Teams at either end of the Eastern Conference table, but with both teams looking to make a statement, meet tonight at Red Bull Arena. Coming off two dominant performances, New York looks to regain their spot atop the table (after Houston’s win last night), while Sporting Kansas City looks to clamp down things on the defensive side while continuing to threaten the opposing goal. Prior to the match, the club will honor legendary New York defender Mike Petke, who retired at the end of last season. Running commentary and lineups after the jump.
New York Red Bulls:
Subs: Sutton, Robinson, Agudelo, Keel, Ballouchy, Mendes
Sporting Kansas City:
Subs: Kronberg, Rocastle, Stojcev, Ellis, Smith, Espinoza, Besler
We just finished up a touching ceremony honoring Mike Petke. Great tifo from The South Ward, of course.
1′ And we’re off…
6′ SKC trying to apply high pressure so far. We’ll see if they try to come out and play with New York.
8′ Henry whips in a cross on the counter, but its broken up.
10′ A combination of high pressure and physical play has NY still probing SKC looking for a weakness.
12′ NY starting to return the favor in regards to high pressure and physical play. Shaping up to be an interesting match.
13′ Auvray hauls down DeRo in the area! PK coming for NY!!
14′ Rafa steps up for NY but Nielsen is there to make the save.
17′ Arnaud gets off a weak shot off a corner, but it does not threaten Coundoul.
22′ GOAL NY!! Rodgers puts it past Nielsen off a nice cross from DeRo! 1-0 NY
31′ Richards slips a through ball to an onrushing Rodger, but its deflected out for a corner.
32′ Nielsen is down after a 50/50 challenge from Rodgers. Rodgers gets booked with a yellow.
36′ The NY faithful are serenading Nielsen with boos whenever he touches the ball. Obviously they don’t agree with the ref’s call.
39′ DeRo tries to curl one past Nielsen, but the GK pokes it wide.
39′ Off the corner, the ball finds Ream, but his header is pushed aside by Nielsen.
41′ One way traffic leads to another shot on target, but Henry’s try from the top of the area is saved.
42′ After a few quiet matches, DeRo is very dangerous tonight. Could a goal be coming?
42′ Yellow to Tainio for a foul on Bunbury.
45′ 1 minute of stoppage.
45+’ After some action in the area, the ball ends up at Richards, but his shot is blocked as the half ends.
HALFTIME: SKC sub: Smith for Sapong. NY subs: Robinson for Tainio, Agudelo for Rodgers.
46′ And we’re back…
48′ Tainio left the match with a groin strain.
49′ As for Rodgers, he passed his pre-match fitness test, but he had some posterior right knee tightness.
53′ KC coach Vermes gets a verbal warning for leaving the coaching area.
57′ Richards with a blast that Nielsen can only deflect out for a corner.
58′ The ball pinballs around leading to a Solli shot, but Ream was offsides.
60′ Zusi gets an open header at the far post, but its over.
64′ SKC sub: Stojcev for Auvray
64′ Bouna has come off his line well tonight to diffuse some threats.
71′ NY working possession looking for a clear chance.
74′ Having played just 9 minutes this season, Robinson is justifiably a bit rusty.
77′ KC earns a free kick from about 30 yards straight on.
78′ Kamara’s free kick is out for a corner.
79′ Bunbury breaks free onsides, but his shot is over.
80′ NY sub: Ballouchy for De Rosario.
84′ Coundoul snares a cross to break up a threat.
85′ SKC throwing players forward looking for the equalizer.
86′ Smith is being helped off the field. Seems to be ok.
87′ Corner coming for KC
88′ SKC can not put anything together off the corner.
90′ 3 minutes of stoppage.
90+’ KC fouling and conceding corners is not helping their cause.
90+’ Yellow to Ballouchy.
FULL TIME: NY rides an early Rodgers goal to the win to move NY back into first in the Eastern Conference.