Toronto Can't Cope In KC
Photo: Ryan Johnson and the Reds were shut out by Graham Zusi's Kansas City (Getty).
KANSAS CITY, Kan. – If Toronto FC had hopes their recent coaching change would provide a performance boost, Sporting Kansas City’s 2-0 win over the Reds on Saturday put them to rest.
Goals from C.J. Sapong and Julio Cesar spoiled Paul Mariner’s debut with Toronto, and dropped the Canadian club to a 1-10-0 MLS record on the year.
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Sporting came out pressing forward early, often and hard, getting their first chance in the third minute when Seth Sinovic and Teal Bunbury linked up on a counterattack. Bunbury took Sinovic’s pass and beat Jeremy Hall deep, but Sinovic couldn’t convert Bunbury’s return pass and Doneil Henry cleared it away.
A handful of other near misses followed in the opening minutes, but Sapong didn’t waste his first chance of the night.
Chance Myers sent a ball down the right flank to Jacob Peterson – who made his first start of the year in the absence of Kei Kamara, who’s away on international duty with Sierra Leone – in the 18th minute. Peterson’s cross eluded Henry’s stab at clearance, and Sapong pounced to notch his fifth goal of the year.
Toronto had a chance to equalize on the half-hour mark, but the Reds’ opportunity turned into just another entry for the lowlight reel.
Eric Avila took a through ball from Torsten Frings behind Sporting’s back line and put his shot past ’keeper Jimmy Nielsen, only to see it hit the left post, roll down the line and hit the right post, then bounce off defender Aurelien Collin for the corner.
Five minutes later, Julio Cesar – who had already come close several times earlier in the match – made it 2-0 with his first goal of the year. Zusi sent in a corner kick, and Julio Cesar one-timed it home from just outside the top right corner of the 6-yard box.
Danny Koevermans gave Toronto a couple of solid scoring chances after that, but was twice denied by Nielsen. Sporting’s captain made a dive to his right to stop Koevermans’ header in the 37th minute and broke up another 1-on-1 in the 70th minute with a kick save.
The result continues Toronto’s season of turmoil, but Sporting continue to rebound from a three-match losing streak in May, having won their last four matches across all competitions.
18' Kansas City - C.J. Sapong
35' Kansas City - Julio Cesar
55' Toronto - Reggie Lambe (caution)
77' Toronto - Ryan Johnson (caution)
82' Kansas City - Teal Bunbury (caution)
Kansas City - Jimmy Nielsen; Chance Myers, Julio Cesar, Aurelien Collin, Lawrence Olum, Seth Sinovic; Jacob Peterson (Soony Saad 73'), Graham Zusi (Konrad Warzycha 90+3'), Roger Espinoza (Peterson Joseph 89'); Teal Bunbury, C.J. Sapong … Unused Substitutes: Jon Kempin; Dominic Dwyer, Michael Harrington, Michael Thomas
Toronto - Milos Kocic; Richard Eckersley, Adrian Cann (Ashtone Morgan 45'), Doneil Henry, Jeremy Hall; Reggie Lambe (Luis Silva 62'), Terry Dunfield, Torsten Frings, Eric Avila (Julian de Guzman 62'); Ryan Johnson, Danny Koevermans … Unused Substitutes: Quillan Roberts; Miguel Aceval, Nick Soolsma, Joao Plata