The game in 100 words (or less): This is what they call a “Toronto FC special,” kids. Not only have TFC — who have still never qualified for the Major League Soccer playoffs, mind — looked one of the league’s better sides in recent weeks and months, but on Saturday they found themselves facing a shorthanded Sporting Kansas City side (without Dom Dwyer, Graham Zusi and Roger Espinoza) at BMO Field. And yet, the Reds found a way — somehow, as they always do — to kill all positive momentum and the spirit of their ardent, tortured supporters. Goals scored by Benny Feilhaber, Krisztian Nemeth and Jacob Peterson (a former Red) were more than enough for Sporting KC to seal all three points following what has to be praised as an extremely professional, dogged performance by the visitors. SKC climb to fourth in the Western Conference, while TFC remain stuck in third in the East.
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Three moments that mattered
21′ — Ellis taken down in the box, PK to SKC — Why Jackson feels the need to grab and pull Kevin Ellis to the ground, I do not know. The floated ball into the box is either going to completely evade Ellis’s head, or carom off the top of his head and go straight up into the air. That’s not how Jackson saw it, though. Fair penalty call. Feilhaber converted.
22′ — Bradley equalizes less than a minute later — From the time Feilhaber’s penalty hit the back of the TFC net, to the time Michael Bradley’s equalizer hit the back of the SKC net, 55 seconds of real time elapsed. Six passes in 17 seconds from the center circle to the back of the net. Jonathan Osorio -> Bradley -> Sebastian Giovinco -> Bradley -> net.
29′ — Nemeth’s looping header evades Bendik, 2-1 to SKC — Everything Feilhaber touches turns to gold right now, doesn’t it? His free kick was, in all honesty, quite poor, but Nemeth’s looping header gave Joe Bendik fits from the moment it left his head, to the time it sailed over his own and snuck just under the crossbar.
Man of the match: Benny Feilhaber — Another goal, another assist for the 2015 MVP candidate (eight and 12 on the season). In his only head to head matchup with the odds-on favorite for MVP this year, Giovinco, Feilhaber outshone the competition.
Goalscorers: Feilhaber (PK – 22′), Bradley (22′), Nemeth (29′), Peterson (87′)