Sporting KC Falls 2-1 to Vancouver

Sporting KC Acquires $190,000 in GAM

May 29, 2024 – Major League Soccer (MLS)
Sporting Kansas City News Release

A late Marinos Tzionis goal was not enough to prevent defeat on Wednesday as Sporting Kansas City (2-8-5, 11 points) fell 2-1 to Vancouver Whitecaps FC (6-5-4, 22 points) at Children’s Mercy Park. Whitecaps attacker Ryan Gauld scored on both sides of halftime to give the visitors a 2-0 advantage before Tzionis scored his third goal of the season in all competitions during second-half stoppage time.

Sporting will conclude a frantic stretch of five games in 15 days by visiting regional rivals Minnesota United FC on Saturday at Allianz Field. Kickoff is slated for 7:30 p.m. CT with live coverage on MLS Season Pass via Apple TV.

Manager Peter Vermes reshuffled his lineup to the tune of eight changes, including the first MLS starts of the season for Felipe Hernandez, Khiry Shelton and wingers Stephen Afrifa and Alenis Vargas. Hernandez earned his first league start since April 2023, Shelton was deployed at right back in his first start since last September, Afrifa logged his second career MLS start and his first last July, and Vargas was named to the starting XI for the first time in his Sporting career. Homegrown defender Jake Davis was notably pushed into the central midfield for a Sporting side that averaged 25.9 years of age, the club’s youngest lineup for an MLS match since July 2022.

The hosts enjoyed a vibrant opening half hour and threatened twice inside the first three minutes. Davis drove into the attacking third and forced a save at the top of the box from Whitecaps goalkeeper Yohei Takaoka before Vargas showcased his blistering pace by galloping down the right channel and swinging in a low cross for Agada, whose shot near the penalty spot was blocked. Vargas asked further questions of the Vancouver defense in the 11th minute, cutting on the edge of the area and clipping a delightful ball into Agada, whose leaping header missed by inches.

Hernandez nearly had his third goal in three games in the 15th minute when his searching free kick into the mixer nearly found the back of the net untouched amidst a slew of bodies, but Takaoka produced a reflex save by palming the ball wide.

Vancouver created its first fleeting chance on 17 minutes when Sebastian Berhalter’s searching delivery into Brian White was nodded marginally over the crossbar. At the opposite end, Sporting continued to knock on the door with Hernandez having a shot blocked, Dany Rosero heading high off a corner kick and…

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