Sporting Kansas City Falls Short in Revenge Match Against Houston

KANSAS CITY – Following a Round of 32 win over Union Omaha, Sporting Kansas City returned to Children’s Mercy Park for a revenge match against the Houston Dynamo following last year’s playoffs. Houston eliminated SKC in November of 2023 in the Western Conference Semifinals as well as drawing with each other in the opening match of the 2024 Regular Season back in February. Sitting three points behind Houston before kickoff ensued, Kansas City viewed the game as an opportunity to make up some huge ground on the table. 

The goal for Sporting was to see their defense take some large steps forward after a historically rough start to the year defensively, especially in the waning moments of matches. Houston came to Kansas City without a single score in three consecutive MLS matchups, providing Kansas City with a golden opportunity to get the defense back on track. That did not happen. That objective was silenced in the first half with a beautiful set piece from the Dynamo. 

Houston was awarded their first corner kick of the night and took advantage, executing a set piece that involved Héctor Herrera passing at a short distance from the corner and then proceeded to retrieve the ball right off a touch pass. The ball then found its home in the back right corner of the net after a high arching curve that got around SKC Goalkeeper Tim Melia. The goal was the first for Herrera in his 2024 campaign and provided the Dynamo with a 1-0 lead. That lead was sustained until halftime. It was the fourth straight MLS match that Kansas City did not have the lead going into the locker rooms at halftime. The last time SKC had the lead at halftime was on April 7th against Portland, which was the first of what would be five straight matches without a win. 

Parker Johnson/IONYOU Media

SKC appeared to respond well, coming out for the beginning of the second half, with a goal in the 61st minute by Daniel Salloi. He was assisted by Memo Rodriguez. The goal was the second on the season for Salloi combined with the team-leading fourth assist of the year for Rodriguez, Kansas City knotted the game up at one. SKC even provided what would go on a (very short) defensive highlight reel with an outstanding save from recently reinstated Tim Melia. 

Ryan Weaver/IONYOU Media

However, the tie was quickly broken in the 78th minute when Houston Midfielder Griffin Dorsey ran what seemed like the length of the field, finishing his journey with a pass to wide-open fellow midfielder, Ibrahim Aliyu. The defensive mistake seemed to be a synopsis of Sporting Kansas City’s defense in their 2024 matches to this point. SKC Manager Peter Vermes said that the goal was allowed because of, “A lack of effort – which is not Sporting Kansas City mentality”.

With the goal coming in the 78th minute, Kansas City has now been outscored 13-3 after the 64th minute throughout the entire 2024 campaign. 

The match ended with a 2-1 score and a defeated Kansas City Club. Their goal of finishing simply did not come to fruition. The fear now is if there is even a remedy for the seemingly continuous struggles in the final moments of the match. 

Vermes described the effort in the match as, “Amateur, amateur at best”

Parker Johnson/IONYOU Media

Houston will now head to Austin for a Texas state matchup on May 15th, looking to solidify themselves in the Western Conference. Sporting will also head to Austin just a few days later, for a matchup on Saturday, May 18th, before returning home for their Round of 16 match in the US Open Cup when they take on FC Tulsa on Tuesday, May 21st.

2 Responses

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Share the Post: