It’s a first ever in Lamar Hunt US Open Cup history for Sporting Kansas City.
Dom Dwyer produced Sporting’s first-ever quad in the tournament, knocking in Kansas City’s first three goals and adding a tally in the second half en route to a 6-2 win over FC Dallas.
“We’re a hungry team. We want to win every game,” Dwyer said. “It’s easier to get this across to the rest of the team when this is a Cup game. Every game is a final for us.”
Entering the match with three Open Cup goals in his career – all three while on loan to Orlando City SC in 2013 – Dwyer added four more to his output in the Round of 16 matchup. His tally was the most by any Sporting player in the Open Cup in team history and first four-goal game by any player in the Open Cup since 2013 (Fredric Piquionne, Portland Timbers).
Kansas City’s first three goals came from set pieces. In the 5th minute, Benny Feilhaber found Dwyer on the back post. Dwyer’s header snuck just over goalkeeper Chris Seitz’s outstretched hand and under the crossbar for the early lead.
Dom Dwyer scored the first hat trick in Sporting Kansas City’s Open Cup history. Photo: Gary Rohman | Sporting KC
Sporting doubled the lead when Feilhaber and Dwyer linked up again, this time off a free kick on the left wing. The delivery curled toward the back post once again, and Dwyer beat Seitz, who was coming out to punch the ball and inadvertently caught one of his own players. Dwyer’s header bounced once and into the net.
Dwyer dribbled into the penalty area and was fouled and later scored his third on a penalty kick as he became the first England native to score a hat trick in the Modern Era (1995-present).
Later, Krisztian Nemeth added a goal in first-half stoppage time. Jacob Peterson drove the endline and found Nemeth unmarked in the center of the box to make it 4-0 heading into halftime.
“You might not believe this, I bumped into Krisztian in the locker room, and I told him I was going to get five and he was going to get three,” Dwyer said. “That’s why we were laughing on the pitch. We were saying one more each.”
Dwyer’s prediction may have come up one goal short on each end, but Nemeth’s last goal would have been tough to top. His shot – less than two yards from the endline on the right side of the goal area – chipped Seitz and floated over the goal line before Dallas could get a head on the ball. He celebrated by striking an “are you not entertained?” pose from the movie Gladiator.
“The thing is on Krisztian’s second goal, I’ve been working with him all week on that – the way he chipped the ball in there,” Sporting KC head coach Peter Vermes said with a laugh. “I’m surprised he picked it up that quickly.”
Dwyer sandwiched his fourth goal, this coming from his own free kick, in between FC Dallas tallies. Michael Barrios and Kellyn Acosta provided the goals for Dallas, despite the five-goal deficits at the time.
“I’ve wanted a hat trick for this club for a while,” Dwyer said. “I’m very happy to get one, and I got an extra one and finally scored a free kick.”
The big night for Dwyer and Sporting came in a big game. The game was riddled with Lamar Hunt ties. Hunt, of whom the tournament is named after, was a major player in getting the Kansas City Wiz into the inaugural season of MLS in 1996. His name is enshrined in Sporting’s Legends Wall. After his stint with Kansas City, Hunt spread his wings and bought the Dallas Burn in 2002.
Sporting’s six-goal output was the most by Kansas City since 2005 when the Wizards defeated the Des Moines Menace (PDL) 6-1 on Aug. 3.
Dwyer and company will look for another explosive game in the Quarterfinals. The next match in the Open Cup for Kansas City is on July 21, when it hosts the Houston Dynamo at Sporting Park.