Sporting Kansas City wins; Supporters Shield pressure now shifts to New York Red Bulls
Sporting Kansas City, still chasing a Supporters Shield and all that goes with it, has done its part on the final weekend. A stoppage time game-winner from Lawrence Olum has put Sporting Kansas City in charge of the Supporters Shield award pending tomorrow’s highly meaningful result from New York.
Olum’s late winner capped a dramatic and chaotic final half hour, the finish of a 2-1 Sporting Kansas City victory. For the SKC holding midfielder, it was his first professional goal since scoring for the Austin Aztex back in 2010.
The results also eliminates the Union from playoff contention, as John Hackworth’s team will finish 7th in the East.
Graham Zusi’s far post header two minutes after the break appeared to be enough as Sporting Kansas City held a lead for more than 40 minutes in the second half against Philadelphia.
The Union became increasingly desperate through the sunny fall afternoon. Needing all three points for any hope of a playoff spot, the Union kept adding numbers and applied a lot of pressure, but just didn’t have the offensive plan or quality to do much more than launch balls into and around the visitors’ 18.
Jack McInerney finally sneaked through to supply a 90th minute goal -- only his second goal since June. Still in need of one more, the Union pressed for a winner – but then got caught short at the other end, helping to arrange Olum’s winner.
Those are big points for Peter Vermes’ club, positioning Kansas City temporarily into the Supporters Shield lead, now two points ahead of New York. The Red Bulls play host to Chicago on Sunday at Red Bull Arena in New Jersey.