MLS Snapshot: New York City FC 0-1 Sporting Kansas City


The game in 100 words (or less): For starters, there was no David Villa (adductor strain), which will never not be a huge bummer. Corner kicks, free kicks and long throws are going to be a key weapon this year for any team visiting Yankee Stadium and its miniature-sized field. Sporting Kansas City, who already favor the long throw, were well aware of this and used it to their advantage. Sporting get their first victory of the season, while New York City FC suffer their first defeat of the season — and history.

[ PREVIEW: This weekend’s MLS schedule ]

Three moments that mattered

12′ — Opara gives SKC the early lead — Ike Opara towered above everyone else to get his head to Matt Besler’s long throw — remember, the tiny field at Yankee Stadium — and hammered the ball into the back of the net. Opara could easily have five goals to his name this year, but he’s still Sporting’s leading scorer thus far, regardless.

69′ — Penalty awarded to NYCFC, then taken away — We’ve got a new leader in the clubhouse for Weird Sequence of the Year. Upon replay, Andrew Jacobson committed a handball inside Sporting’s penalty area, but referee Edvin Jurisevic initially awarded a penalty to NYCFC. Upon review with the nearest assistant referee, the penalty was rescinded and a drop-ball situation was played, for some reason.

95′ — Grabavoy header wasted from point-blank range — Ned Grabavoy had a free header from eight yards out, but his diving shot was sent well wide of Luis Marin’s near post, despite the lack of pressure. At a minimum, it’s the type of chance Grabavoy has to put on target for Marin to handle — and possibly spill.

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

Man of the match: Ike Opara — Even putting the goal aside, Opara was dominant in the air — remember: short field, long balls — all game long, helping Sporting keep their second-straight clean sheet.


New York City FC: Saunders, Brovsky, Wingert, Hernandez, Watson-Siriboe, Jacobson (McNamara 84′), Mix, Grabavoy, Ballouchy (Poku 77′), Calle (Taylor 60′), Mullins

Sporting Kansas City: Marin, Sinovic, Opara, Besler, Anibaba, Nagamura (Mustivar 78′), Feilhaber, Carrasco, Dwyer, Medranda (Peterson 67′), Zusi (Anor 39′)

Goals: Opara (12′)