC a 1-0 lead.

69′ — Alberg converts PK to level the score — Benny Feilhaber fouled Sapong in the box, and that was the opening Philly needed.

MLS Snapshot: Sporting KC 2-0 New York Red Bulls (video)

Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images
Leave a comment

The game in 100 words (or less): Dom Dwyer’s 57th and 58th MLS goals came with his right peg and in his favorite place — right in front of goal. The 26-year-old Englishman with an American green card helped move Sporting KC to the top of the Western Conference. KC is now unbeaten in five home matches (4-1), while New York fails in its bid to overtake first place Orlando after the Lions fell 2-1 in Toronto.

46′ — Dwyer heads to the dirty places to tap in a rebound

Benny Feilhaber’s shot was not cleared well; In fact it fell right to Dwyer.

68′ — Dwyer hammers home from a Feilhaber feed

Benny Feilhaber is pretty good, and his seeing-eye pass ran through the six to find Dwyer for his second of the night.

68′ (and a few seconds) — Sydney Leroux Dwyer responds with energy

Yeah we could talk about great saves from Tim Melia or Luis Robles, but this is pretty funny from the USWNT veteran and wife of Dom.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverageStandings | Stats | Schedule ]

Man of the match: Dwyer

Goalscorers: Dwyer (46′, 68′).

VIDEO: Feilhaber’s bomb puts SKC up days after USMNT omission

Photo by Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images
Leave a comment

We’ve been down this road with Benny Feilhaber.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverage ]

The story goes something like this: the U.S. national team head coach — previously Jurgen Klinsmann, now Bruce Arena — leaves the 32-year-old Sporting Kansas City midfielder off his latest USMNT roster, and Feilhaber proceeds to turn in dominant, nearly unplayable performances in the weeks that follow.

[ MORE: MLS (afternoon) roundup — NYCFC dominate, disappoint; ATL roll ]

On Wednesday, Arena named his first (second) squad for a competitive fixture. Absent from the 24-man list? You guessed it: Feilhaber. Three days later, Feilhaber’s response?

There’s more from Feilhaber than just a stunning strike to appreciate. Take a look below at the build-up, which sees Feilhaber present himself Matt Besler who’s about to be in trouble on the ball; there’s the controlled first touch, and the instinctive spin away from the pressure; there’s the 40-yard diagonal ball to Graham Zusi’s chest; there’s, of course, the strike which is a violent lashing through the ball. David Bingham never had a chance from more than 25 yards out.

Four players that improved their USMNT stock after January camp

Kent Horner/Getty Images
1 Comment

It’s hard to take too much stock in what occurs during January camp and the ensuing friendlies, but with a new manager in place and crucial matches upcoming for the U.S. Men’s National Team the last few weeks have certainly provided some clarity for Bruce Arena’s side.

After an underwhelming effort draw against Serbia to end January, the USMNT rebounded against Jamaica with a win in a more complete effort.

Here’s a look at four players that lifted their standing with the USMNT since Bruce Arena’s return.

Benny Feilhaber

The Sporting KC man obviously wasn’t a favorite of Jurgen Klinsmann’s during his time as USMNT manager, however, Feilhaber proved that he deserves a place within the U.S. roster moving forward and put pressure on Sacha Kljestan for a hold on the starting attacking midfield position. His vision in the buildup to Jordan Morris’ goal was spot on and Feilhaber controlled the attacking flow in a positive way for most of the Jamaica match.

Dax McCarty

The Chicago Fire midfielder has probably had the craziest few months out of any USMNT player, but McCarty handled himself with class as he was transitioned from one club to another. Although he didn’t see the field against Serbia, the veteran center mid controlled the middle of the park well against Jamaica and linked up well on several occasions with Feilhaber. His defensive presence is something that could potentially be crucial for Arena’s team moving forward, particularly in March when Jermaine Jones is suspended for the Honduras encounter.

Walker Zimmerman

The young center back only missed on seven of his passes in his national team debut against Jamaica, and Zimmerman’s confidence for FC Dallas certainly showed. While Zimmerman faces the challenge of getting past veterans in the pecking order like Matt Besler, Geoff Cameron and Omar Gonzalez, the 23-year-old has proven at club level that he can hold his own defensively and score critical goals in attacking positions when thrown into the box.

Steve Birnbaum

Serbia and Jamaica didn’t pose the biggest threats in the attacking third, but the D.C. United defender was strong in both matches, and more importantly Bruce Arena saw Birnbaum as fit enough to go the full 90 minutes against each opponent. With Geoff Cameron’s availability uncertain ahead of WCQ’s resumption, the 26-year-old could be in line to slot next to John Brooks in the center of the U.S. back line.