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Sporting KC Suffers 1-0 Loss to Seattle Sounders FC

May 9, 2013 - Major League Soccer (MLS) - Sporting Kansas City News Release

The Seattle Sounders FC defeated Sporting Kansas City 1-0 in front of a sold-out crowd on Wednesday night at Sporting Park.A 94th minute goal from Djimi Traore sent the Sounders home with three points.

Kei Kamara made his first appearance for Sporting Kansas City since returning from his loan stint with Norwich City FC and Josh Gardner made his first start as a Sporting Kansas City player.

Sporting Kansas City's first chance of the match came a mere 15 seconds in when Jacob Peterson dispossessed defender Zach Scott, sped down the left flank and fired a low shot that was saved by goalkeeper Michael Gspurning.

In the 13th minute, Sporting came close on another chance when C.J. Sapong took an attempt from the top of the box that floated just wide of the far post.

Seattle nearly went up a goal in the 20th minute of play when Mario Martinez played in a long ball that Brad Evans just barely clipped over the crossbar with a well-timed header.

Five minutes later, the home side followed up with a chance of their own when U.S. international Graham Zusi boldly struck from 20 yards out but Gspurning made the save.

Seattle were quick to respond in the form of a free kick from Martinez that evaded the wall and was goal-bound, but goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen made a sliding save.

With two minutes remaining in the first half, Sporting had their final chance of the first half when Ike Opara neatly headed down the ball down to Chance Myers, whose 20-yard volley was blocked by Gspurning.

The second half was relatively quiet until the 80th minute when Myers lofted in a pass headed for Kamara, but it was cleared out. Claudio Bieler settled the deflected ball and shot wide of the far post.

Three minutes later, Kamara, in his first MLS appearance of 2013, took a low shot from deep in the right corner, but Gspurning wasn't phased and snuffed out the chance.

The match appeared headed for a draw until the fourth minute of stoppage time when Zach Scott's throw-in fell to Traore, whoseshot sailed past Nielsen from close range.

Sporting Kansas City will return to the road to face Eastern Conference rival the Houston Dynamo at 7 p.m. CT on Sunday at BBVA Compass Stadium. The match will be broadcast live on KSMO-TV, Sports Radio 810 WHB and La Gran D 1340 AM.

FAST FACTS

- With the loss, Sporting Kansas City falls to third in the Eastern Conference.

- Sporting KC is now 5-4-2 in 2013 and 3-2-1 at home.

- Sporting Kansas City is 217-210-111 all-time and 144-77-48 all-time at home.

- Sporting Kansas City's record against the Seattle Sounders moves to 1-6-1 all-time and 0-4-0 at home in the series.

- Sporting Kansas City beat the Sounders in the two clubs' first ever meeting and has not won a match since (seven straight matches without a victory).

- Sporting KC made three changes to their starting lineup for Wednesday after their 4-0 triumph over Chivas USA on Sunday. Josh Gardner started in place of Seth Sinovic, Chance Myers started for Mechack Jerome and C.J. Sapong for Claudio Bieler.

-The Seattle Sounders made four changes to their starting lineup from last weekend's 2-2 draw against the Philadelphia Union. Zach Scott came on for DeAndre Yedlin, Mario Roberto Martinez for Mauro Rosales, Osvaldo Alonso for Alex Caskey and David Estrada for Lamar Neagle.

- Sporting Kansas City allowed only two shots on goal on Wednesday. Seattle's two shots on goal on Wednesday was a season low.

- Kei Kamara made his first appearance for Sporting Kansas City during the 2013 season, re-joining the team late Sunday night after being on loan with Norwich City in the Barclays Premier League.

- Since 2009, Seattle Sounders FC game-winning goals against Sporting KC have come in the 76th minute (2009), 92+ minute (2010), 78th minute (2010), 93+ minute (2011), 92+ minute (2011) and 94+ minute (2013).

- Of Seattle's 11 goals scored all-time in the series, seven have come after the 76th minute. Seattle's 11 goals in the series have come from 11 different players.

-Prior to Wednesday, Sporting Kansas City was 4-0-0 when leading in the 75th minute.

-Wednesday's temperature was 75 degrees at kickoff, the hottest temperature for a Sporting KC game in 2013.

-Wednesday marked Josh Gardner's first start since joining Sporting Kansas City. The start was his first in MLS since April 4, 2012.

- Sporting Kansas City players Seth Sinovic, Paulo Nagamura and Claudio Bieler did not start for the first time during the 2013 season on Wednesday. Sinovic and Bieler entered the match as second-half substitutes.

- Seattle has fielded 12 different lineups in 12 matches in all competition this year.

-Seattle is unbeaten in 35-straight games when scoring first.

- Seattle boasts a five-game unbeaten streak in all competition.

- Attendance at Wednesday's match was 18,602, marking 22 consecutive sellouts at Sporting Park.

- Ike Opara led all players on the field on Wednesday with 11 clearances and 11 interceptions. No other player had more than six in either category. Opara also led all players with eight aerial duels won on Wednesday.

-Oriol Rosell was credited with 15 possessions gained on Wednesday, most amongst all players.

- Jimmy Nielsen has appeared in 72 straight MLS matches, including postseason, for Sporting Kansas City, dating back to June 12, 2011. The streak covers a span of 6,480 straight minutes of MLS action.

-Seattle Sounders FC backup goalkeeper Marcus Hahnemann was dismissed for foul or abusive language in the 24th minute of the match. Wednesday was the third straight match between Seattle and Sporting KC with a player ejected or dismissed.

-Aurelien Collin committed six fouls in Wednesday's match, tying his single-game career high. The six fouls committed is a season-high for a Sporting Kansas City player.

- Collin also committed six fouls in his last match against the Seattle Sounders FC on June 20, 2012.

- C.J. Sapong suffered four fouls on Wednesday, the most by a Kansas City player in the all-time series.

-Peterson Joseph's four fouls committed on Wednesday was a single-game career high.

- Sporting Kansas City outshot the Seattle Sounders 11-9. Sporting KC is 4-3-2 when outshooting an opponent this season.

-Sporting Kansas City was without Paulo Nagamura on Wednesday due to suspension.

-The Seattle Sounders were without Lamar Neagle and DeAndre Yedlin on Wednesday. Both players were suspended for red cards received on Saturday against Philadelphia.

- Sigi Schmid earned his 174th win on Wednesday, most all-time among MLS coaches.

-Sporting KC leads MLS all-time in shots with 7,349.

-Joseph Serati was the Victory Suite honoree at Wednesday's match.

-Matt Besler missed Wednesday's match due to injury.

- Graham Zusi started the 75th regular season match of his career on Wednesday and surpassed 7,000 regular season minutes played.

QUOTES

Sporting Kansas City Manager Peter Vermes

On giving up the late goal...

It is a monumental mistake as we came out of the back to play that ball square. At that point we have C.J. Sapong and Kei Kamara up front and that ball needs to be played forward. Absolutely unacceptable that we played that ball the way it was played. That ball needs to go forward into those guys-that's why they are there running off the ball-we're now 18 yards from there goal. It was a monumental mistake on our part. There's nothing else to say. It's a simple one. We were coming up the field and we play the ball square across the field. For what reason? I have absolutely no idea. Monumental mistake. There's nothing I can say around the goal other than it was a major mistake on our part. We gifted that to them.

On Sporting KC's recent results against Seattle...

I don't buy into that stuff. That's a concentration mistake. It's a mistake on a player coming out of the back. Instead of playing that ball forward he plays it square and puts the other team in the game. He had 20-30 yards of space in front of him, but it's just a mistake unfortunately. The great thing is, we played very well. Again having to change the lineup based on a short turn around given that we played Sunday and they played Saturday. I thought we did a good job and we had good run of play. I thought the second half we got a little tired in the middle of the park it was hard to make subs based on what we needed. The first half I thought we created a lot of good chances in and around the box and I thought we dictated play. Look, they scored a late goal on us. We won the ball to Jimmy, to the ball being thrown out, to the ball played square, to the ball going out of bounds, and missing our mark, and all those things. It was just one mistake after another. So, just completely unacceptable.

On Kei Kamara's return...

I knew it was going to be one where he was going to be a little bit disconnected at times being the fact that he played a lot in a 4-4-2 or a 4-5-1 and playing in the middle. Now he's coming to the wide channel again which is what he plays for us. It was a good return for him, to get him out on the field for us, but he needs a little time with us for sure to get back to his form with us.

On Seattle's tactics...

They didn't step up and high press us in this game. They tried a couple times maybe, but we broke their pressure. We had 60-70 yards on the field ourselves. Especially in the first half. Second half, yeah they tried to make our center backs have the ball, but it wasn't like they posed some major problems for us and it wasn't like we weren't getting up the field.

On the crowd at Sporting Park...

The crowd was awesome tonight. They were loud. They were into it. For a Wednesday night it was a tremendous environment. It still is a fortress. It still is a great environment and it will continue to be that. It's a great place to play. For anybody. For both teams for sure.

Sporting Kansas City midfielder Graham Zusi

On Sporting's recent results against Seattle...

I don't know it might just be coincidence and a lack of concentration in the last few minutes.

On Sporting's second half performance...

For as well as we played in the first half, that's how bad we played in the second. A horrible second half for us. It's not anything they did. They didn't really have too many sniffs at our goal. Passing was off. Touches were off. Just a poor second half.

I don't know. It could have been a lack of energy. I thought we were just dull the second half.

Sporting Kansas City goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen

On giving up the late goal...

That's not good enough to give up a goal in whatever minute. It's very very disappointing. We have to be more focused in that situation. That's too sloppy.

There was a few actions before the goal too. It's just not good enough at that point. I think we should try to play the long ball up. We have CJ (Sapong) and Kei (Kamara) and we should try to play the long ball up there. That was a mistake and w made a mistake on the throw in too. Throw it to the near post and he flicked it in. The guy can't be that open in that area.

On his thoughts during the play that lead to the Seattle goal...

It went pretty fast so I'm not really sure what happened. In a split second I thought it was a handball but I'm not sure.

On his reaction to the goal...

Like jumping in an ice bath. It was like, "Jesus Christ, what's going on here?" I thought we played a pretty good game. It was an intense game. A lot of battles out there and I think everybody did a great job. We just got to be better to finish the game off. We can't give up a goal like that. Very disappointing.

It can't knock us back. We have a game on Sunday. We have to bounce back from this here. It's something that we have to take with us. The last few minutes we have to be better to finish the game like this, if we don't win, at least get a point. That was too easy.

On the crowd's reaction to Kei Kamara's return...

It was unbelievable. What a welcome. Fantastic crowd and it was fantastic to have Kei back.

On Sporting KC's recent results against Seattle...

That's not the first time that's happened. There's definitely something we can learn from this. I'm sure that Coach will point that out to us tomorrow.

Seattle Sounders FC Head Coach Sigi Schmid

On Seattle's 1-0 win over Sporting KC...

We've always had good success in this building. We thought we were a little hard done by in the U.S. Open Cup Final last year, but that's over with. We're happy to get the win because we needed the points. We've played well, and today we finally got some luck.

On improving to 4-0-0 in Kansas City in MLS competition...

It's sort of hard to figure out. Sometime you have a bogie team you can't seem to get past, and then you have a team where it always seems to fall into place. We've done it in different ways at this stadium. I was very pleased with our fitness because we weren't able to rest as many guys as (Sporting) Kansas City did before this match.

On Seattle's defensive performance...

I thought we were very good tonight defensively. We didn't give them time or very many looks. I didn't think Michael Gspurning was forced to make very many saves. He did well to hold onto a shot from Chance Myers in the first half.

On Djimi Traore's goal in the 95th minute...

It was a long throw, and I don't know if it was Brad Evans or one of their players who flicked it on, but Djimi (Traore) was in the right spot in the middle. He took a touch quickly and finished with his second.

On earning a hard-fought road victory...

It's important for our team. We have eight points over our last four games, so we're averaging two points a game, which is what we need to do to put ourselves back in the running. Now we've got a big Western Conference game, and we want to get points at home. Our fans see that we're fighting and clawing to get back to being the team we've been over the last four years.

Seattle Sounders forward David Estrada

On Seattle's 1-0 win over Sporting KC...

It was nice to sneak away with a victory and all three points. One of the things we tried to do was drive the ball at (Sporting KC defender Ike) Opara. We're a little short-handed with injuries and suspensions, but anyone who steps onto the field for us can do well. Whatever the matchups are, I think we can always do a good job.

On the importance of Seattle's victory...

We didn't have a very good start to the season, and we knew we had to turn things around. One of the ways you can do that is by going on the road. It tests your character. A lot of guys have had to step up that normally don't play, which has helped us. Now we're looking forward to bringing this momentum home to get three more points.

Seattle Sounders defender Djimi Traore

On Seattle's 1-0 win over Sporting KC...

It is a big victory for us away from home. We worked hard the whole game, and in the first half it was hard for us. But in the second half we found a way. I don't know if we deserved it, but it's important that we got the three points.

On Seattle's defensive performance...

We pressed them all over the pitch. It was good pressure from us to not let them be comfortable passing the ball. Everyone was involved. You can even thank our strikers for (applying) pressure. They didn't make it easy on us. They are a good team, but we did what we had to do.

On his game-winning goal in the 95th minute...

It was the last minute and I was happy to contribute. I was surprised to receive the ball in that area, but I just did my best. To score at that time is very important for us. It's great for showing our character and it was a fun match to play.

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