Seth Sinovich of Sporting Kansas City tries to get position on Orlando City
Sporting Kansas City forward Soony Saad netted a brace within three minutes, then held off a late challenge by an Orlando City SC side reduced to ten men to claim a 3-2 win. They survived a day where lower division clubs came to play and knocked out multiple MLS teams, earning a home match against the Colorado Rapids next Tuesday.
While Kansas City started a lot of their regulars, they did decide to go with 19-year-old keeper John Kempin, who is signed to a Homegrown Player contract. The Lions, defending USL Pro champions, would throw the young netminder into the fire midway through the half with Charlie Campbell and Kevin Molino forcing Kempin to make solid saves. Sporting also got pressure on shorthanded City (who only brought 15 players), forcing captain Miguel Gallardo into making eight saves in the game.
The home side finally broke through in stoppage time. Peterson Joseph fed the ball to Paulo Nagamura, who rifled the ball past Gallardo from 30 yards distance just before the halftime whistle. City would level ten minutes into the second half, as Molino recieved an Erik Ustruck cross and headed into the net. However, ten minutes after that, the game turned into the Soony Show.
Saad would take the pass from goalscorer Nagamura at 65 minutes and laid it inside the far post, making up for earlier missed opportunities. Three minutes later, he again netted the ball, lauching a Gallardo punchout past the Lion keeper from outside the box. Things would get worse for City at 70 minutes in, as midfielder Anthony Pulis would be shown a straight red for an elbow in the back. This enraged the Orlando players, who felt that considering how their forward Jamie Watson had been beaten around earlier in the game, they should have had a man advantage since the first half. They finally had turned their rage into determination with six minutes left, as Dennis Chin rifled a shot into the top netting. The Lions would continue to press further and attempt to equalize, but Sporting would hold firm to advance.
LINEUPS: ORL- Miguel Gallardo; Kieron Bernard, Erik Ustruck, Luke Boden, Robert Valentino; Charlie Campbell, James O’Connor, Anthony Pulis, Kevin Molino; Dennis Chin, Jamie Watson (Ian Fuller 78)
SKC- Jon Kempin; Chance Myers, Konrad Warzycha (Matt Besler 85), Aurelien Collin, Seth Sinovic; Paulo Nagamura, Lawrence Olum, Peterson Joseph (Graham Zusi 59); Jacob Peterson, Dom Dwyer (C.J. Sapong 46), Soony Saad
SCORING: SKC- Paulo Nagamura (Peterson Joseph) 45+2′ ORL– Kevin Molino (Erik Ustruck) 55′ SKC- Soony Saad (Paulo Nagamura) 65′ SKC- Soony Saad 68′ ORL- Dennis Chin 84′
BOOKINGS: SKC– Aurelien Collin (caution; tactical foul) 23′ ORL– Robert Valentino (caution; reckless tackle) 51′ ORL– Anthony Pulis (ejection; violent conduct) 70′ SKC– Jacob Peterson (caution; tactical foul) 78′