By JUSTIN FERGUSON
After going almost two months without a minute of action and two years without a league goal, Soony Saad took advantage of his newfound playing time with a big-time brace on Saturday night.
The 20-year-old forward, who has started three of SKC’s last four matches, notched the second and third goals of his MLS career in a 3-0 home victory over Toronto FC at a sold-out Sporting Park. Claudio Bieler wrapped up the rout with his ninth goal of the season shortly after the hour mark.
Saad had fired 16 shots and notched an assist in his last three appearances for SKC, but he did not find the back of the net until Saturday night. Moments after Jimmy Nielsen’s spectacular double save of Jeremy Brockie’s efforts, Saad found some space just outside the box in the 21st minute and ripped a low shot past Joe Bednik for his first goal since his MLS debut in 2011.
Sporting KC continued their assault of Bednik’s goal, but they did not double their lead until after halftime. After Graham Zusi’s shot was saved by the TFC goalkeeper, Saad charged and placed the 51st-minute rebound into the back of the net.
Toronto’s bad night got even worse minutes later. While the visitors’ defense, who was without captain Darren O’Dea thanks a surprise transfer negotiation, was having a hard time managing a SKC offense registered 24 shots, their lackluster attack lost a key member when Reggie Lambe saw straight red for a bad tackle on Saad.
Brockie’s first-half efforts were Toronto’s only two shots on goal in the entire match, and the visitors failed to register a single attempt after Lambe’s departure.
Sporting KC kept up their dominant attack all the way to the final whistle. A beautiful display of one-touch passing led to an easy goal for Bieler in the 63rd minute, and an Aurelien Collin goal was ruled out for offside 12 minutes later.
Dom Dwyer, appearing in his fourth match since returning from his loan to Orlando City, came close to SKC’s fourth in stoppage time, but his effort cracked the post of Bednik’s goal.
Sporting KC (9-5-6), now unbeaten in their last five matches, travel to league-leading Real Salt Lake next Saturday. Toronto (2-9-7), winless in their last four matches, will stay on the road for a Wednesday match against Chivas USA.
What did you think of the match? Think Sporting KC will continue their unbeaten run against the league leaders? See another long winless skid coming for Toronto FC?
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