Sporting KC continue road dominance, hand RBNY first home loss of the season

CJ Sapong (

Sporting Kansas City has one of the most beautiful stadiums in the league, and one of the best home-field advantages, but lately they sure to seem to enjoy playing on the road.

The Eastern Conference leaders went to Red Bull Arena looking to become the first visiting team to beat the Red Bulls, and it took them all of 12 minutes to put the slow-starting Red Bulls into a hole they'd never climb out of. First-half goals from C.J. Sapong and Kei Kamara were more than enough to lead to hold off a mis-firing Red Bulls side. Sporting KC held on for a 2-0 victory that extended their lead atop the East to four points.

Sapong finished a 12th-minute chance after Graham Zusi rocketed a free kick off the crossbar. The rebound fell to Matt Besler, who found Sapong for the finish. Kamara added KC's second in the 19th minute when he beat Wilman Conde to a Graham Zusi corner kick and headed home the goal.

The Red Bulls were a disjointed bunch for much of the night, never really mounting much of a consistent threat. Hans Backe went with a central midfield tandem of Rafa Marquez and Teemu Tainio, deploying Dax McCarty on the right wing, and the lineup left the Red Bulls lacking for creativity or real contributions from the wings.

The victory extends Sporting KC's lead on second-place Chicago to four points, and their lead on the Red Bulls to five points. New York will look to rebound on Saturday when they visit struggling New England. Sporting KC returns to action on Saturday with a visit to Canada to take on the Montreal Impact.

What did you think of the match? See Sporting KC holding onto first place in the East? Starting to wonder if the Red Bulls have the chemstry to mount a serious challenge come playoff time?

Share your thoughts below.

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35 Responses to Sporting KC continue road dominance, hand RBNY first home loss of the season

  1. John says:

    Big NY fan, but have to say, they were outclassed tonight. Congrats to the sporks. They deserved to be where they’re at. Hans, Marquez and Tanio are both D-mids. You can’t play them both at the same time and expect to score goals.

  2. BrianK says:

    Red Bulls were awful! As a follow-up to John’s comment above,…RBNY had nothing in the middle while KC had Espinoza orchestrating it all for KC.

    Someone recently commented on “all of the options Red Bulls have,….Le Toux, Cooper,…etc. Well, assuming that is true,….the question becomes,….does Backe know how to deploy these players?

  3. Gtr says:

    Wow, KC really beat up on my boys tonight.
    They were better all over the field.

  4. jayboy says:

    From a Nats fan perspective, I’d like to point out that Zusi made both of these goals. He’s been on fire now for about three months.

  5. DJ says:

    Wow, looks like every fan in attendance has already commented!

    (JK, had to.)

  6. KarlthewonderYak says:

    Agree. Can’t wait for the 10/16 game vs. Guatemala. We’ll go crazy if he get the start at home.

  7. 19561 says:

    Nice attendance dig .
    KC the better side.

    Taino Pearce – ugh
    Only positive for RB – Henry not injured, Lloyd Sam looks good.

  8. Madaoua05 says:

    Twas my first experience at RedBull Arena tonight. A bit disappointing, I must say. The stadium was barely half full and the place was quiet for long stretches.

    More troubling was the quality (or lack thereof) of the play on the field. The central midfield linkup with the attacking players was non-existent. Whether on a cross from Lade, Sam, or Conde, Henry and Cahill had a lot of difficulty connecting with any ball that came into the final third of the field. Cooper and Conde wiffed on a couple of easy chances right in front of goal.

    Finally, the refereeing was disastrous. I’m pretty that the MLS has adopted the NFL’s strategy of putting “whatever” out on the field and anointing them referee. There were serious missed calls on both teams.

    The only bright spot for the RedBull was Lade’s play and the fact that the Arena has Portuguese churizos.

  9. Brain Guy says:

    I was absolutely bewildered by Backe’s lineup choices. Moving Cahill to striker and starting Tainio left a gaping hole in the midfield, which lacked any linkage with the front line. It was an endless series of pointless long balls over the top. Why not play the same lineup that beat Columbus? Lindpere showed nothing down the left, McCarty had a bad game on the right, and Tainio was a turnover machine. You leave two good strikers (Cooper and Le Toux) on the bench, and weaken your midfield by playing your best midfielder at striker? Comical. Just conmical.

  10. Jimmy says:

    It took 1:40 to get to Red Bull Stadium by car from Brooklyn tonite. That’s almost 3 hours (way back was better) to watch a 90 minute game. Love the team and the organization is a class act, but the stadium’s location is a problem for many fans. Plus I had to walk through deserted streets of Newark at 9:45 pm with my 10 year-old to get to my car – 20 minute walk and, uh, frankly it was a bit scary. Also, last year my car was totaled on the streets of the Ironbound in a hit and run after a game and the local cops were truly awful, thuggish and unhelpful. Newark is a tough place and people are understandably wary about spending hours coming and going there. Sorry, but that is the deal right there.

  11. joe says:

    its a travesty to nyrb n the league tha a team that has so much talent n money loses to a team tha has no dps or any well known players if nyrb doesnt win mls cup this year then when will they? ever? they’ve given up young talent for win now and they better turn it up playoff time

  12. joe says:

    btw when fit start kaka’s brother got nothing to lose at this point

  13. John.q says:

    Was at the game. Literally the red bulls were playing in some sort of U formation I have never seen before. The midfield was vacant. Players seemed reluctant to shoot. The stadium was frustrated.

    The regardless of the small turnout rba was loud as usual minus a few quiet minutes.

  14. ManicMessiah says:

    Conde at left back + 3 holding midfielders = no offense.

    Lindpere without an attacking left back makes that side a negative, and Dax and Lade on the right is better, but not a lot better than Lindpere and Conde.

  15. Purduetodd says:

    Loved the sign in the stadium: SKC: no heart, no Brain, No Courage. The only appropriate response would be: NYRB: No goals!

  16. Eugene says:

    Why don’t you just park in the multiple parking garages/areas in Harrison near the Arena? And take the highway back to the city? There is absolutely no need to park in Newark.

  17. Eugene says:

    You came on a bad night. Weekend games are not usually like this in the stands and the team usually performs better on the field.

  18. Eugene says:

    We’ve upgraded so many of the positions and made it competitive at every position. Time to upgrade the coach. I think Backe is good overall, just not good enough. I would like to see Stevie Nicol running this same team.

  19. Angelo says:

    Horrible lineup choices. Blame this one on Backe! You can’t play Marquez and Taino at the same time. Dax played better than both those guys as a holding midfielder. Cahill should be playing an attacking midfielder. Don’t leave Cooper and LeToux on the bench. He may be a good coach, but his lineup choices and sub decisions are atrocious!

  20. Sabella says:

    I blame this one on Backe. You don’t mess with success. The team has played its best this season with Dax controlling the center midfield. He works his tail off and simply wins the ball over and over again. To replace him with Rafa, a guy who time and time again has shown that he does not work hard enough, is a travesty.

    I also think that Henry trashing his teammates on the field when they don’t perform is having a negative effect. It can’t be good for morale. Ultimately, you win as a team and I am questioning what kind of leadership Thierry is brining to this unit. We all know his quality, but he can’t do it alone.

  21. Jimmy says:

    Good question. Traffic is soooooo bad getting to lot – especially across the bridge from Ironbound to Stadium – that unless I get to stadium an hour before game, it’s wall to wall. Tried this more than a few times and it’s as bad or worse for time. Truly, getting to stadium in around 1.5 hours from where I am in South Brooklyn – driving or public transport – is basically the deal on weekdays, and I think that is hurting attendance because NYCs 8 million people have to face mucho traffic or long public transport lines. All pretty stressful so I think people opt out. Just my opinion, but based on 20 or so games’ experience.

  22. Hartley says:

    I am very surprised to see no comments about Henry’s drama play late in the game. Punching Kamara and then falling down as if he had been the victim. Henry can be a great player, but these stunts need to be stopped. That should have been a straight red. At least last time he pulled this kind of junk at SKC last season, he was sent off for stomping on Espinoza. The Commisioner needs to step in and suspend Henry for his lack of respect for the game, the league, the refs, SKC, and his team. What an embarrassment.

  23. Chan says:

    Agree with a lot of this. The lineup changes from the Columbus game were not necessary. Using Rafa and Teemu at the same time was like the three D-mid choice Jurgen went with in the first Jamaica game: no offense from midfield. Now that Rafa is back, Backe wants him on the field, so that pushes Dax out of the place he has had the greatest success. Cooper or LeToux should have started, but I cannot understand why Coop has been trigger-shy. The one sub that made a difference was Lloyd Sam; he should get a start, move Dax central, put Barklage on the back line and get Lade off the back line (compete for a spot with Joel). Connor gets burned when he is defense. I’m not sure what was more of a disappointment: being toothless in a first place game, or the 180 degree turn from the uplifting performances of the Columbus game just 4 days earlier.

  24. Mouf says:

    He kneed Espinoza last year and headbutted Kei last night. I am wondering if the disciple committee will actually crack down on a star, he was pathetic, to pass it off as an accident is laughable. I can’t imagine the furor, if say, Espinoza did that.

  25. Tim F. says:

    Neither should be starting; put McCarty back there and have:

    Henri and Cooper up top
    Cahill, Lindpere and LeToux joining McCarty
    Pearce, Conde, one talk CB and Barklage as the back four

    Sam, Lade, Solli, Marquez, Tainio as sub options depending on how the game is going.

  26. DJ says:

    As an SKC fan, I am annoyed but understanding when Beckham and Henry are soft-pedaled. If I’m at a game, of course I want to see these guys playing.

    But yeah, if Espinoza did 50% of what Henry did last night, I’m sure he’d be exiled to Mars. The dude is a badass, and I hope SKC DP’s him next year. He absolutely deserves it, and is significantly underpaid right now. Where else could they get such a hard-working balls-to-the-wall kinda guy?

  27. Eddie says:

    Of course Hans can’t. This is a guy that couldn’t figure out how to use DeRo.

  28. Eddie says:

    Nope. The 20-game sample is enough. I’m a former season ticketholder. I went last night. It took me 1:45 to get back to my Brooklyn neighborhood (Carroll Gardens). It’s the way it always is.

  29. Eddie says:

    Pretty embarrassing stuff. Henry’s antics are tired. He was brilliant between 2004 and 2007, and occasionally is brilliant still. But I can’t stand the way he behaves with opposition players in MLS, and the idiotic stuff he does for show (like running and grabbing the ball and placing it down for the goal kick) is so transparent. I don’t understand why the crowd even cheers for this nonsense.

    I understand he was frustrated last night, as there was no service in the first half and KC were dominating. But grow the F up, Titi.

  30. Brain Guy says:

    It’s foolish to try to park anywhere near the stadium. If you must drive, park at a lot or garage near Penn Station. It’s a pleasant 15-minute walk to the stadium; I’ve done it many times with my children. After the game, a free bus will get you back to Penn Station in about five or ten minutes.

    I used to live in Brooklyn (Bay Ridge), and when I took the subway to Shea Stadium, it would take well over an hour. Isn’t the trip to just about any stadium in the NYC area a long trek for most of the fan base?

  31. Brain Guy says:

    Cahill’s post-game comments about SKC’s constant swarming of the ref to demand cards and free kicks — a reflection of Vermes’s non-stop badgering of any official within earshot — show that SKC is not entirely innocent when it comes to shenanigans. I’m not defending Henry here, by the way. And Collin commits more than his share of “tough guy” offenses.

  32. Mouf says:

    Yep, and Collin gets carded for it, check his stats. If you think Henry headbutting a player from behind is a “tough guy” foul, I don’t even know where to start.

  33. Eddie says:

    I don’t have a car. It’s that long via subway and Path train. Path to Journal Square. Get off train and wait for another to WTC. Then walk from WTC to 4 train four blocks away. 4 train to Borough Hall. Walk home. 1:45 (sometimes as little as 1:25). Also, separate tickets required for subway and Path (unless you pay as you go … and who does that?).

    It’s true. A trip to Yankee Stadium or Shea is only slightly shorter, about one hour. But, it’s one train (or maybe one switch within the same system), with one fee. It’s also in NY, which means if there is a problem with one line you have many options to get home.

  34. Brain Guy says:

    No, I don’t think that. I didn’t even see the incident, either live or on replay.