After venting his frustration at not being selected to the MLS All-Stars by coach Veljko Paunovic, David Accam remained in the spotlight on Saturday.
The Chicago Fire’s Ghanaian winger didn’t start for the second straight match. For the second straight match he came off the bench and scored. Also for the second straight match, Accam’s goal brought the Fire to back within one, but was the final goal of the game in a loss.
The Fire lost 3-2 at Sporting Kansas City.
A report from Ives Galarcep, which followed up on a CSN Chicago story about Accam’s disappointment in not being selected for the All-Star Game by Paunovic, said Accam has asked the Fire to let him leave by accepting one of the recently submitted offers for him.
With all that in mind, seeing Accam listed among the substitutes instead of the starting lineup before Saturday’s game raised some eyebrows that the report could be accurate.
By the time Accam entered in the 55th minute the Fire were already trailing 3-1. His goal made for a tense finish. Nemanja Nikolic’s header in the 85th minute, which came from an Accam cross, was as close as the Fire came to getting a tying goal. Only a save from Tim Melia denied Nikolic.
With Accam not starting, Juninho filled in as an extra midfielder alongside Bastian Schweinsteiger and the returning Dax McCarty. Patrick Doody got the start at left back with Brandon Vincent still out with a quad injury. That was Doody’s first appearance for the Fire since 2015.
Sporting KC (9-4-9, 36 points) took the lead in the 23rd minute when a Daniel Salloi shot deflected off Schweinsteiger’s calf and gave goalkeeper Matt Lampson no chance. Five minutes later, a Matt Polster cross caused an own goal after Matt Besler sliced an attempted clearance back into his own net.
KC regained the lead just before halftime when Benny Feilhaber bicycle kicked a rebound from point blank range into the goal. Latif Blessing doubled the lead early in the second half.
The Fire (11-5-5, 38 points) have lost consecutive games for the second time this season. After finishing this road trip with a 0-2-1 record, the Fire return home next Saturday against the New England Revolution.