One game in 100 words: Many will point to a critical juncture–the red card against Zach Loyd–as the event that propelled Sporting Kansas City to victory. However, for the majority of the first half, Sporting had clearly outplayed the Toros, and if this effort persisted into the second half, an SKC win would have been likely anyway. Once Dallas got down to 10 men, their hopes of winning vanished. KC didn’t look back and Peter Vermes watched his attack cruise with another top-notch performance from Krisztian Nemeth, among a host of other notables. At third place in the Western Conference, Sporting Kansas City is presently tied with FC Dallas on points (21), two points behind league leader Seattle Sounders.
KC: Krisztian Nemeth 19′, Benny Feilhaber 51′, Kevin Ellis 57′, Graham Zusi 63′
Three moments that mattered
19’ — Nemeth opens it up — Off a set piece yards from the right side, midfielder Graham Zusi wound up and sent a swift curving ball to the far post for Kevin Ellis, who was caught off balance trying to meet the pass with his head. But in miraculous fashion, his attempt looped to the correct spot, at the other post for Krisztian Nemeth. The former Liverpool reserve team member, mere inches away from the goal line, buried it into the back of the net.
43’ — Red card to Loyd — FC Dallas goalkeeper Dan Kennedy blasted a goal kick to the middle of the pitch, and you couldn’t sense the impending noteworthy sequence. Graham Zusi headed the ball to Nemeth approaching the sideline behind defender Zach Loyd, already on his first yellow card. Nemeth battled to corral the ball, and possibly sensing he got beat, Loyd dove into the forward’s legs. It was the right call in this case, even if the former North Carolina Tar Heel did it by mistake.
63’ — Fourth goal finalizes it — Benny Feilhaber and Kevin Ellis had notched the previous two goals for SKC up to this point, and Graham Zusi officially cemented the result with this goal. Rookie Connor Hallisey received a through ball that afforded him an expanse of open space down the right flank and cutting inside to his left foot, slipped a crafty back heel to Zusi running in from behind. The USMNT regular slotted it home. Down four goals and a man, Dallas was finished.
KC: Graham Zusi (Saad Abdul-Salaam 83′), Krisztian Nemeth, Conor Hallisey (Marcel de Jong 65′); Tim Melia; Jalil Anibaba, Kevin Ellis, Matt Besler, Amadou Dia; Benny Feilhaber, Soni Mustivar, Roger Espinoza (Servando Carrasco 71′)
Dallas: Blas Perez (Rolando Escobar HT); Dan Kennedy; Je-Vaughn Watson, Zach Loyd, Matt Hedges, Moises Hernandez; Victor Ulloa, Kyle Bekker, Tesho Akindele (David Texeira 74′), Mauro Diaz (Michel 72′), Ryan Hollingshead