Saturday, March 26, 2011
For several years, trips to Chicago often meant certain doom for Sporting Kansas City. That isnt the case anymore.
Kansas City seeks its third victory in four games at Toyota Park on Saturday in the Fires home opener.
Playing its first game with a new name after being known for more than a decade as the Kansas City Wizards, Sporting Kansas City opened this season with a 3-2 win over Chivas USA last Saturday.
The Sporting KC era got off to an encouraging start as C.J. Sapong scored just two minutes into the game, recording the fastest goal for a rookie in MLS history.
It was definitely surreal scoring, said the former James Madison star. It shows for me all the hard work has paid off, but at the same time its a motivating tool to keep it up.
Omar Bravo also enjoyed a memorable debut with Kansas City. The striker, signed in February after an illustrious tenure with Chivas Guadalajara, scored the teams other two goals.
I think there were so many things that (Bravo) wanted to prove, Sporting KC coach Peter Vermes said. Once he calmed down, thats when he started playing his game. And thats why hes here, because of the way he played.
Kansas City now looks to open 2-0 for the third time in four seasons, and win back-to-back games in Chicago for the first time in franchise history.
The Fire went 13-1-1 in their first 15 home meetings between these clubs, but Kansas City has recently found some success at Toyota Park, going 2-0-1 there since 2008.
Kansas City won 2-0 in Chicago on Oct. 12 behind scores from captain Davy Arnaud and Teal Bunbury. The teams played to a 2-all tie in Kansas City on May 15 with Kei Kamara scoring both goals for the Wizards.
The Fire opened this season with a 1-1 tie against FC Dallas last Saturday.
Chicagos Diego Chaves, making his MLS debut, scored in the 17th minute to put the Fire up 1-0 but FC Dallas answered with a goal one minute later. Chicago had several chances late after Dallas defender Brek Shea was ejected in the 55th minute but couldnt take advantage.
I think it is a little bit disappointing that we were up a man for about 30 minutes and didnt win but we need to keep it in perspective, captain Logan Pause told MLS official website. Coming here and getting a point is fantastic. The guys showed a level of commitment that Im proud of and excited to be a part of. I think were on the right track.
The Fire, who will visit Kansas City on June 9 for the opening of the new Livestrong Sporting Park, lost to San Jose in their first game at Toyota Park last season, snapping a three-game winning streak in home openers.